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Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Move over Apple and Google, the next big news efforts to follow are two Chinese news aggregation rivals: Qutoutiao and Toutiao.

Driving the news: Qutoutiao, the 3-year-old news and video aggregation startup backed by Tencent, recently announced that it is receiving a $171 million convertible loan from Chinese tech behemoth Alibaba.

  • The company, whose name literally means “fun headlines,” went public in the U.S. last year with roughly 50 million monthly active users and a market value of $2.1 billion.

Why it matters: Tech giants like Alibaba and Tencent are backing Qutoutiao as it pushes to take on Toutiao, a popular news aggregation app owned by ByteDance.

  • ByteDance, the Chinese tech company that also owns popular music app TikTok, poses a threat to the dominance in this sector of China's 3 biggest tech firms: Baidu, Tencent and Alibaba.
  • Toutiao has become a news aggregation powerhouse in China. The company raised $2 billion in funds at an over $20 billion valuation in 2017. It reportedly has over 200 million daily active users.

Be smart: "It is prudent for both Tencent and Alibaba to invest in Qutoutiao given ByteDance's valuations and progression into the short-form video space," says Humphrey Ho, managing partner at Hylink, China's largest independent digital advertising agency.

  • "Qutoutiao accomplishes Tencent and Alibaba's goals without much overlap. ... Qutoutiao would merely be a platform wherein Alibaba and Tencent can drive to their own platforms, similar to how as TikTok is owned by ByteDance."

Go deeper: China's blueprint for global dominance

Go deeper

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
22 mins ago - Economy & Business

The biggest obstacle to a wealth tax

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Taxing the rich is an idea that's back. An "ultra-millionaire tax" introduced by Elizabeth Warren and other left-wing Democrats this week would raise more than $3 trillion over 10 years, they say, while making the tax system as a whole more fair.

Why it matters: New taxes would be a necessary part of any Democratic plan to redistribute wealth and reduce inequality. But President Biden has more urgent priorities — and Warren's wealth tax in particular faces constitutional obstacles that make it a hard sell.

House passes sweeping election and anti-corruption bill

Photo: Win McNamee via Getty Images

The House voted 220-210Wednesday to pass Democrats' expansive election and anti-corruption bill.

Why it matters: Expanding voting access has been a top priority for Democrats for years, but the House passage of the For the People Act (H.R. 1) comes as states across the country consider legislation to rollback voting access in the aftermath of former President Trump's loss.

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

House passes George Floyd Justice in Policing Act

Photo: Stephen Maturen via Getty Images

The House voted 220 to 212 on Wednesday evening to pass a policing bill named for George Floyd, the Black man whose death in Minneapolis last year led to nationwide protests against police brutality and racial injustice.

Why it matters: The legislation overhauls qualified immunity for police officers, bans chokeholds at the federal level, prohibits no-knock warrants in federal drug cases and outlaws racial profiling.