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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The travails of TikTok are the most visible example of how the rapidly deteriorating relationship between the U.S. and China can evaporate tens of billions of dollars of corporate value.

Why it matters: When corporations find themselves at the mercy of politicians flexing their geopolitical muscles, they generally end up ruing the encounter.

Driving the news: While President Trump has vowed to ban TikTok if it isn't sold to Microsoft, U.K. bank HSBC — which makes half of its money in Hong Kong — saw its second quarter earnings fall by 67%. The culprit? "Increased geopolitical risk." As the New York Times put it: "In Showdown Between China and the West, HSBC Gets Caught in the Middle."

  • By the numbers: HSBC was worth $157 billion in mid-February. It's now worth less than $90 billion. By contrast, America's largest bank, JPMorgan Chase — which is slightly smaller than HSBC in terms of total assets, but which is much less exposed to China — is worth about $300 billion.

The other side: Hong Kong's stock market remains a fantastic place to raise money. Alibaba Health easily raised $1.3 billion this week in a secondary share offering.

Go deeper

SoftBank signals turnaround, reports third-quarter profit

Photo Illustration: Eniola Odetunde. Photo via Yoshikazu Tsuno/Getty Images

Japan's SoftBank Group on Monday reported $6.1 billion in third-quarter profit, with chairman Masayoshi Son telling analysts that "regardless of interest rates or regardless of who the president is, we want to continue to invest in the American market, and also in China."

Why it matters: This was a strong rebound for SoftBank, which had been bleeding red ink.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker will not seek re-election in 2022

Mass. Gov. Charlie Baker (R) speaking during a press conference in November 2021. Photo: Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R), a moderate who typically ranks as one of the nation's most popular governors, said Wednesday that he and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito (R) will not seek third terms in 2022.

Why it matters: The decision leaves the gubernatorial race wide open and will likely affect multiple down-ballot races next year. Baker was expected to be the front-runner had he joined the race.

3 hours ago - Health

CDC prepares tougher testing rules for international travelers

Travelers with their luggage arrive at a COVID-19 testing location at the airport in Los Angeles, Calif., on Nov. 23, 2021. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday night that it is working to impose stricter testing requirements for international travelers due to the spread of the new Omicron variant.

The big picture: The new rules would require all international travelers, regardless of vaccination status, to show a negative test taken a day before their flight to the U.S. Currently, the CDC says fully vaccinated travelers are allowed to show a test taken no more than three days before their departure, AP reports.