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Ant Group founder Jack Ma during a conference in Hangzhou city, Zhejiang Province, China. Photo: Costfoto/Barcroft Media via Getty Image

China's central bank announced Sunday it ordered Ant Group, controlled by billionaire Jack Ma, to follow regulations, revamp lending and other consumer finance operations and "return to its roots" of online payment services. Ant said it plans to comply.

Why it matters: The action against the world's largest financial technology firm marks the latest move by Chinese officials to knee-cap Ma's empire. Ant's plans to raise what would've been the largest global IPO were ditched in November after regulators said more regulation was needed. Chinese officials opened a monopoly investigation last Thursday into Alibaba Group, which Ma co-founded.

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Jan 6, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Trump uses private companies to ratchet up economic pressure on China

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump last night signed an executive order prohibiting transactions with eight Chinese apps, including Ant Group's Alipay, arguing they pose a national security threat.

Why it matters: This is the latest example of ratcheting up economic tensions with China, using private companies as pawns.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Politics: Biden unveils "wartime" COVID strategyBiden's COVID-19 bubble.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong to put tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.

Trump impeachment trial to start week of Feb. 8, Schumer says

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: The Washington Post via Getty

The Senate will begin former President Trump's impeachment trial the week of Feb. 8, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Friday on the Senate floor.

The state of play: Schumer announced the schedule after reaching an agreement with Republicans. The House will transmit the article of impeachment against the former president late Monday.