Feb 1, 2019

World First closes U.S. operations before acquisition by Chinese tech giant

World First, a British money transfer and currency exchange company backed by FTV Capital, is shutting its longstanding U.S. operations to defend against possible regulatory challenges to a planned £700 million takeover by China's Ant Financial.

Why it matters: Such extreme measures could become the new normal for non-U.S. companies seeking acquisition by Chinese tech giants. The Financial Times' Nicholas Megaw & Louise Lucas note: "The decision comes almost exactly a year after Ant Financial, the digital payments affiliate of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, was forced to abandon a proposed $1.2 billion proposal to buy MoneyGram, a U.S. money transfer business."

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Coronavirus kills 2 Diamond Princess passengers and South Korea sees first death

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. U.S. numbers include Americans extracted from Princess Cruise ship.

Two elderly Diamond Princess passengers have been killed by the novel coronavirus — the first deaths confirmed among the more than 600 infected aboard the cruise ship. South Korea also announced its first death Thursday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed more than 2,200 people and infected over 75,465 others, mostly in mainland China, where the National Health Commission announced 118 new deaths since Thursday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 5 mins ago - Health

SoftBank to cut its stake to get T-Mobile's Sprint deal done

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

T-Mobile and Sprint announced a revised merger agreement that will see SoftBank getting a smaller share of the combined company, while most shareholders will receive the previously agreed upon exchange rate. The companies said they hope to get the deal as early as April 1.

Why it matters: The amended deal reflects the decline in Sprint's business, while leaving most shareholders' stake intact and removing another hurdle to the deal's closure.