Two men chat beside a logo of Alibaba (China) Technology Co Ltd at its headquarters on the outskirts of Hangzhou. Photo: Reuters/Steven Shi

The heads of Tencent Music Entertainment, Ali Music Group, NetEase Cloud Music and Baidu Taihe Music were brought together by the Copyright Management Division of State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television of the People’s Republic of China (SAPPRFT) to discuss issues related to copyright, Caixin reported on Tuesday.

The Copyright Management Division pointed to current problems in the online music market, including driving up copyright licensing fees, snatching exclusive music copyrights and using musical works without licensing or permission.

“This is harmful to wide dissemination of musical works, and is also harmful to the healthy development of the online music industry,” said the head of the Copyright Management Division.

The Copyright Management Division office encouraged the four major online music platforms to follow international market rules, avoid the purchase of exclusive copyright or vicious price bidding, and resolve copyright disputes by prior consultation, the report said.

Following the meeting, the Tencent Music Entertainment Group said in a statement that it will licence music from record labels including Sony Music, Warner Music and Universal Music to Alibaba. While Ali Music Group will offer Tencent its exclusive rights bought from Rock Records, HIM International Music, Bin Music and Media Asia Group.

The two companies said they hope the agreement will move the industry forward “by protecting copyrights and encouraging more musicians to produce original and high-quality products.”

Exclusive copyright, judicial interrogation and the transfer of music authorization has become the hot topic in the music industry recently. In August, NetEase Cloud Music and Tencent Music Entertainment went to court over a series of failed transfer of music authorizations. Both sides are still in talks.