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Jack Ma's music streaming platform shuts down

Lucy Dean
·2-min read
Jack Ma, Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group speaks during the press conference of Global Transformation Forum at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Thursday, March 23, 2017. Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Limited plans to set up a regional distribution hub in Malaysia to cater to its fast-growing business in the region, two sources aware of the discussions said. (AP Photo/Daniel Chan)
Jack Ma speaks in 2017. (AP Photo/Daniel Chan)

Alibaba’s music streaming app, Xiami, will shut down in February as the Jack Ma-founded business faces heightened pressure.

Xiami launched in 2006 before Alibaba bought it in 2013, however the app has faced challenges since 2015 when Beijing began taking harsher measures against music copyright infringement.

Over the course of three weeks, more than 2 million unauthorised songs were removed from music streaming services in China, with Xiami taking a big hit.

Chinese technology conglomerate Tencent’s majority purchase of China Music Group saw Tencent control as much as 75 per cent of China’s music streaming market by 2017, and the majority of exclusive music deals.

Xiami, which means “small shrimp” in Mandarin, was known early on for its smart design, social features and support for smaller musicians.

However, in a notice to users this week, Xiami said it would close on 5 February because of “adjustments in business development”.

Rough week for Jack Ma

It comes as Ma’s Alibaba faces a Chinese antitrust investigation, while regulators are pushing for affiliate Ant Group to share consumer-credit data it has collected.

Regulators are concerned Ant Group has an unfair advantage over smaller lenders and banks due to the huge amount of data it has harvested through its Alipay payment app.

Ant Group’s anticipated US$37 billion initial public offering was also scuppered as regulators sought to address the company’s hoard of data.

Ma has also been under intense scrutiny after criticising the lawmakers that enforce global financial regulations, the Basel Accords. He described them as “an old people’s club”.

The billionaire has not been seen since October, prompting concerns he is missing.

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