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The Alibaba logo at a consumer electronics show in Las Vegas in 2019. Photo: Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images

The Chinese government imposed an antitrust fine equivalent to $2.8 billion on tech and e-commerce company Alibaba, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Why it matters: It's a record penalty in the country and a continuation of Beijing regulators' scrutiny on the business empire of founder Jack Ma, who was ordered in December to transform his Ant Group into a financial holding company overseen by China’s central bank.

By the numbers: The 18.2 billion yuan fine is equal to 4% of Alibaba’s domestic annual sales, per China's antitrust regulator.

  • Antitrust fines in the country are capped at 10% of a company’s annual sales.

What they're saying: “Alibaba accepts the penalty with sincerity and will ensure its compliance with determination,” the company said, according to the Journal.

  • “To serve its responsibility to society, Alibaba will operate in accordance with the law with utmost diligence, continue to strengthen its compliance systems and build on growth through innovation.”

The big picture: China’s antitrust regulator claimed that Alibaba's business practices limited competition, impinged on innovation, violated the rights of merchants and harmed the interests of consumers.

  • Regulators are requiring Alibaba to revamp its operations and submit a “self-examination compliance report” over the next three years, according to the Journal.
  • Beijing's antitrust crackdown could hamper the growth of the country's tech sector should authorities regulate with a heavy hand, Axios' Hope King reports.

Go deeper

Updated 13 mins ago - World

North and South Korea restart hotline and pledge to improve ties

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang, North Korea, in 2018. Photo: Pyeongyang Press Corps/Pool/Getty Images

North and South Korea's leaders have pledged to improve relations and resume previously suspended communication channels between the two countries.

Why it matters: The resumption of the hotline on Tuesday comes despite stalled negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang on the denuclearization of North Korea, which broke down after a second summit between then-President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un ended without a deal in 2019.

Updated 1 hour ago - Sports

Teen swimmer Lydia Jacoby wins 1st U.S. women's Olympic gold in Tokyo

Lydia Jacoby of Team USA wins gold in the women's 100-meter breaststroke at the Tokyo Games. Photo: Michael Kappeler/picture alliance via Getty Images

Team USA's 17-year-old swimmer Lydia Jacoby has won the Olympic gold medal in the women's 100-meter breaststroke at the Tokyo Games, completing the race with a time of 1:04.95.

Of note: The Alaskan beat defending Olympic champion and fellow American Lilly King, who won bronze. Tatjana Shoenmaker from South Africa took home the silver medal.

4 hours ago - Health

Scoop: Pelosi’s new COVID plans

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi enters the Rose Garden on Monday. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is expected to extend proxy voting through the fall — and potentially until the end of the year — Democratic lawmakers and aides tell Axios.

Why it matters: The spread of the Delta variant has alarmed both members and staffers anxious about interacting with the unvaccinated. Pelosi’s anticipated move — continuing an emergency COVID-19 measure enacted last year so lawmakers could vote remotely — is aimed at allaying those concerns.