Xiami’s Unofficial iPhone App

Recently a Chinese friend got me into Xiami. In case you’ve never heard of it, TechRice describes it like this:

> Xiami is perhaps the closest China has to a Last.fm, though in Last.fm users have to pay monthly subscriptions to listen to songs and Xiami is still completely free up until the point of download.

So think “social music site,” with both free and paid offerings.

I was interested to see how the site offers its iPhone app for download:

Xiami's iPhone app

So what that little popover message is telling you is that you have to download the iOS install file (.IPA file), and it only works on (illegally) jailbroken iPhones.

I’ll admit I don’t have a lot of experience with Chinese iPhone apps; I mainly just use a handful of them. I’m curious how many other relatively large and popular services are doing it this way now. Xiami as a service seems much “more legal” from a western perspective than services like Baidu’s MP3 downloads, but then they go and do this with their app (presumably because Apple won’t approve the app).


More about Xiami:
China’s Internet Music Industry, You Pay For Music Now (TechRice)
Xiami versus Grooveshark (TimeOut Beijing)


John Pasden

John is a Shanghai-based linguist and entrepreneur, founder of AllSet Learning.


  1. I don’t think it’s actually illegal to jailbreak your iPhone. Pretty sure that falls under fair use of your own personal device.

  2. Xiami used to be in the App Store earlier in the year then disappeared without explanation. Presumably Apple blocked them. I highly suggest checking out the Baidu Ting app.

  3. It’s not illegal to jailbreak your iPhone, however it does void the warranty.

  4. I frequently use “TuneIn Radio” app for my Android. It is available as a webapp and I assume there is one for iOS as well. It’s basically internet radio, rather than playlist stuff that last.fm is, and you can “tune in” to a lot of different China-based radio stations. Really handy.

  5. SeekTruthFromFacts Says: December 30, 2011 at 6:00 am

    How can you discuss downloading music without plugging Google Music – http://www.google.cn/music/ ?

    Unlimited free and legal downloads, so long as you’re in mainland China.

  6. it was in itunes store…

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