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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

Why made-for-TV moments matter during the pandemic

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Erin Schaff-Pool, Biden Inaugural Committee via Getty Images

In a world where most Americans are isolated and forced to laugh, cry and mourn without friends or family by their side, viral moments can offer critical opportunities to unite the country or divide it.

Driving the news: President Biden's inauguration was produced to create several made-for-social viral moments, a tactic similar to what the Democratic National Committee and the Biden campaign pulled off during the Democratic National Convention.

Updated 8 hours ago - World

Over 3,000 detained in protests across Russia demanding Navalny's release

Russian police officers beat protestesters at a rally against of jailing of oppositon leader Alexei Navalny in Moscow on Saturday. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Police in Russia on Saturday arrested more than 3,300 people as protesters nationwide demanded that opposition leader Alexey Navalny be released from jail.

Details: Demonstrations began in the eastern regions of Russia and spread west to more than 60 cities.

Updated 10 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Arizona Republicans censure Cindy McCain and GOP governor

Combination images of Cindy McCain and Gov. Doug Ducey. Photo: FilmMagic/FilmMagic for U.S.VETS/Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Arizona Republican Party members voted on Saturday to censure prominent GOP figures Cindy McCain, Gov. Doug Ducey and former Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who've all faced clashes with former President Trump.

Why it matters: Although the resolution is symbolic, this move plus the re-election of the Trump-endorsed Kelli Ward as state GOP chair shows the strong hold the former president has on the party in Arizona, despite President Biden winning the state in the 2020 election.