Inside these posts: China

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Google accuses China of blocking Gmail

Google Inc. on Monday accused the Chinese government of making it difficult for Gmail users to access the service in the country, the latest development in a rocky relationship between the two. Google said any difficulty users in China may have faced in the past few weeks accessing its email service was likely to be the result of government blocks, a Google spokeswoman said in a statement. Get the full story »

LinkedIn is back on in China

Access to the networking site LinkedIn has been restored in China, a day after it was blocked after calls for Middle East-inspired protests in the country.

A spokesman for LinkedIn based in the United States said: “We are seeing indications that access to the LinkedIn service is being restored in China. We will continue to monitor the situation.” Get the full story »

Groupon prepares to go into China

Deals Web site Groupon Inc. appears to be making preparations to start operations in China, a move that could shake up the market for group buying, even though challenges lie ahead for the young U.S. company.

Chicago-based Groupon, which opened in 2008 selling discounted products and services from local merchants such as restaurants and nail salons, faces a huge Internet market that has confounded some of the world’s biggest players. Get the full story »

Honey executive sentenced to 30 months in prison

A honey import executive who pleaded guilty to conspiring to avoid more than $5 million in U.S. anti-dumping duties has been sentenced to 30 months in prison.

Hung Ta Fan, who also used the name Michael Fan, was sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court in Chicago and was ordered to pay about $5.38 million in restitution. He pleaded guilty to the charges in August. Get the full story »

Ford set to cut ties with Mazda

Ford Motor Co. and Mazda Motor Corp. look set to drift further apart as the U.S. carmaker plans to wind down its stake in the Japanese company, leaving Mazda freer to make decisions, but possibly in need of a new partner down the line.

Ford is set to sell most almost all of its stake in Mazda, which  stands at 11 percent, a source told Reuters Saturday. Trading house Sumitomo Corp. and other Japanese business partners of Mazda were in talks to buy the shares, the source said. Get the full story »

Chinese firms potential suitors for Potash

Potash Corp. searched for a white knight Friday as BHP Billiton formally launched it $39 billion hostile offer for the world’s largest fertilizer firm.

Potash is soliciting alternative bidders willing to pay more than the $130 a share offered by BHP, the world’s largest mining company, a source close to the matter said. Get the full story »

Chinese steelmaker hailed for dropping U.S. deal

Lawmakers from U.S. steel-producing states on Thursday welcomed a decision by China steel company Anshan Iron and Steel Group to put its investment in a U.S. steel plant on hold.

“Not only would this venture have set a dangerous precedent further undermining our domestic steel market, but it posed serious national security concerns,” Rep. Tim Murphy, a Pennsylvania Republican, said in a statement. Get the full story »

China becomes No. 2 economy ahead of Japan

Reporting from Beijing and Tokyo –  China’s economy surpassed Japan’s as the world’s second-largest –  a highly anticipated milestone rich in symbolism for a developing country that began market reforms only three decades ago.

The news came Monday when Japan’s government said its economic output in the second quarter slowed to $1.28 trillion, short of the $1.33 trillion China reported for the same period.

China reportedly OKs Geely purchase of Volvo

China’s regulator has approved Geely’s acquisition of Ford’s Volvo unit, clearing one of the last remaining hurdles to the high-profile deal, a source with knowledge of the matter said Thursday.

The deal could be completed as early as next week, said the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity as the discussions remain private. Get the full story »

U.S. unions urge Congress to pass currency bill

The largest U.S. labor group urged Congress on Friday to pass legislation to fight China’s currency practices, a day after the Obama administration again declined to label Beijing a currency manipulator.

The United States should also keep other options on the table, including a possible challenge of China’s currency practices at the World Trade Organization, Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO labor federation, said in a statement. Get the full story »

Chinese group: U.S. uses Facebook to sow unrest

A Chinese government-backed think tank has accused the U.S. and other Western governments of using social networking sites like Facebook  to spur political unrest and called for stepped-up scrutiny of the wildly popular sites.

As China’s online population — the world’s largest — surges past the 400 million mark, its Communist government is growing increasingly sensitive to any online threats to its authority. Although Beijing operates an extensive system of monitoring and censorship to block material deemed subversive, the Internet is still the most open and lively forum for discussion in a society where traditional media are controlled by the state.

Google says China has renewed its Web license

Google Inc. Chief Executive Eric Schmidt expressed confidence the company will secure a license to operate a website in China, confounding speculation Beijing may shut down its flagship site there.

Schmidt, addressing executives and financiers at an annual gathering of the industry’s movers and shakers in the Idaho mountain resort of Sun Valley, said he expected Beijing to renew its license to operate a website in the world’s largest Internet market, but offered no timeframe. Get the full story »

Sen. Baucus urges U.S. pressure on China yuan

China needs to take further “significant steps” to raise the value of its currency, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus said on Thursday in reaction to the Obama administration’s decision not to label China a currency manipulator. Baucus, however, stopped short of threatening to move legislation on the issue. Get the full story »

Morton’s to open steakhouse in China

Morton’s Restaurant Group Inc. said Thursday it will open a new steakhouse in Shanghai, China, in a joint venture with a local investor group. The restaurant expands Morton’s presence in Asia and will be the sixth Morton’s steakhouse outside the U.S.

Ford’s first-half China sales rise 53 percent

Ford Motor Co. sold a record 301,524 vehicles in China during the first six months of the year, up 53 percent from the same period in 2009, the company said. The Dearborn, Michigan, automaker said its passenger car joint venture, Changan Ford Mazda Automobile, sold a record 205,563 vehicles, up 46 percent for the six-month period. Its commercial vehicle venture, Jiangling Motors Corp., sold 88,363 vehicles, also a record.