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NYSE U-turns on plans to delist three Chinese telcos

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The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) has made an about-turn on its decision to delist three Chinese telecom firms.

Last week, the NYSE announced plans to delist China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom, with trading to be suspended by 11 January.

The move aimed to comply with president Donald Trump’s executive order that was signed last November, which sought to bar US investment in firms the US government says are owned or controlled by the Chinese military.

However, in a brief statement on Monday, the New York bourse said it no longer intends to move forward with the delisting action in relation to the three issuers [China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom], which was announced on 31 December 2020.

“At this time, the Issuers will continue to be listed and traded on the NYSE. NYSE Regulation will continue to evaluate the applicability of Executive Order 13959 to these Issuers and their continued listing status.”

China and the US – the world’s biggest economies – have been locked in a trade war, resulting in the Trump administration accelerating efforts to purge Chinese apps and technology companies that it deems untrustworthy.

The Chinese government has said it opposes the Americans from abusing national security by listing Chinese companies into the so-called ‘Communist China Military Companies’ list, adding that it plans to take “necessary countermeasures” to safeguard the interests of Chinese companies.

On Monday, China’s Securities Regulatory Commission described the plan to delist the three Chinese telecom firms as “not a wise move”, saying Trump’s executive order is based on “political purposes”.

“The role of the US as an international financial centre is built on the trust of the global enterprises and investors in the inclusiveness and certainty of its rules and institutions. The recent move by some political forces in the US to continuously and groundlessly suppress foreign companies listed on the US markets, even at the cost of undermining its own position in the global capital markets, has demonstrated that US rules and institutions can become arbitrary, reckless and unpredictable.”

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