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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

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
1 hour ago - Sports

2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

10 months ago, the Tokyo Olympics were postponed. Now, less than six months ahead of their new start date, the dreaded word is being murmured: "canceled."

Driving the news: The Japanese government has privately concluded that the Games will have to be called off, The Times reports (subscription), citing an unnamed senior government source.

Biden's centrist words, liberal actions

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Biden talks like a soothing centrist. He promises to govern like a soothing centrist. But early moves show that he is keeping his promise to advance a liberal agenda.

Why it matters: Never before has a president done more by executive fiat in such a short period of time than Biden. And those specific actions, coupled with a push for a more progressive slate of regulators and advisers, look more like the Biden of the Democratic primary than the unity-and-restraint Biden of the general election.

3 hours ago - Technology

Review of Trump ban marks major turning point for Facebook

Photo Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Facebook's decision to ask its new independent Oversight Board to review the company's indefinite suspension of former President Trump is likely to set a critical precedent for how the social media giant handles political speech from world leaders.

What they're saying: "I very much hope and can expect … that they will uphold our decision," Facebook's VP of global affairs Nick Clegg tells Axios.