Zhongsou.com has reached an agreement with Niaoren Recording Company, agreeing to pay the latter for each MP3 downloaded by Zhongsou's users.
Zhongsou's COO Chen Bo says his company will offer free MP3 downloading service to users over the next two years, and gradually implement charging mechanisms through a four-step process.
First, Zhonsou will pay the records companies on behalf of its users. Second, Zhongsou will have users pay for the downloads via virtual money. Next, Zhongsou will have users pay online. Finally, by 2007 Zhongsou will implement full charging for all downloads.
Chen says his company will work with Network Pig Coin Company to introduce the virtual money aspect of his plan.