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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.

Mark Meadows will stop cooperating with Jan. 6 panel, attorney says

Photo: Chris Kleponis/Polaris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows will no longer cooperate with the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, his attorney told Fox News Tuesday.

Why it matters: Meadows, who failed to appear before the panel last month, is believed to have insight into former President Trump's role in efforts to stop the certification of President Biden's election win.

Updated 3 hours ago - Economy & Business

The billionaire balloon

Data: World Inequality Report 2022; Chart: Axios Visuals

The super-rich are getting stupid rich: New data out today shows the share of global wealth held by the richest slice of humanity swelled by almost a full percentage point during the pandemic.

Driving the news: The top 0.01% of individuals now hold about 11% of the world's wealth, compared to just over 10% in 2020, according to the "World Inequality Report 2022," written by Lucas Chancel, Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman.