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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Jack Ma. Photo by Liu Yang/VCG via Getty Images

The Ant Financial IPO will not go forward as planned Thursday, as Chinese regulators cracked down on what would have been the largest public offering of all time.

Why it matters: Jack Ma, the founder of the Chinese payments giant, gave a major speech at the end of October railing against financial regulation both in China and in the West. That speech resulted in a dressing-down from Chinese authorities — and the end of Ma's dreams that Ant would be able to go public.

Background: The Ant IPO was set to become the largest IPO of all time, split between exchanges in Shanghai and Hong Kong. The Shanghai bourse blocked the listing on Tuesday, citing regulatory issues, and Ant then pulled its IPO entirely.

Go deeper

China to stop recognizing special U.K. passport for Hong Kong residents

A person holds up a British National (Overseas) passport in Hong Kong. Photo: Anthony Wallace/AFP via Getty Images

China will no longer recognize the British National Overseas passport as a valid travel document or proof of identity, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said Friday.

Why it matters: The announcement comes amid heightened tensions with the United Kingdom over its plan to offer potentially millions of Hong Kong residents a path to residency, and eventual citizenship.

Scoop: Biden admin call on Putin pipeline provokes GOP anger

Putin chairs a video meeting in July 2020. Photo: Alexei Druzhinin/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images

A briefing between the State Department and congressional staff over Vladimir Putin's Russia-Germany gas pipeline got tense this week, with Biden officials deflecting questions about why they hadn't moved faster and more aggressively with sanctions to stop its completion.

  • The Biden officials also denied negotiating with the Germans over a potential side deal to allow the pipeline to be finished.
Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: Biden: It's "not the time to relax" COVID mitigation efforts — Tracking coronavirus variants through sewage.
  2. Vaccine: FDA advisory panel endorses J&J COVID vaccine for emergency use — About 20% of U.S. adults have received first vaccine dose, White House says — New data reignites the debate over coronavirus vaccine strategy.
  3. Economy: What's really going on with the labor market.
  4. Local: All adult Minnesotans will likely be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine by summer — Another wealthy Florida community receives special access to COVID-19 vaccine.
  5. Sports: Poll weighs impact of athlete vaccination.
  6. World: Brazil's capital enters 24-hour lockdown as coronavirus cases surge.

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