Tom Group Bringing Spotify To China

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Chinese media conglomerate Tom Group (2383.HK) said on Wednesday it is teaming up with European Internet firm Spotify to bring the company’s popular digital music streaming service to China.

Founded by two Swedes, Spotify is a free service that allows users to stream music of their choice onto their computers. It is currently available in Europe and relies on advertising and some fee-paying customers for revenue. [ID:nL5466558]

The tie-up will create a localised version of the software to introduce to provide music over computers and mobile phones, Tom said in a statement to Reuters. Spotify’s current services are only available over computers.

“Tom will work towards unveiling a localised version of Spotify in Greater China in the near future,” the statement said.

It was reported earlier this month that Spotify was close to securing new investment from high-profile investors including the charitable foundation of Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing.

The foundation, venture capital firm Wellington Partners and others are close to investing up to $50 million, which would value Spotify at $250 million, the Financial Times reported, citing unnamed people familiar with the process.

Tom is majority owned by Li, and also counts eBay Inc (EBAY.O) and eBay’s Internet telephony service Skype among its partners in China.

China is the world’s largest Internet market with 338 million users, according to government data. (Reporting by Melanie Lee; Editing by Doug Young and Ken Wills)