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Illustration: Caresse Haaser, Rebecca Zisser / Axios

S&P Global has agreed to acquire Kensho, a Cambridge, Mass.-based provider of AI-powered analytics for traders, for around $550 million in cash and stock.

Why it matters: This appears to be the largest-ever purchase of an AI startup, topping Google's 2014 deal for DeepMind.

Caveat: It's effectively a flat price from where Kensho raised its last round of funding one year ago (a round that S&P Global led).

  • Per an S&P spokesman: "On a fully diluted basis, including the cash acquired, it was a modest premium to the last round of funding."
  • Earlier backers included Breyer Capital, Xfund, General Catalyst and Goldman Sachs.

Bottom line, per Forbes: Kensho's goal is to "use machine learning to make complex financial analysis as easy as a search on Google."

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U.S. sanctions Chinese officials over Uighur human rights abuses

Photo: Xinhua/Liu Jie via Getty Images

The Treasury Department announced Thursday that the U.S. has sanctioned four Chinese Communist Party officials and the Xinjiang Public Security Bureau for human rights abuses against Uighur Muslims and other ethnic minorities in Xinjiang.

Why it matters: The sanctions designations, pursuant to the Global Magnitsky Act passed by Congress in 2016, mark a significant escalation in the Trump administration's response to the Chinese government's detainment of over 1 million Uighurs in internment camps.

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Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon has been found dead hours after his daughter reported him missing, prompting a massive manhunt, Yonhap news agency reports.

What we know: Park's disappearance came a day after allegations of sexual harassment against him were published in local media, according to the FT, which also reports that his daughter had found a "will-like message."

Scoop: Chinese biotech giant's U.S. subsidiary received PPP loan

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A U.S. subsidiary of Chinese genomics company BGI Group received a loan through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), according to data on the program released by the U.S. Treasury Department this week.

Why it matters: BGI's close ties to the Chinese government, which is constructing a massive genetics database of its population, have raised concerns among U.S. officials.