Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with the Axios AM and PM newsletters. 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 the Axios Closer newsletter 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!

Sign up for Axios Pro Rata

Dive into the world of dealmakers across VC, PE and M&A with Axios Pro Rata. Delivered daily to your inbox by Dan Primack and Kia Kokalitcheva.

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 the Axios Sports newsletter. 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 the Axios Des Moines newsletter.

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 the Axios Tampa Bay newsletter.

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!

Want a daily digest of the top Nashville news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Nashville newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Columbus news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Columbus newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Dallas news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Dallas newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Austin news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Austin newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Atlanta news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Atlanta newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Philadelphia news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Philadelphia newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Chicago news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Chicago newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top DC news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios DC newsletter.

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: Annelise Capossela/Axios

With the Chinese government accelerating moves against its own tech industry, China is — for now — prioritizing Communist Party control of the domestic economy over aggressive international competition.

Why it matters: China and the U.S. are both playing a long game, with tech as the playing field, companies as the pieces and domination of the global economy as the stakes.

Driving the news: A state-owned newspaper in China denounced online gaming as "opium for the mind" Tuesday, driving down shares of Tencent and other Chinese firms, the Wall Street Journal reports.

  • "Within hours the article was no longer accessible on the paper’s website, before later reappearing with some of its harsher language removed," including the "opium" line.
  • But the move is in line with a range of other steps China has taken over the last eight months to rein in its tech sector, from new restrictions on online tutoring firms to limits on firms' overseas investment deals.

Catch up quick: China's own "techlash" kicked off in November, when the Chinese government blocked the IPO for Ant Financial, founded by Alibaba billionaire Jack Ma.

  • The move was followed in April by a wave of antitrust actions, including a $2.8 billion fine for Alibaba.
  • Soon after the $73 billion IPO by China's ride-hailing giant, DiDi, government regulators barred its app from app stores.

The big picture: Some of these moves were justified on data security grounds, others on behalf of increasing competition. But China experts say the thread that ties them all together is the party's determination to show tech-sector giants and wealthy moguls who's boss.

Between the lines: "Disruption" is a byword for U.S. tech entrepreneurs determined to challenge incumbents, but for many in China — and certainly for the government — it's a dirty word.

Chinese leaders fear instability and see online platforms promoting it in two different ways:

  • Allowing social media platforms to grow independently powerful threatens the ruling party's tight hold on information in any future crisis.
  • Some experts believe the Chinese government worries about U.S.-scale inequality driven by tech entrepreneurs amassing Jeff Bezos-scale private wealth.

Yes, but: Other observers suggest that Chinese business and culture has a bias towards manufacturing, hardware and physical goods, and against the kind of immaterial goods created by the software and financial industries.

  • China's role as foundry of the world's tech products gives it a strategic advantage.
  • Its online platforms and software face an uphill challenge with users and partners in the U.S., Europe and elsewhere, who see Chinese companies as untrustworthy, given laws requiring them to share data with the government.
  • TikTok remains China's most successful software export, but its survival in the U.S. during the Trump era hung by a thread.

Meanwhile, Chinese companies have come to question the reliability of U.S. partners and suppliers following the Trump administration's broad bans on many of China's leading tech firms. For China today, self-sufficiency looks like a necessity.

The bottom line: China seeks continued economic growth and global power. But if that quest ever threatens to spark opposition to the party or enable dissent, the government will always choose stability.

Go deeper

Nov 11, 2021 - World

China's political elites enshrine Xi Jinping as a historical leader

China's President Xi Jinping speaking during a Chinese Communist Party meeting in Beijing in June. Photo: Ding Lin/Xinhua via Getty Images

Top members of the Chinese Communist Party in a closed-door meeting in Beijing Thursday adopted a resolution on the party's history that exalted President Xi Jinping as a historical leader of the country.

Why it matters, via Axios' Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian: The high-level meeting, occurring in the same year as the CCP's 100th anniversary, has further solidified Xi’s supremacy and paved the way for him to assume an unprecedented third term at the party congress next year.

Nov 11, 2021 - World

Biden signs bill to secure telecoms against national security threats

The Huawei booth at the China International Fair for Trade in Services on Sept. 6 in Beijing. Photo: Lu Junming/Costfoto/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

President Biden signed into law Thursday a bill that requires the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to secure telecommunications systems against potential foreign threats to national security.

Why it matters: In recent years, lawmakers have increasingly voiced concerns about Chinese telecom giants' operations in the U.S., and possible surveillance by the Chinese government.

"Like" buttons face a big thumbs-down

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Public like and dislike counts, once a baseline offering for social media companies, are disappearing as tech platforms begin to uncover ways they are being abused.

Why it matters: Engagement mechanisms such as "likes" or "reactions" make tech platforms stickier, which is good for selling ads. But they're also becoming a risk factor for tech firms that are under pressure to address issues like user wellbeing and misinformation.