May 8, 2019

Uber faces a new China problem on its IPO day

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

When Uber sold its China business to Didi Chuxing in 2016, the ride-hail giant thought it had taken care of its China problems. It was wrong, although this time the trouble isn't of its own making.

What's new: Uber plans to price its mega-IPO on Thursday night, and begin trading Friday morning. The company is going public on the exact day that President Trump has threatened to impose new tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports.

Context: Uber is going public during a week in which the markets have been roiled by increased U.S.-China trade tensions.

  • This could help explain why we haven't yet seen an increased IPO price range, despite widespread talk that the offering is already oversubscribed. This could still happen, but time is running short.

What to watch: The biggest headache here is macro, although Uber's IPO registration does list two relevant risk factors:

  1. The imposition of duties, tariffs, and other charges on imports and exports, including with respect to imports and exports of dockless e-bikes and e-scooters from China.
  2. Disruption in the supply of certain hardware and components from our international suppliers, particularly those in China.

Be smart: It's entirely possible that Trump is bluffing about his Friday deadline, or that his Twitter bluster is prelude to an agreement, as we saw with Canada/USMCA. But Uber won't really know until after it prices and, if Trump keeps his word, it would list into extremely bearish sentiment.

The bottom line: For a company that waited so long to IPO, it might have inadvertently picked one of the worst possible times.

Go deeper: Public markets take center stage with all eyes on Uber IPO

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3:30 p.m. ET: 838,061 — Total deaths: 41,261 — Total recoveries: 174,115.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in confirmed cases. Total confirmed cases as of 3:30 p.m. ET: 177,452 — Total deaths: 3,440 — Total recoveries: 6,038.
  3. Public health updates: More than 400 long-term care facilities across the U.S. report patients with coronavirus — Older adults and people with other health conditions are more at risk, new data shows.
  4. Federal government latest: The White House and other institutions are observing several models to better understand and prepare cities for when the coronavirus is expected to peak in the U.S.
  5. In Congress: New York Rep. Max Rose deploys to National Guard to help coronavirus response.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Misinformation in the coronavirus age.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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U.S. coronavirus updates: White House studies models projecting virus peak

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The White House and other institutions are observing several models to better understand and prepare cities for when the coronavirus is expected to peak in the U.S.

The state of play: The coronavirus is expected to peak in the U.S. in two weeks, but many states like Virginia and Maryland will see their individual peaks well after that, according to a model by the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health

FDA authorizes two-minute antibody testing kit to detect coronavirus

Currently, it takes days to produce results from testing kits. Photo: Sergei Malgavko\TASS via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency approval Tuesday for a serological testing kit produced by Bodysphere Inc. that can detect a positive or negative result for COVID-19 in two minutes.

Why it matters: Access to testing has improved in the U.S. thanks to commercial labs, but the average wait time for a patient's results is four to five days — with some reports of it taking more than a week.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 3 hours ago - Health