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Vincent Yu / AP

Beijing regulators are cracking down on global tech companies trying to penetrate the lucrative Chinese consumer data and communications market.

  • Why it matters: China has emerged as one of the most lucrative markets in the new global trade war for consumer data. It's leveraging that position for power and security, putting strains on global tech companies' ability to penetrate the Chinese market. The crackdowns are reflective of the position China has taken on censoring communications to retain power and control.
  • The latest: China has added WhatsApp to its list of blocked properties in the country and cracked down on apps within Apple's App Store in China that allow users to get around content filters. The government is threatening action against some of its biggest tech monopolies, like Tencent and Baidu, arguing they pose national security threats.
  • Companies look for shortcuts: On Friday, it was reported that Facebook authorized a copycat app to be built in China that could be used for photo-sharing, since Facebook has been blocked there since 2009.

Go deeper

1 hour ago - Technology

Big Tech bolts politics

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Big Tech fed politics. Then it bled politics. Now it wants to be dead to politics. 

Why it matters: The social platforms that profited massively on politics and free speech suddenly want a way out — or at least a way to hide until the heat cools. 

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

GameStop as a metaphor

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A half-forgotten and unprofitable videogame retailer is, bizarrely and incredibly, on the lips of the nation. That's because the GameStop story touches on economic and cultural forces that affect everyone, whether they own a single share of stock or not.

Why it matters: In most Wall Street fights, the broader public doesn't have a rooting interest. This one — where a group of small traders won a multi-billion-dollar bet against giant hedge funds by buying stock in GameStop — is different.

"Megacities" on the rise

Data: Macrotrends; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Places with more than 10 million residents — known as megacities — are becoming more common as people from rural areas migrate to urban ones.

Why it matters: The benefits of megacities — which include opportunities for upward mobility and higher wages — can be offset by their negatives, like the fact that they're breeding grounds for COVID-19.