NYSE backtracks (again) on Chinese delistings

The exchange will drop three Chinese telecoms companies after criticism from the US Treasury

The New York Stock Exchange has decided to delist China’s three largest telecoms giants after reversing the decision just a few days earlier.

NYSE said it would drop shares in China Telecom, China Mobile and China Unicom on 11 January to comply with an executive order signed by President Donald Trump.

The exchange said the decision was based on “new specific guidance” it had received from the US Treasury.

The NYSE first said it would delist the companies on New Year’s Eve. However, it announced on the following Monday that it was not delisting the companies after all.

The latest – and final? — move is to comply with an executive order signed by President Donald Trump in November banning firms that are allegedly owned or controlled by the Chinese military.

The U-turn by the exchange has riled Republicans, including several within the Trump administration.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin phoned NYSE President Stacey Cunningham to voice his objection to the exchange’s decision to reverse its stance on delisting, a source told Bloomberg.

The decision to delist the companies will further inflame tensions between China and Washington, two weeks before Joe Biden takes office as the outgoing president ratchets up confrontations.

On January 5, Trump signed an executive order banning transactions with eight Chinese software applications, including the Alipay mobile payment platform.

Sources told The Wall Street Journal that the Trump administration is considering adding tech giants Alibaba and Tencent to the blacklist of companies allegedly owned by the Chinese military.

In December, Trump signed a bill that would remove Chinese companies from American stock exchanges unless they comply with US auditing oversight rules within three years.

The act requires companies listed on US exchanges would also have to prove that they are not controlled by a foreign government.

Last Updated: 8 January 2021
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