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Tencent Music in harmony with Alibaba following rights deal

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By John Glenday | Reporter

September 12, 2017 | 3 min read

Tencent Music has paved the way to an expected $10bn IPO by signing a rights deal with Alibaba, strengthening its position within the important Chinese market.

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Tencent Music in harmony with Alibaba following rights deal

Under the terms of the deal Alibaba will gain the right to stream music from international labels such as Sony and Universal Music, which already have exclusive deals with Tencent, in return for offering reciprocal rights to its catalogue of Chinese and Japanese music.

China’s fast-growing streaming market is evolving rapidly as it transitions from physical media (often counterfeit) toward licensed streaming services offering copyrighted content, drawn by the appeal of accessing all content from one provider.

Figures compiled by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, suggest that the Chinese online music market grew by 20% last year, compared with a global average of just 6%. Tencent is well positioned to take advantage of this growth with three music streaming apps; QQ Music, Kugou and Kuwo, which boast 526 million monthly users between them, accounting for 78% of total market revenue.

Tencent overtook Alibaba as China's most valuable tech company last year.

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