Photo: Costfoto/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Ant Financial, the fintech affiliate of Alibaba Group, is prepping a Hong Kong IPO that could value the business north of $200 billion, per Reuters. A company spokesman denied the report.

Why it matters: If legit, would be one of the year's largest global IPOs. It also would be a big boost for Hong Kong, whose status as a global financial hub is in flux due to new security laws from Beijing, and reflects how a growing number of Chinese tech companies are bypassing New York exchanges.

  • Alibaba first went public on the New York Stock Exchange, before later listing in Hong Kong.

Flashback: Ant Financial in mid-2018 closed the largest-ever "venture capital" investment, securing $14 billion in Series C funding at a $150 billion post-money valuation. Overall it's raised over $23 billion.

The bottom line: "Hong Kong's exchange accounted for 7.6% of the global IPO market, down from a share of 11% in the same period last year, Refinitiv data showed. The fall in value ranked Hong Kong as the fourth most active exchange after the Nasdaq, mainland China’s new Star Market and the Shanghai stock market." — Scott Murdoch, Reuters

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Jul 21, 2020 - World

Hong Kong protestors adapt signage to defy new national security law

Photo: Vincent Yu/AP

Hong Kong protesters are adapting their signs and slogans to skirt the repressive new security law, AP reports.

What's happening: A national security law enacted by China has set harsh penalties for a wide-sweeping number of political crimes. Prior to the law, stores supporting the movement put up artwork and notes filled with encouragement. Those have been taken down out of fear of authorities.

  • Now, Hong Kong cafés known as "yellow shops" because owners sympathize with pro-democracy protesters, have shown support through walls decorated with blank sticky notes instead.

The U.S. is now playing by China's internet rules

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump's crackdown on TikTok suggests that the U.S. government is starting to see the internet more like China does — as a network that countries can and should control within their borders.

The big picture: Today's global internet has split into three zones, according to many observers: The EU's privacy-focused network; China's government-dominated network; and the U.S.-led network dominated by a handful of American companies. TikTok's fate suggests China's model has U.S. fans as well.

GOP plans "nightly surprise" for revamped convention

President Trump at the 2016 Republican National Convention. Photo: Bill Clark/Getty Images

The reworked Republican National Convention will be a four-night spectacle including still-under-wraps venues, a 10 p.m. "nightly surprise" and guests and themes playing to "the forgotten men and women of America," two senior Trump campaign officials involved tell Axios.

Driving the news: The messaging will focus heavily on "very granular details" of what a second term for President Trump would look like — answering a question Trump left hanging in a Fox News event earlier this summer — and attack cancel culture, "radical elements" of society and threats to public safety.