Joe McDonald

Joe McDonald

    Google apologised on Monday to a Chinese rival that complained its data was used by the United States search giant in a new internet tool in an incident that highlighted the intense competition in China's booming online market. "We are willing to face up to our mistake," Google said in a statement.

    Regulators have ordered Chinese websites to limit the use of "virtual money" after concerns that online credits might be used for money laundering or illicit trade. The order governing credits sold by websites to customers to pay for online games and other services comes amid a campaign to tighten official control over China's online industry.

    The death toll from China's strongest typhoon in five decades jumped to 295 on Tuesday and was expected to climb higher as scores of bodies of fishermen and sailors were found at sea, a state news agency reported. At least 59 bodies were found on Monday in waters off Fuding, a port on the south-eastern coast.

    Promoters of China's controversial wireless encryption system on Tuesday accused backers of a rival United States system of "dirty tricks" after the world industrial standards group rejected the Chinese system for global use. China will keep promoting its Wireless Authentication and Privacy Infrastructure standard and will use it domestically despite the decision.

    A leading United States lawmaker warned Chinese officials on Tuesday that Beijing is risking a protectionist backlash in Washington if it doesn't take steps to cut its $200-billion trade surplus with the United States. Without Chinese action, "Washington may take measures to reduce the trade imbalance by reducing Chinese exports to the United States," said United States Senator Max Baucus.

    Yao Wenyuan, the last surviving member of the Gang of Four, who has died aged 74, was a literary polemicist whose pen, under Mao Zedong's patronage, launched the Chinese Cultural Revolution (1966-76). His vitriolic essays provided ammunition for Mao and his wife, Jiang Qing (Madam Mao) in their campaign to destroy senior communist leaders.

    A Christmas Day fire at an unlicensed bar killed at least 26 people and injured eight in a Chinese city near Hong Kong, the government said on Monday. The fire broke out at 11pm local time on Sunday evening in Zhongshan, which abuts the former Portuguese colony of Macau west of Hong Kong, the official Xinhua news agency said.

    Chinese President Hu Jintao and Taiwan's opposition leader met on Friday, holding the highest-level talks since the two sides split amid civil war in 1949, with both calling for an end to decades of hostility. Beijing and Taipei should focus on "peace, stability and development for the future", Hu told Lien in a meeting shown live on television.