The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry claims Yahoo China is an MP3 link site that makes copyrighted songs available for downloading without permission from record companies. The international group threatened to sue earlier this week.
In an e-mail on behalf of Yahoo China, Bruce Shu said the company learned about the accusations through the press. Alibaba.com, which owns the majority of Yahoo China, also issued a statement Thursday, saying it is not an MP3 link site, and it reserves all legal rights regarding damage to its reputation and ongoing business operations.
"Yahoo China is a general portal that provides an online search engine service to Chinese Internet users," the company stated through its public relations firm. "The IFPI mischaracterized Yahoo China as an MP3 link site."
The company said its music search service respects the rights of intellectual property right owners and its online services strictly adhere to laws, regulations and policies. It also said IFPI has no basis for claiming Yahoo China infringes on recording companies' rights on a large scale.
Yahoo Inc., which owns part of the company as well, issued a statement Wednesday, saying it respects copyrights and adheres to the law, though Alibaba.com runs the Chinese search service.
IFPI claims that providing links for illegally downloading copyright protected material is illegal under a new Chinese law.
The IFPI is entangled in a similar, and ongoing, dispute with another Chinese company, Baidu.com.