* China’s Baidu may face tougher rules after state media criticism
* Singh defends police over Hazare arrest
* Beijing expands support for Hong Kong
*HTC files fresh lawsuit against Apple
*Overrun by Chinese rivals, U.S. solar company falters
* Dismissals and probes weigh on Brazil president
* China pledges $3.1bn quota for Hong Kong investors
*Asia inflation may rise with Thai rice price
*China curbs theme park projects
*India emerges as the least favoured equity market among emerging economies
*Strengthening real boosts Petrobras
China’s Baidu may face tougher rules after state media criticism
Chinese search engine Baidu Inc may face tighter regulations after facing a barrage of criticism from state media over its business practices at a time when it is cementing its dominance of the booming Internet market, Reuters reports. Analysts and various state media have suggested tougher rules could be imposed on the company in the wake of an investigative report by China Central Television (CCTV) which exposed how easy it was to register and promote a fake website on Baidu’s search platform and conduct fraud.
Singh defends police over Hazare arrest
Manmohan Singh, India’s prime minister, on Wednesday defended the Delhi police’s arrest of the champion of the country’s anti-corruption movement amid a wave of criticism from the opposition and civil society campaigners for suppressing lawful dissent, the FT reports.
Beijing expands support for Hong Kong
China’s vice-premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday announced a number of measures intended to boost Hong Kong’s pre-eminence as China’s financial centre and its role as the offshore trading hub for the renminbi, the FT reports.
HTC files fresh lawsuit against Apple
Taiwan’s HTC on Tuesday filed a fresh lawsuit against Apple in the US, in an escalation of the legal battle between the two smartphone makers, reports the FT.
The case, filed in Delaware’s US District Court, alleges that Apple infringed three of HTC’s patents through its sale of devices including iPads, iPods, iPhones and Macintosh computers. It comes a day after Google announced plans for a $12.5bn acquisition of Motorola Mobility, a move seen by some handset makers that depend on Google’s Android software as helping protect them against patent disputes.
Overrun by Chinese rivals, U.S. solar company falters
Evergreen Solar once a darling of the U.S. solar industry, filed for bankruptcy protection this week, saying it could not compete with Chinese competitors without a reorganization—a sign of the difficulty in creating “green” U.S. manufacturing jobs amid bruising competition across the globe, reports the WSJ.
The market for solar panels is expanding world-wide. But the key thing driving demand is increasingly lower prices, which is forcing U.S. firms into a cutthroat cost-cutting war with rivals in China and elsewhere.
Dismissals and probes weigh on Brazil president
While the global spotlight has been on the political and economic crises rocking Europe and the US, Dilma Rousseff, Brazil’s president, has had her own share of intrigue at home.
Less than eight months into her presidency, Brazil’s centre-left leader has already had to replace three ministers and faces sweeping police investigations of alleged corruption at her agriculture and tourism ministries, the FT reports.
China pledges $3.1bn quota for Hong Kong investors
Vice Premier Li Keqiang pledged an initial 20 bn yuan ($3.1 bn) quota for Hong Kong companies to invest in securities in China to support the city’s bid to become a global hub for finance in the currency, reports Bloomberg. He also said that China will expand the size of offshore bond sales by Chinese companies, support the use of yuan for foreign direct investment in the nation and allow global banks to replenish renminbi capital.
Asia inflation may rise with Thai rice price
Yingluck Shinawatra, Thailand’s prime minister has said the government will buy unmilled grain from farmers at 15,000 baht ($502) a ton at harvest in November, above current market rates of 9,900 baht, reports Bloomberg. With Thailand the world’s biggest exporter, that may raise rice prices across a region that accounts for 87 per cent of global consumption.
China curbs theme park projects
China has suspended the construction of large theme parks to clamp down on local government spending and rein in unauthorized real-estate development, reports the WSJ. The country’s top economic planning agency has halted the construction of locally approved parks planned to be larger than 20 hectares or that have a total investment of more than 500m yuan (US$78m), according to a directive seen Tuesday.
India emerges as the least favoured equity market among emerging economies; China moves up to third rank
India has emerged as the least-favoured equity market among emerging market investors in August, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch, in a fund manager survey, reports the Economic Times. In contrast, China, which is often mentioned in the same breath as India in terms of economic growth, is moved up as the third most-preferred markets for fund managers in this region from the fourth place, the survey said.
Strengthening real boosts Petrobras
Profits at Petrobras rose 32 per cent in the second quarter after a sharp appreciation of the local currency slashed the cost of the Brazilian state-controlled oil group’s dollar-denominated debt, reports the FT. The group reported net profit of R$10.9bn ($6.5bn) compared with R$8.3bn a year earlier, almost entirely because of currency and investment gains. Meanwhile, operating profit dipped 2.1 per cent after administrative and exploration costs wiped out the extra revenue from higher global oil prices.
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