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 the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

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!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of 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!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of 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!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of 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!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of 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!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of 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

Big Tech players in China like Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu are facing challenges all-too-familiar to Amazon, Facebook and Google.

Why it matters: Antitrust has become a big theme for Beijing and this could hamper growth of China’s tech sector should authorities decide to regulate with a heavy hand.

What's happening: Alibaba, which operates some of the world’s largest e-commerce platforms, has been under investigation for stifling competition and could be facing a fine of $1 billion or more and forced divestitures as an antitrust probe into the company continues, according to the Wall Street Journal.

  • Tencent, maker of the massive social and messaging app WeChat, recently paid a fine to antitrust regulators in China for failing to ask for approval on past acquisitions, and is still “actively cooperating with regulatory authorities.”
  • Baidu, the largest search engine in China, paid the same, relatively benign fine as Tencent for the same issue (not getting approval for a takeover).
  • Didi, China’s Uber, and TikTok owner Bytedance paid fines for not receiving approval to set up joint ventures, according to Bloomberg.

The big picture: China's ruling party does not want any one person (think Jack Ma) or entity to stand above it, but it's being careful in how it sends that signal.

  • The fines meted out so far have been slaps on the wrist, and aren’t existential threats.
  • But if the Politburo continues to increase fines, or decides to block future M&A deals or massive IPOs like Alibaba’s planned debut for its financial arm, Ant Group, these tech companies could lose out on opportunities to grow, which would weigh heavily on their stock outlooks.

Go deeper

Dave Lawler, author of World
Apr 1, 2021 - World

Biden builds infrastructure pitch around China challenge

Biden speaks in Pittsburgh. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty

In laying out his $2 trillion infrastructure plan on Wednesday, President Biden used the word "roads" twice and "China" six times.

Why it matters: We’ve now entered an era in which even purely domestic initiatives are framed in terms of competition with China.

D.C.'s tech money shame game

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Big Tech dollars may be becoming toxic in Washington.

What's happening: The once lionized industry finds itself more and more cast as a pariah, with lawmakers comparing Big Tech to Big Tobacco during a hearing with tech CEOs last week and a key House Republican forswearing industry donations.

36 mins ago - World

In photos: Students evacuated as wildfire burns historic Cape Town buildings

Firefighters try, in vain, to extinguish a fire in the Jagger Library, at the University of Cape Town, after a forest fire came down the foothills of Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa, on Sunday. Photo: Rodger Bosch/AFP via Getty Images

A massive wildfire spread from the foothills of Table Mountain to the University of Cape Town Sunday, burning historic South African buildings and forcing the evacuation of 4,000 students, per Times Live.

The big picture: Visitors to the Table Mountain National Park and other nearby attractions were also evacuated and several roads including a major highway, were closed. South Africa's oldest working windmill and the university's Jagger Library, which houses SA antiquities, are among the buildings damaged.