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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

Jan. 6 committee subpoenas Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell

Rudy Giuliani. Photo: Jeff Kowalsky/AFP via Getty Images

The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot released its latest round of subpoenas on Tuesday evening, this time focusing on several of former President Trump's lawyers, including Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, and former adviser Boris Epshteyn.

Why it matters: The panel said the four individuals subpoenaed were involved in efforts publicly promote Trump's unfounded claims of election fraud as well as efforts to "disrupt or delay" the certification of the election's results.

3 hours ago - World

U.S. warns Russia may attack Ukraine from Belarus

Belarus dictator AlexPhoto: Mikhail Klimentyev\TASS via Getty Images

The U.S. believes that Russia may use joint military exercises inside Belarus as cover for an invasion of Ukraine from the north, according to a senior State Department official.

Why it matters: New deployments to the Belarus-Ukraine border in the coming weeks — in addition to the 100,000 Russian troops already encircling Ukraine from the north, east and south — could allow Russia to open up a new front less than 100 miles from the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv.

6 hours ago - Health

Government website for free COVID tests launches early

COVID-19 rapid at-home test kits. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

The website where Americans can request free, at-home rapid COVID-19 tests from the government launched Tuesday and is now accepting orders.

Driving the news: The website went live in its beta phase and is operating at a limited capacity a day before its official launch. Every home in the U.S. is eligible for up to four COVID tests, according to the website.