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Nokia to launch online music store in China

Nokia to launch online music store in China

Nokia is to launch an online music store in China, as the mobile maker looks to expand its media services to emerging markets.

The service will offer DRM-free music from major labels and a number of independents as part of the China launch for its Comes with Music service tailored for downloads to mobiles and PCs.

In a statement, Noklia said: "The launch of Nokia's unlimited music download offering in China adds further momentum to Nokia's leadership in the world's highest growth markets including Brazil, Russia and Indonesia. The forthcoming launch of the service in India will add significant scale and differentiation in another critical market."

Nokia unveiled the service in the UK in 2008 as a test market for new mobile services in Europe.

With more than 700 million subscribers, China is the world's biggest mobile market by users. But rampant piracy in the country has kept most major music labels and movie makers from realising significant revenue there despite its huge potential.

The new service will initially be offered over eight Nokia models for sale in China, with entry prices starting from 140 euros.

"Globally, we have expanded the reach of our music service to 30 markets in just 18 months," Liz Schimel, Nokia's global head of music, said, adding that labels signed on to the deal include Universal Music, EMI and the music arms of Sony and Time Warner's Warner Bros.

Nokia announced that the China service will break with its previous versions of its Comes with Music services by not including DRM software, which limits sharing of songs between different devices.

That move will allow consumers to freely share music between any device, unlike other markets where the service limits usage to just one phone and one computer.

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