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Illustration: Rebecca Zisser / Axios

The Wall Street Journal reports that Toshiba has basically given up on the proposed $18 billion sale of its memory chip to a Bain Capital-led consortium, due to Chinese regulatory hurdles.

Thought bubble: This deal isn't healthy, but it has a bit more pulse than WSJ seems to think.

For starters, both parties are still wearing their happy faces:

  • Toshiba “still intends to close the memory business transaction as soon as possible, and has not made any alternative policy decisions.”
  • Bain spox: “We continue to work through the normal regulatory process. This process is proceeding and all parties remain strongly committed to closing the transaction as soon as possible.”

Second, part of the Chinese delay is said to have been caused by recent bureaucratic reshuffling that included MOFCOM.

Finally, Toshiba and Bain seem caught in trade war crossfire between Washington and Beijing — kind of like Qualcomm/NXP — and there is still a (declining) possibility that cooler heads will prevail.

Go deeper

57 mins ago - World

Iran agrees to resume Vienna nuclear talks in November

Ali Bagheri (R) with Enrique Mora in Tehran on Oct. 14. Photo: Iranian Foreign Ministry handout via Getty

Iran's new chief nuclear negotiator said following a meeting in Brussels on Wednesday that Iran would resume negotiations in Vienna before the end of November, with the exact date to be set next week.

Why it matters: The Vienna talks have been frozen since Iran's new hardline president, Ebrahim Raisi, was elected in June. This is the most direct commitment from Raisi's government to return to the negotiating table.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Democrats' billionaires tax explained

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

There is now legislative language behind the push to tax American billionaires on unrealized capital gains, as Sen. Ron Wyden last night released his 107-page plan.

Why it matters: This would be a sea change in U.S. tax policy, which has only applied to realized gains (otherwise known as income).

COP26 head warns Glasgow summit will be "harder than Paris"

Alok Sharma, U.K. COP26 president, in Milan on Sept. 30, 2021. Photo: Stefano Guidi/Getty Images

U.K. COP26 President Alok Sharma told reporters Tuesday that the upcoming talks in Glasgow, widely viewed as the last chance to avoid some of the worst consequences of global warming, will be extremely difficult.

Driving the news: Sharma sought to temper expectations and note that the agenda features some of the toughest items that negotiators have punted on at previous summits.