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The Beyond Burger cooking in a skillet. Photo illustration: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Fake meat is the latest American industry vying for access to China's massive market of 1.4 billion consumers.

Why it matters: The global fake meat market is expected to grow to around $140 billion within the next 10 years as consumers move away from real meat due to health and environmental concerns — and the fastest-growing market is Asia, Axios' Erica Pandey reports.

  • China's fake meat market is already worth more than that of the U.S., reports CNBC.
  • Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods have taken off in the U.S., and the same level of success in China could turn the firms into multinational titans.

Driving the news: Beyond Meat plans to start production in Asia by the end of 2020, executive chairman Seth Goldman told Reuters. Setting up a supply chain in Asia is a crucial step when it comes to selling in China. Impossible Foods told Reuters it's also working to break into China.

The big picture: China eats 28% of the world's meat — and consumption is expected to rise.

  • But the country can only produce about a quarter of the meat it eats, and African swine fever and a trade-war-induced shortage of soybeans have sent pork prices soaring in China.
  • Impossible Foods CEO Pat Brown told Fortune that he sees that as an opening. The company is perfecting its pork substitute, Brown said.

The bottom line: China has its own fake meat startups — including Whole Perfect Food — that'll make tough competition for both American firms trying to capture the market.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Scoop: Gina Haspel threatened to resign over plan to install Kash Patel as CIA deputy

CIA Director Gina Haspel. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

CIA Director Gina Haspel threatened to resign in early December after President Trump cooked up a hasty plan to install loyalist Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as her deputy, according to three senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Why it matters: The revelation stunned national security officials and almost blew up the leadership of the world's most powerful spy agency. Only a series of coincidences — and last minute interventions from Vice President Mike Pence and White House counsel Pat Cipollone — stopped it.

Updated 9 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus deaths reach 4,000 per day as hospitals remain in crisis mode — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden says, "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution — Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan — Widow of GOP congressman-elect who died of COVID-19 will run to fill his seat.
  3. Vaccine: Battling Black mistrust of the vaccines"Pharmacy deserts" could become vaccine deserts — Instacart to give $25 to shoppers who get vaccine.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode againFed chair: No interest rate hike coming any time soon —  Inflation rose more than expected in December.
  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.

John Weaver, Lincoln Project co-founder, acknowledges “inappropriate” messages

John Weaver aboard John McCain's campaign plane in February 2000. Photo: Robert Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images)

John Weaver, a veteran Republican operative who co-founded the Lincoln Project, declared in a statement to Axios on Friday that he sent “inappropriate,” sexually charged messages to multiple men.

  • “To the men I made uncomfortable through my messages that I viewed as consensual mutual conversations at the time: I am truly sorry. They were inappropriate and it was because of my failings that this discomfort was brought on you,” Weaver said.
  • “The truth is that I'm gay,” he added. “And that I have a wife and two kids who I love. My inability to reconcile those two truths has led to this agonizing place.”

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