Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

China's tech giants have invested aggressively to expand esports in ways that U.S. tech platforms, like Amazon's Twitch and Google's YouTube, have not.

Why it matters: Those investments are what could drive the Chinese gaming community ahead of some international rivals, despite being smaller in reported revenue.. for now. (The Chinese esports market is expected to double to $1.5 billion by 2020.)

Be smart: Chinese tech giants bill the majority of its revenue as "value-added services" (like free games and chat features), not ad revenue.

  • Even though this is done mostly to avoid regulatory scrutiny around mobile gaming, it incentivizes those firms to grow broader cultures and lifestyles that bolster esports engagement beyond video views.

The big picture: Alibaba and Tencent use unparalleled reach across e-commerce, logistics, entertainment and tech to change the way its users consume, interact with and participate in sports.

  • This allows them to collect an enormous amount of user data to use for cross-platform promotions for games.

Chinese esports have taken off for a couple of reasons:

  1. Culturally, esports allows users to express individuality, through customized "skins" or digital costumes, that is often repressed by Chinese society.
  2. Economically, esports are mostly mobile in China, so users are loyal to gaming franchises, like "Army of Valor," or "Clash of Kings" instead of hardware platforms like PlayStations or X-boxes. Because of this, "gaming in China is for everybody," says Humphrey Ho, managing partner at Hylink, China's largest independent ad agency.

Between the lines: Ho notes that because Chinese gamers are mostly mobile, they tend to play different games throughout the day with different friends. U.S. gamers tend to binge game, and thus spend less money incrementally.

Go deeper: Twitch's rise brings trouble and opportunity for Amazon

Go deeper

GOP Sen. Rob Portman will not run for re-election, citing "partisan gridlock"

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) announced Monday he will not run for a third term in the U.S. Senate in 2022, citing "partisan gridlock."

Why it matters: It's a surprise retirement from a prominent Senate Republican who easily won re-election in 2016 and was expected to do so again in 2022, creating an open Senate seat in a red-leaning swing state.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
43 mins ago - Economy & Business

Merger Monday has been overrun by SPACs

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Five companies this morning announced plans to go public via reverse mergers with SPACs, at an aggregate market value of more than $15 billion. And there might be even more by the time you read this.

The bottom line: SPAC merger activity hasn't peaked. If anything, it's just getting started.

2 hours ago - Health

Moderna says vaccine appears to protect against new COVID-19 variants

Photo: Justin Tallis/AFP via Getty Images

Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine is effective against new variants of the virus that first appeared in the U.K. and in South Africa, the company announced on Monday.

Yes, but: The vaccine was as effective against the strain from U.K., but saw a six-fold reduction in antibodies against the South Africa variant. Even still, the neutralizing antibodies generated by the vaccine "remain above levels that are expected to be protective," according to the company.

You’ve caught up. Now what?

Sign up for Mike Allen’s daily Axios AM and PM newsletters to get smarter, faster on the news that matters.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!