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Google (Nasdaq: GOOG ) announced today that it will shut down its 3-year-old free music download service in China, according to an Associated Press report. Citing a disappointing impact, the company said it will devote resources to other, more promising areas of its business.
The move further reduces Google's presence in Asia. In 2010, the company pulled its search engine service from China because of government censorship. In Google's absence, China search engine Baidu.com has moved in swiftly, and now controls nearly 80% of the search market. Google is estimated to have around 16% of the search market in China, and continues to operate in Hong Kong.
China is still a relatively untapped market in terms of Internet services, as less than half of its more than 1.3 billion people have Internet access. Google's Android software remains popular in China, and the company said it still makes money selling ads to Chinese consumers via its global sites, the AP reported.