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Bruno Mars, Eminem Pose "Near-Term Risk" to Baidu Share Price

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"China's Ministry of Culture will 'hand down punishments' to 14 websites, including one run by Internet search provider Baidu Inc., for providing downloads of songs not approved or registered with the country's content regulators, in what appeared to be part of a renewed effort to block explicit and politically sensitive online content," reports the Wall Street Journal's Owen Fletcher from Beijing.

"This will have an impact on their stock price. I think investors in the United States will react on this," Fiona Zhou, a Shanghai-based analyst told Reuters.

"We are aware that songs require approval and have sought to comply with previous notifications from the Ministry of Culture. But search engine indexing is a continuous process and some files may have reappeared in results," said Kaiser Kuo, a Baidu spokesman, in a statement.

State-run news agency Xinhua made no mention of intellectual property concerns in its coverage, prompting speculation that the Ministry's decision is motivated primarily by censorship concerns.

In January, the Ministry of Culture published a list of 100 songs to be immediately removed by Chinese websites, which included "Grenade" by former four year-old Elvis impersonator Bruno Mars, "Woohoo" by Christina Aguilera, and "Cold Wind Blows" by 艾米纳姆.

13-time Grammy winner 艾米纳姆 strikes a contemplative pose

王力宏, 田馥甄, 谭咏麟, æž—宥嘉, and Katharine Mcphee were among the other bold-faced names on the list:

To be fair, China hasn't always been quite so strict vis-a-vis music censorship in the past -- particularly with home-grown acts, such as the Wu-Tang Clan:

Wang Chung:

And Carly Simon:

POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.