The NetEase portal made the decision to shut down the service earlier this week, saying it wants to discourage users from downloading illegal music.
NetEase is also concerned that it could be held indirectly responsible for copyright violations--although the portal doesn't sell music downloads, people have been using its search service to locate and access illegal music files.
With most music available online in China now illegal, NetEase considers that it has contributed to violations of intellectual property "to a certain degree," according to the Financial Times.
The MP3 search service will remain offline until NetEase has found a way to offer content without infringing on the rights of those in the music industry, the Financial Times said.
China is among the countries with the, according to music industry body the IFPI.
NetEase could not be reached for comment.
Jo Best of Silicon.com reported from London.