Following rumors of a shutdown in November, Alibaba-backed Xiami Music (虾米音乐) released a statement on Jan. 5 announcing plans to close in February due to a business reshuffling.
Xiami will stop offering memberships and album purchasing services today, while users will not be able to download music and content starting on Feb. 5, according to Xiami’s official statement released on Wechat and Weibo. However, the company’s newly-established musician platform will remain open, welcoming players to compose and share their work.
“After 12 years of companionship, we are reluctant to say goodbye. We welcome more musicians to join our new digital music platform ‘Yinluo音螺’ and share your beautiful music with more people,” Xiami wrote.
At present, the platform has launched services ranging from playlist export to membership refunds and musician earnings withdrawals.
Xiami users can export their playlists to NetEase Cloud Music, one of the China’s leading music platforms – a venture with a long long-established relationship with Alibaba. Last September, the latter bought a minority stake in the company in a USD 700 million co-investment alongside Jack Ma’s Yunfeng Capital. In August, Netease Cloud Music’s VIP services were included in Alibaba’s customer loyalty project “88VIP program.”
Also acquired by Alibaba in January 2013, Xiami was founded in 2006 by Wang Hao, an Alibaba engineer and guitar player himself. Xiami is one of the earliest digital music platforms in China, boasting a massive library of 30 million pieces. It has also attracted more than 40,000 original musicians to its digital premises, covering more than 500 million pieces. Its niche taste and efforts in nurturing indie musicians earned it a large flock of loyal followers.