Beijing Digital Telecom (BDT), China's largest retailer of mobile handsets, and Munich-based Siemens Networks are set to launch what they claim is the territory's first DRM-protected mobile-based music download service.

BDT and Siemens say the "piracy-proof" Music2You (M2Y) service marks a milestone in the development of the Chinese music market.

In a statement issued today (Jan. 31), Siemens describes the platform as a "secure delivery solution for premium music content" that enables digital-download services to offer up to 1 million songs on their portals.

Siemens will operate the service for BDT customers through Beijing-based China Mobile's WAP portal. China Mobile is the world's largest telecom operator, with more than 250 million users.

At press time it was not clear how many songs and what types of repertoire will be available through the M2Y service. Pricing details were also not disclosed, although China's legitimate music-download services charge an average 0.99 yuan ($0.13) per track.

"We view securing mobile music downloading as one of the key revenue drivers for the future of mobile applications and value added services," BDT chairman Liu Dong Hai said in the statement.

Established in 1993, BDT is China's largest retailer of mobile communication and digital products and expects to have a total of 800 outlets nationwide by the end of the year.