As expected, Google has launched its free music search service in China, competing with the Baidu MP3 search service, which is the target of several music industry lawsuits.

Google's service lets users search for music by Chinese artists by either track title, artist name or album, and then links results to an authorized Chinese digital retailer called Top100.cn. Full songs are available to stream, with advertising revenue included to support the licenses. Additional revenue is expected from ringback tones from China Mobile.

Music with rights cleared for the service consists primarily of Chinese artists and labels. The service is not accessible outside the country.

Google has its work cut out for it, as the Baidu search engine commands 64% of the local online search activity, to Google's 26%. The Baidu music search engine works much the same as the new Google offer, but links to full streams of songs posted on unauthorized services, and does not share advertising revenue with labels.