Searching for smart, safe news you can TRUST?

Support safe, smart, REAL journalism. Sign up for our Axios AM & PM newsletters and get smarter, faster.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Searching for smart, safe news you can TRUST?

Support safe, smart, REAL journalism. Sign up for our Axios AM & PM newsletters and get smarter, faster.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Minneapolis-St. Paul

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa-St. Petersburg news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa-St. Petersburg

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

TikTok is less than two weeks away from President Trump's deal-or-death deadline, but a transaction is feeling even further away than when he first made his threat.

Driving the news: China's new tech export rules could prevent ByteDance from including TikTok's algorithm in its sale of TikTok, which is akin to McDonald's selling a Big Mac without the meat.

Between the lines: This deal was already difficult before Beijing intervened, but at least companies like Microsoft and Oracle knew what they were bidding on. Now it's less clear, even to ByteDance, thus creating trickle-down troubles for everything from pricing to deal structure.

  • A Chinese government official on Monday accused the U.S. of "outright bullying.”
  • Adding yet another layer of complexity, Trump yesterday reiterated his extortionary insistence that the U.S. "has to be compensated, well compensated" for approving a sale.
  • There still doesn't appear to be any buyside appetite for such a payment, with sources hoping Trump will rhetorically save face by pointing to deal-related tax payments.

Of note: That doesn't mean there won't be a deal, because saying anything with certainty about this situation would be folly.

The bottom line: TikTok has become a lot like a Rubik's Cube, a multi-sided puzzle that often involves a long series of counterproductive twists. Most players eventually give up, angry at themselves for even taking the time. But, every once in a while, all of that frustration gives way to an epiphany.

Go deeper

Trump tells House GOP leader he wants a "big deal" on COVID relief

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Within a day of tweeting that he was calling off bipartisan talks for a coronavirus stimulus deal, President Trump phoned House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and indicated he was worried by the stock market reaction and wanted a "big deal" with Speaker Nancy Pelosi, per two sources familiar with the call.

What we're hearing: Trump was spooked after seeing the instant drop in the stock market and intense backlash to his tweet, and he has since directed Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to push for a more comprehensive relief bill before the election.

17 mins ago - Podcasts

How hospitals are prepping for the new COVID-19 surge

Coronavirus cases and hospitalizations are surging, particularly in areas that had been largely spared this spring. One big question now is whether hospitals are better prepared for this new wave, including if they'll be able to continue providing elective services.

Axios Re:Cap digs into what hospitals have, and what they still need, with Lloyd Dean, CEO of CommonSpirit Health, one of America's largest operators of hospitals and health clinics.

Updated 25 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: The good and bad news about antibody therapies — U.S. sets new single-day case record.
  2. Politics: States beg for Warp Speed billions.
  3. World: Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local cases.
  4. Education: Surge threatens to shut classrooms down again.
  5. Technology: The pandemic isn't slowing tech.
  6. Travel: CDC replaces COVID-19 cruise ban with less restrictive "conditional sailing order."
  7. Sports: High school football's pandemic struggles.
  8. 🎧Podcast: The vaccine race turns toward nationalism.