China's once fast-paced mobile music market experienced a decline last year due to a government crackdown on anti-consumer practices.
An estimated 20%-30% of Chinese wireless customers signed up to mobile music subscription services had done so involuntarily, according to analyst group In-Stat, lured in by unclear or misleading information. China's Ministry of Information Industry enforced a double-confirmation regulation that made it easier for subscribers to opt out of reoccurring monthly fees.
As a result, China's mobile music market dropped about 8.1% over 2005, to $703.2 million.
In-Stat says this drop is merely a correction, and expects the mobile music sector to gain speed again in the coming year. It expects music phone penetration to grow from 45% last year to 85% by 2010, with total phone shipments reaching 161.6 million by that time.