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Data: Yahoo Finance; Chart: Axios Visuals

China's suspension of Ant Group’s $35 billion IPO is "just the beginning of a renewed campaign by China to rein in the fintech empire controlled by Jack Ma," Bloomberg reported Tuesday.

Details: "Authorities are now setting their sights on Ant’s biggest source of revenue: its credit platforms that funnel loans from banks and other financial institutions to millions of consumers across China," the article noted, citing unnamed sources.

Why it matters: Ant Group's IPO wasn't just set to be the biggest of all time, it was meant to serve as a tentpole of China's growing influence in the global financial sphere.

  • As Axios' Felix Salmon notes: "Ant provides the technology that powers much of the Chinese economy, from borrowing to saving to investments to insurance. A failure of its systems could have devastating consequences for hundreds of millions of people."

What's next: Bloomberg also reports that the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission "plans to discourage lenders from using Ant’s platforms and has already asked some to ensure their portfolios are compliant with stringent draft regulations announced on Monday."

  • The proposed measures call for platform operators to provide at least 30% of the funding for loans. That would render many of Ant’s existing transactions noncompliant, as the company currently keeps only about 2% of loans on its own balance sheet. The rest of the loans are funded by third parties or packaged as securities and sold.

Be smart: All this could probably have been avoided had Ma not railed against financial regulators, said that financial regulation was outdated, and claimed technology companies should not be subject to regulation in recent remarks.

  • The suspension of the IPO puts into limbo bids of nearly $3 trillion from retail investors in China, who play a much bigger role in financial markets than their U.S. counterparts, and a $400 million expected payday for the banks assisting with the listing.
  • The suspension also gut-punched shares of Ant Group's parent company, Alibaba, which will keep an ownership stake of one-third of Ant after the IPO, and Chinese tech companies broadly.

Go deeper

John Kerry: U.S.-China climate cooperation is a "critical standalone issue"

President Biden's special climate envoy John Kerry said Wednesday that the U.S. must deal with China on climate change as a "critical standalone issue," but stressed that confronting Beijing's human rights and trade abuses "will never be traded" for climate cooperation.

Why it matters: The last few years have brought about a bipartisan consensus on the threat posed by China. But as the largest emitter of greenhouse gases, China will be a vital player if the world is going to come close to reining in emissions on the scale needed to meet the Paris Agreement goals of limiting warming to 2°C above pre-industrial levels.

Acting Capitol Police chief: Phone logs show Jan. 6 National Guard approval was delayed

Pittman at a congressional tribute for fallen officer Brian Sicknick. Photo: Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images

Acting U.S. Capitol Police chief Yogananda Pittman testified on Thursday that cellphone records show former USCP chief Steven Sund requested National Guard support from the House sergeant-at-arms as early as 12:58pm on Jan. 6, but he did not receive approval until over an hour later.

Why it matters: Sund and former House sergeant-at-arms Paul Irving clashed at a Senate hearing on Tuesday over a dispute in the timeline for when Capitol Police requested the National Guard during the Capitol insurrection.

Manhattan prosecutors reportedly obtain millions of pages of Trump's tax records

Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Manhattan district attorney is now in possession of millions of pages of former President Trump's tax and financial records, CNN first reported, following a Supreme Court ruling that allowed prosecutors to enforce a subpoena after a lengthy legal battle.

Why it matters: Trump fought for years to keep his tax returns out of the public eye and away from prosecutors in New York, who are examining his business in a criminal investigation that was first sparked by hush-money payments made by Trump's former fixer Michael Cohen during the 2016 election.