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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Biden administration reportedly paused negotiations with China's ByteDance about spinning out TikTok's U.S. operations into an independent entity.

Why it matters: This is part of a wider White House review of Trump-era policies toward Chinese tech companies, some of which had bipartisan support.

  • Biden never took a public position on the TikTok situation while campaigning, but last July did instruct his staff to remove the app from their phones.

Details: Under terms of the discussed TikTok deal, ByteDance would remain a TikTok shareholder, alongside several venture capital firms, Oracle and Walmart.

  • The administration also asked a federal judge to delay litigation that would ban TikTok in the U.S. if the spinout did not happen.

Bottom line: Beijing and ByteDance seemed to be waiting out Trump. It might have worked.

Go deeper

Biden holds first call as president with China's Xi Jinping

Biden and Xi in 2012, when both were serving as vice president. Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty

President Biden on Wednesday evening held his first call with Chinese President Xi Jinping since taking office, raising thorny issues including human rights in Hong Kong and Xinjiang.

The big picture: Ahead of the call, senior administration officials offered reporters the most detailed portrait to date of Biden’s policies toward China, and how they will build on — and diverge from — Donald Trump’s approach.

Why companies aren't paying more

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

If companies raised pay high enough, then maybe they wouldn’t complain about labor shortages that have forced them to forgo sales. But there seems to be a limit to how much a company is willing to pay, despite what seems like a clear opportunity to maximize the top line.

Why it matters: Companies have been scrambling to staff up amid a rapid economic recovery. Employers across industries have been raising wages in their efforts to be competitive.

Business travel might be going out of style

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Companies have made it a year and a half mostly without traveling for work — and now more and more of them are considering dramatically reducing business travel to slash costs and cut carbon emissions.

Why it matters: Business travel is a massive part of the global economy — with trillions of dollars and millions of jobs at airlines, hotels and travel agencies hinging on its return.