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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

Hill votes will make global waves

President Biden addresses the UN General Assembly on Sept. 21, 2021 in New York City. Photo: Eduardo Munoz-Pool/Getty Images)

This epic week for President Biden on Capitol Hill is even bigger than his domestic agenda.

Why it matters: Biden has anchored his entire strategy for foreign affairs on the notion that "America is back." What that means in practice is that Biden needs to prove democracy works to rally America’s liberal allies against rising authoritarians.

3 hours ago - World

German election: Exit polls show close race to succeed Angela Merkel

SPD leader Olaf Scholz. Photo: Alex Kraus/Bloomberg via Getty Images

BERLIN — The first exit poll from Sunday's German elections showed the center-left Social Democrats (SPD) and the center-right Christian Democrats (CDU) in a dead heat at 25%, leaving the race to succeed Angela Merkel too close to call.

The state of play: A second exit poll showed the SPD narrowly ahead. That's the one televisions displayed at SPD headquarters in Berlin, where the room erupted into cheers. Official results will roll in throughout the evening.

Abbott says he'll hire Border Patrol agents on horseback if they're fired

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) on Sunday defended the actions of U.S. Border Patrol agents who charged at Haitian migrants on horseback, blaming the Biden administration for not preventing them from crossing the border.

Why it matters: Abbott's remark on "Fox News Sunday" comes amid increased backlash over the incident, with President Biden saying, "I promise... those people will pay,” and the Department of Homeland Security launching an investigation.