Wed. Oct 20th, 2021


World Updates

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Beijing wants Alipay breaks up, the superapp owned by Jack Ma’s Ant Group, which has more than 1 billion users, and creates a separate app for the company’s lucrative lending business as it amplifies a greater impact on the major technology groups in China.

Chinese regulators have already ordered Ant to separate the two lending units of the company, Huabei, which is similar to a traditional credit card, and Jiebei, which makes small unsecured loans, from a new business into a new entity and external shareholders bring in. Officials now want these lending companies to have their own independent app as well.

According to the plan, Ant must also transfer the user data that lends its decisions to a new and separate joint venture that is partly state-owned, according to two people who were informed about the process.

As China’s regulatory collapse continues, analysts say China’s major technology companies are likely to accelerate their efforts to comply. One such move happened yesterday when Tencent and Alibaba promised open up their digital empires and comply with Beijing’s orders to provide access to ‘walled gardens’, a move that could reform hundreds of millions of users’ online lives.

What do you think of China’s oppression of technology enterprises? Does it affect your industry? Email me emily.goldberg@ft.com and let me know your views. Thanks for reading. – Emily

Five more stories in the news

1. Blinken defends the chaotic withdrawal of the US military in Afghanistan US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has a innocent defense of the chaotic and bloody withdrawal of the U.S. military from Afghanistan when he appeared before lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

2. Libor replacement reaches Wall Street’s leveraged loan market Bank of America started marketing of the first leveraged loan linked to the interest rate that Libor will replace, in a milestone for the industry as it transcends the undeniable lending benchmark.

3. Media companies affiliated with Guo Wengui settle SEC case Three media companies associated with Guo Wengui, a Chinese businessman and prominent critic of the Chinese Communist Party living in exile in the USA, $ 539 million paid to US regulators solve allegations that they have issued illegal effects to more than 5,000 investors.

4. Soho China shares fall 40% after Blackstone deal collapses Shares in Soho China dropped to 40 percent yesterday after the American private equity group Blackstone last week withdrew its $ 3 billion takeover of the Chinese real estate company. About $ 830 million was wiped from Soho China’s market value as its shares in Hong Kong expired when the stock market opened on Monday.

5. Ireland fails to enforce EU law against Big Tech Ireland is fail to apply EU privacy laws to US Big Tech companies, according to privacy campaigns. Google, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft and Twitter all have their European headquarters in Dublin.

Coronavirus consumed

  • Chinese authorities has restrictions reset in the southeast of the country to fight an imported outbreak of the highly contagious Delta variant of the virus.

  • Two top American scientists who recently announced their retirement from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration criticizes US Covid-19 vaccination policya few days before the Biden administration announced its plans.

  • The United Kingdom canceled a € 1.4 billion vaccine deal with France’s Valneva and said the company was breaching its obligations under the agreement.

  • Covid-19 jabs will be offered to all children in the area United Kingdom between 12 and 15 years old as early as next week.

The day ahead

Apple Launch Apple plans to launch the iPhone 13 today, but all the talk about it has been about smart glasses and cars. Read more about what lies ahead for the Silicon Valley giant this issue of #techFT. Sign up for the newsletter here.

United Nations General Assembly Despite the risks of Covid-19, at least 83 world leaders is expected to attend the 76th session of UNGA, which meets in New York today. Expected speakers from the Asia-Pacific region include Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga. (NYT, Tribune India)

California revokes deadline Governor Gavin Newsom chance to stay in office improved before today’s re-election, with a resurgence of Democrats holding early ballots and opinion polls showing that most voters oppose the attempt to remove him from office.

Join leading innovators and policymakers for #TechFT Live discussions on policy, strategy and innovation for the future of technology on 30 September-1 October. Free for all #TechFT subscribers.

What we still read

The Xi personality cult is a danger to China The state-run worship of Xi Jinping reflects the personality cult surrounding Mao Zedong — and with it the famine and terror that Mao unleashed during the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution, writes Gideon Rachman.

How the Greens of Germany approached matters In the popular imagination, the Green can evoke memories of the protest marches outside nuclear power plants or jersey-knit hippies. But a three-year settlement process means that the ecoparty and the German enterprise are both looking carefully at the possibility of moving from adversaries to allies.

© FT Montage / Getty / DPA | Annalena Baerbock

The US must make homes more affordable – and available A decade after the subprime collapsed, housing is still underway the center of the American economic divide, writes Rana Foroohar. Just as investors drove the house boom before the financial crisis, they also drove the rise in house prices to the pandemic.

Back to work: the new lessons for drivers As employees begin to return to work some trends emerge about how businesses handle the shift. This includes new work styles, even in businesses where attendance at the workplace is considered essential. What do you think of going back to work? Tell us in our back-to-work survey, which is part of a reporting project.

FT master’s degree in management The University of St Gallen in Switzerland has retains top position in the Financial Times 2021 position of masters in management degrees for the 11th consecutive year. See the full position here.

Cycling

At first glance, it seems unlikely that Tokyo, a city of 14 million people with multiple highways and few separate bike lanes, is a pleasant place to cycle around. But as with many other things in Japan, it gets more attractive the closer you look, writes John Gapper, who shared three of his favorite routes.

© FT Montage / Getty / DPA | Annalena Baerbock

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