The Ant Group share offering would be the largest ever
The Chinese financial technology titan is expected to raise around $ 34 billion if its shares start trading in Hong Kong and Shanghai in the coming weeks. This would make the IPO the largest that has ever happened.
Ant Group, Alipay’s parent company, valued its shares at around $ 10.30 each, according to data released by the exchanges in both cities on Monday. At that price, its market value would be comparable to JPMorgan Chase’s and more than many other global banks.
Context: The sale re-shapes China’s importance as a digital powerhouse. Last year, Ant, who is backed by billionaire Jack Ma, posted profits of $ 2.7 billion on sales of $ 18 billion. In the twelve months that ended in June, mainland China processed $ 17 trillion in digital payments.
Go deeper: For hundreds of millions of people in China, Alipay can also be a bank. It’s your credit card, debit card, mutual fund, and even insurance broker – all in a single phone app. It’s a small business lender that China’s state-run banks might ignore. The question now is how much higher Ant can fly without provoking the Chinese authorities.
China’s rise out of poverty comes to a standstill
China’s leader Xi Jinping is expected to declare victory in a year-long campaign to eradicate extreme poverty. However, the coronavirus pandemic has exposed flaws in efforts to eradicate China’s most vulnerable people, especially in rural areas.
Experts warn that the government’s response to the crisis – favoring infrastructure spending and tax breaks rather than direct aid to families – could actually widen China’s rich and poor.
The protracted lockdowns in China left rural residents hundreds of kilometers from the factories where they work, and many were unemployed for months. And a lot of pandemic aid went to businesses in urban areas.
How it works: Mr. Xi’s campaign against poverty, which mobilized millions of officials and cost billions of dollars, focuses on around five million people making less than 92 cents a day, compared to nearly 56 million people five years ago. Local officials keep detailed lists of poor residents’ income levels and distribute subsidies, housing and loans.
Here are the latest updates and maps of the pandemic.
In other developments:
Japan wants to become climate neutral by 2050
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga set an ambitious climate target, although Japan plans to build more than a dozen coal-fired power plants in the coming years. Japan is the fifth largest greenhouse gas emitter in the world.
The announcement came just weeks after China announced it would cut its net carbon emissions to zero by 2060. The infrastructure in Japan, which is based on fossil fuels, needs to be fundamentally revised.
Mr. Suga gave little details on how the country would achieve the goal, saying only that he would use the power of “innovation” and “regulatory reform” to transform Japan’s energy production and use.
If you have 10 minutes, it’s worth it
Trump had one last story to sell
The White House relied on a team of reporters from the Wall Street Journal to deliver a story that President Trump hoped would crush his opponent Joe Biden. But the tip about Mr. Biden’s son Hunter and the claim that the former vice president benefited from his lobbying activities fell short, The Journal noted.
Our media columnist wrote about the White House’s secret latest effort to change the narrative and election.
The following also happens
Qatar Airways: Women on a flight to Sydney said they had been searched and performed medically invasive exams to see if they had recently given birth. A newborn had just been found abandoned in an airport bath in Doha, from where they were leaving. The episode sparked anger in Australia and challenged Qatar’s treatment of women.
Amy Coney Barrett: The judge is expected to be confirmed as the next US Supreme Court judge. The vote in the Senate takes place after one of the fastest confirmation processes in recent history.
Borate: Kazakhstan, which got out of hand after the first “Borat” film, is now welcoming the Sacha Baron Cohen satire and has created tourism ads that take on its catchphrase.
Chile: The country voted overwhelmingly in a referendum to abolish the dictatorship-era constitution and draft a new one. The Chileans are now due to vote in 2022 to approve or reject a new text drawn up by an elected constitutional convention.
Snapshot: Above, workers and students protest in Minsk, Belarus on Monday. Workers across the country took part in a nationwide strike. The opposition hopes to increase the pressure on President Aleksandr Lukashenko to resign.
What we read: This article in High Country News about pandemic fighting in Las Vegas, one of the largest US school districts. “It just felt so awesome to me. Schools aren’t open, but slot machines? “Says Amelia Leberberg, who writes the Coronavirus Schools Briefing.
Now a break from the news
And now for the background story about …
The electoral college
A week before election day in the US, we take a look at the electoral college and its role in determining the presidential winner.
Many people, including some Americans, assume that the votes of the citizens alone determine the next president. You don’t. That responsibility rests with the electoral college: when Americans cast their ballots, they are actually voting for a list of voters chosen by their state’s political parties who have pledged to support that party’s candidate. (They don’t always do that.)
A total of 538 votes are in play in all 50 states and Washington, DC. 270 votes are required to win.
The party that wins a state usually receives all of its electoral votes. Most states have clear majorities, either for Democrats or Republicans. But in swing states, the race is so close that both candidates have a chance of winning.
Sometimes a candidate can win the referendum but lose the election because countries with smaller populations are over-represented in the electoral college. It did so in 2016, when Hillary Clinton won the referendum by more than 3 million, and several other elections in US history.
There have been debates for years about the complete abolition of the system so that the referendum can determine the winner. The problem is linked to a party political divide, however, as Republicans currently benefit from the electoral power of less populous rural states.
That’s it for this briefing. Until next time.
Thank you very much
To Theodore Kim and Jahaan Singh for the break from the news. Will Dudding wrote today’s backstory. You can reach the team at [email protected]
• We listen to “The Daily”. Our latest episode is about white suburban women who voted for President Trump in the 2016 election and may now do the opposite.
• Here’s our mini crossword puzzle and a clue: ___ and outs (three letters). You can find all of our puzzles here.
• The Times has received six Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Awards from the Society of American Travel Writers.