A new rumor had started to circulate that video portal Ku6 was going to move its Games and Music Operations from Shanghai to Beijing. Some Ku6 insiders recently confirmed the rumor, saying that employees willing to relocate will retain their position and salary level while receiving a 2000 RMB housing subsidy.
The official reason for this move is to improve coordination and communication of the Ku6 team. However, there’s another rumor that the real purpose is to shutter the Shanghai departments, involving over 40 employees.
The rumor caps a difficult period for Ku6 since it reached an asset purchase agreement with entertainment media company Shanda that was completed on Aug. 17th 2010. Shanda has been trying to exert control over Ku6 since the start of the 2011. On March 14th, Ku6 founder Shanyou Li resigned as CEO while remaining on the board of directors. In May, Shanda’s attempt to layoff 150 Ku6 employees, causing the resignation of Ku6’s VP and Head Editor, followed by the departure of Shanyou Li from the Board of Directors and replacement of six senior management positions in Ku6 by Shanda executives.
While Ku6 subsequently promised no additional layoffs, the fact that most Shanghai employees are registered residents and unwilling to relocate means they will most likely end up “on the bench”.
Across the straits, the Music Copyright Society of Chinese Taipei (MUST) and the Association of Recording Copyright Owners of the R.O.C. reached an agreement with the Chinese Taipei Professional Baseball League (CPBL) after two years of negotiations to pay copyright fees for the music played during games starting in 2012.
In order for the baseball fans to hear more pop songs during the game instead of boring CPBL songs, CPBL will be the first sports organization in Taiwan to pay music copyright fees. Even though there is no regulation in the Copyright Law for the open use of music by professional sports, CPBL wanted to take the lead. The move represents big step according to a CPBL officials, as it will benefit sports fans most while respecting Taiwan music copyright owners.
Looking to back to the mainland, NetDragon’s subsidiary Boyuan Wireless has signed a strategic partnership agreement with China Mobile’s Wireless Music Base. This partnership will provide over 30 million smart phone users with better music products and also promote legal music use in the mobile Internet arena.
Boyuan Wireless CEO Hongzhan Chen noted that Boyuan’s 91 Mobile Platform is the biggest mobile app platform in China, with over 80% and 50% market share of the iPhone and Android markets respectively. Meanwhile, China Mobile’s Wireless Music Base is the largest legal music distribution platform, accounting for the most music sales and user interaction in China. The partnership is likely to resolve several copyright issues in the mobile sector.
Let’s move to some lighter news in China. Xinhua News Network Corporation (CNC) launched a Folk music website WOW Music on December 19th. The move into the entertainment field represents an important step for Xinhua, a media giant in China that has been working to establis itself as one of the world’s leading multimedia news agencies.
From stories to pictures and audio to video products, “China’s first folk music portal” will be a stage for introducing Chinese folk culture heritage to the world and “turn these resources into cultural soft power”, said producer Xiaomeng Hu.