Chinese company cashes in on business of sounds

Chinese company cashes in on business of sounds

When people think of Intel, they first think of the company's signature four-note jingle rather than its computer processing units.

This "sound logo" not only differentiates Intel's advertisements from its competitor's, but also helps to make the brand more valuable.

Seeing the potential profit looming big from Intel's example, some Chinese investors are working to introduce a similar business of sounds to the country.

China's first sound property rights exchange, www.vocc.cn, went online officially in Hefei, capital of Anhui province, on July 1. The exchange includes pop music as well as all kinds of everyday sounds including a dolphin's cry, the sound a sweater makes when its wearer breathes in and out or the whoosh of a swinging golf club.

All transactions for the sounds and music are made online, in the similar way that China's largest e-commerce site Taobao.com runs its business.

Although the number of registered users has not grown exponentially over the past few months, it has grown steadily. By the beginning of September, the site reached 38,000 account holders, according to Zhang Nan, director of the exchange's marketing department.

In collaboration with Alipay, China's largest third-party payment platform, the site offers easy payment, collecting a 20 per cent commission per transaction.

"E-commerce has been thriving in recent years and has become the mainstream way to buy for consumers. Over time, it has become a highly efficient and safe way to make a payment, and it's widely accepted by the general public. The widespread appeal of e-commerce has contributed to the birth of this online sound property rights exchange," said Zhang.

According to the Internet industry research organisation iResearch, the trade volume of e-commerce reached 8.1 trillion yuan ($1.3 trillion) in China last year, up about 27.9 per cent year-on-year. Taobao.com, the largest e-commerce platform in China, saw its trade volume exceed 1 trillion by the end of last year, which was about 2 per cent of the country's GDP in 2011.

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