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China's auto sales rebound in October after territorial dispute hurt Japanese brands

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A woman rides on an electric scooter past vehicles parked outside a building in Beijing Monday, Sept. 10, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Andy Wong

BEIJING, China - China's auto sales rebounded in October but Japanese brands were hurt by a territorial dispute between Beijing and Tokyo.

An industry group said Friday that sales in the world's biggest auto market by number of vehicles sold rose 6.4 per cent to 1.3 million vehicles. That was a recovery from September's 0.3 per cent contraction — the first this year.

The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said sales by major Japanese brands extended September's slide, declining 38 per cent overall from a year earlier.

China's auto sales growth has slowed sharply over the past year as the economy cooled and some cities imposed restrictions on ownership in response to smog and congestion.