After getting attention from the U.S Trade Representative (USTR), China’s GouGou.com – one of the most prolific pirate search engines in the country – got shut down.
The website used to be backed up by the Chinese web company Xunlei. Although the company planned for an US IPO (Initial Public Offerings), the company got rejected last year; the main reasons were GouGou and Xunlei’s peer-to-peer platform.
Visitors of the website are currently being greeted by the following message:
“Gougou.com has been closed down. Thank you all for your support, and we are sorry for any inconvenience.”
Before being smashed into bits, GouGou used to offer pirated content such as movies, music, software, games, and e-books.
However, for those who still want to feel that taste of downloading, there’s gougousousou.com available, a sort of copycat of the original website.
In the past two years, China got rid of some of its “bad apples”, including the Yahoo Music portal and the e-commerce store Taobao, which got removed from USTR’s blacklist. Last but not least, Baidu – a Chinese search engine – also chose to go legitimate by streaming (only) licensed music on their service.
With that in mind, it’s likely for Xunlei to have one more shot at another IPO application, but until then stay tuned and keep your eyes open!