The IFPI has welcomed action by the Chinese authorities to curtail unlicensed music websites.

China's Ministry of Culture identified a list of 117 copyright infringing music sites in April and produced another list of 68 sites last month. The authorities said the music sites violated regulations and failed to obtain licenses.

The Ministry is investigating the sites, although 23 of them have since shut down anyway.

"It is good news that the authorities are taking action against some infringing websites, but there are many more illegal music services that continue to operate with impunity," said Leong Mayseey, IFPI regional director for Asia, in a statement.

"Only 23 of the original 117 websites identified by the Ministry of Culture have been taken down and it is not clear what penalties, if any, their operators face. If China wants its creative sector to punch its weight globally, it must do more to create a widespread climate of respect for intellectual property."

Mayseey added: "We hope to see the authorities following this welcome development with further action against services that illegally build their businesses by abusing other people's rights."