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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Tech stocks rebounded slightly in China after Wednesday’s selloff that had been prompted by new antitrust rules proposed by Chinese regulators.

Why it matters: The regulations could limit the power of China’s biggest tech companies. By the FT’s math, the country’s tech sector lost $290 billion in value in the space of two days.

  • The Hong Kong-listed companies that took the biggest hit are Alibaba, JD.com, Xiaomi, Tencent, and Meituan.
  • The Hang Seng Tech Index — comprised of the 30 top technology companies listed in Hong Kong — rose 3.2%, after falling over twice as much on Wednesday.

What’s at stake: These companies will be “forced to adapt and change, sending compliance costs higher and hurting monetization,” Mark Haefele, the chief investment officer of global wealth management at UBS, wrote in a note on Wednesday.

  • But “competition has already intensified in recent years, with ‘incumbents’ (e.g., Alibaba, Tencent) losing market share to ‘disruptors’ (e.g. Pinduoduo, ByteDance), so the consequences will likely be less meaningful given reduced dominance across segments compared to a few years ago,” analysts at Morgan Stanley wrote in a note, per CNBC.

The big picture: It’s the second time this month Chinese officials have spooked investors and mucked up understanding about how tech companies will be able to operate there.

  • Shares of Alibaba were hit last week, after the government halted the colossal Ant IPO listing in Shanghai (then the company pulled the Hong Kong leg, too).

Go deeper

Jan 26, 2021 - World

Former Google CEO and others call for U.S.-China tech "bifurcation"

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A new set of proposals by a group of influential D.C. insiders and tech industry practitioners calling for a degree of "bifurcation" in the U.S. and Chinese tech sectors is circulating in the Biden administration. Axios has obtained a copy.

Why it matters: The idea of "decoupling" certain sectors of the U.S. and Chinese economies felt radical three years ago, when Trump's trade war brought the term into common parlance. But now the strategy has growing bipartisan and even industry support.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
40 mins ago - Economy & Business

Peloton stock tanks on report of production halt

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Peloton stock fell by as much as 25% on Thursday, following a CNBC report that the connected fitness company will temporarily halt production on its bikes and treadmills.

Why it matters: Peloton is viewed by many as a proxy for consumer behavior in the pandemic era, as its popularity surged when gyms closed and people wanted to exercise at home.

Updated 42 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Omicron pushes COVID deaths toward 2,000 per day — The pandemic-proof health care giant.
  2. Vaccines: No evidence that healthy children, teens need boosters, WHO says — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older.
  5. Variant tracker