Jan 23 The following are the top stories on the New York Times business pages. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.
* A U.S. judge has ruled that the Chinese units of the Big Four accounting firms - KPMG, Deloitte & Touche, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Ernst and Young - should be suspended from practicing in the United States for six months, an escalation in a long-running dispute between regulators in the United States and China over access to audits. ()
* Activity in China's manufacturing sector contracted in January for the first time in six months as new orders declined, a preliminary private survey showed on Thursday, confirming that a mild slowdown at the end of 2013 has continued into the new year. ()
* On Tuesday, most of China's 500 million Internet users were unable to load websites for up to eight hours, and experts say the country's own system of Internet control was to blame.
* Overseas banks like Barclays, Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse have not had to comply with parts of the Dodd-Frank Act that aim to strengthen the capital they must maintain to absorb losses. ()
* Netflix racked up another quarter of impressive growth to finish 2013, surpassing 30 million paid subscribers in the United States for the first time and predicting continued growth through the first quarter of this year. ()
* Striking workers at a Goodyear tire plant in France agreed on Wednesday to accept severance pay that they said was three times as much as the company had initially offered, clearing the way for the facility to close after a bitter conflict that escalated into a "boss-napping." ()
* The author of a parody Twitter account @GSElevator with more than 600,000 followers has a tell-all book in the works about the excesses and greed of Wall Street. The book, whose author writes under the name J. T. Stone but has revealed his identity to his publisher, editor and literary agent, will be released in October, in the prime fall season for bookselling.
* N. S. Bienstock, the best-known and largest agency serving television news personalities and producers such as Anderson Cooper and Bill O'Reilly, has become a unit of the United Talent Agency, the major Hollywood representation firm. UTA, as it is known, announced its acquisition of Bienstock on Wednesday in what one top executive described as a significant financial deal, though the terms were not disclosed. ()