NYSE says it’ll not delist three Chinese language telecom giants

A man walks outside the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, November 24, 2020.

Brendan McDermid | Reuters

The New York Stock Exchange said it no longer plans to delist three Chinese telecommunications giants.

In a late Monday statement, the NYSE said it dropped the plans after “further consultation with relevant regulatory authorities in connection with Office of Foreign Assets Control.”

Hong Kong-listed shares of China Telecom, China Mobile and China Unicom rallied after news of the reversal.

The announcement comes after the NYSE said on Dec. 31 that it would move to delist American depositary shares of China Telecom, China Mobile and China Unicom.

The NYSE had originally planned to drop the Chinese telecom listings in order to comply with an executive order that President Donald Trump signed in November. That order sought to bar American companies and individuals from investing in firms that the Trump administration alleged aid the Chinese military.

Major stock index giants like MSCI, S&P Dow Jones Indices and FTSE Russell as well as popular trading app Robinhood have also taken steps to comply with the executive order.

On Monday, the China Securities Regulatory Commission said the executive order was based on “political purposes” and “entirely ignored the actual situations of relevant companies and the legitimate rights of the global investors, and severely damaged market rule and order.”

Trump’s investment ban is set to take effect Monday, a little more than a week before President-elect Joe Biden is set to to be inaugurated.

Biden is unlikely to make any immediate changes to the U.S.-China relationship, but has repeatedly said he would prefer to work with U.S. allies on enforcing the “rules of the road” for global trade.

Still, that approach would stand in contrast to that of the Trump administration, which often pursued aggressive, unilateral actions to challenge China on economic and national security issues.

— CNBC’s Evelyn Cheng contributed to this report.

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