US industry group applauds NYSE move to delist three Chinese telecoms companies

South China Morning Post

Posted at May 12 2021 05:48 PM | Updated as of May 13 2021 01:00 PM

US industry group applauds NYSE move to delist three Chinese telecoms companies 1
People are seen on Wall Street outside the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, US, March 19, 2021. Brendan McDermid, Reuters/File Photo

A US industry group on Monday applauded the New York Stock Exchange's move to delist China's big three telecommunications carriers to comply with a ban introduced last year by the Trump administration.

The Big Board last week rejected the appeals by the trio - China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom - to remain on the US stock exchange, the companies said in separate filings on Friday. 

The NYSE applied to the Securities and Exchange Commission on the same day, starting the process to delist the companies' American depositary receipts in 10 days.

"The NYSE is doing the right thing by following the law and delisting these China telecoms companies," said Zach Mottl, chairman at the Coalition for a Prosperous America (CPA), a bipartisan advocacy group for American manufacturing and agricultural interests.

"For decades, the Chinese Communist Party - with Wall Street's help - has exploited US capital markets and American investors to build its national champion Chinese companies that help modernise the capabilities of the People's Liberation Army," said Mottl.

CPA urged the Biden administration to continue to expand on the policies of the Trump administration to make sure that US capital markets are not accessible for "companies that support the (Chinese Communist Party) military-civil fusion strategy".

Spokesmen at China Telecom and the NYSE declined to comment, while the NYSE, China Mobile, and China Unicom did not immediately respond to emails seeking comment.

Last year, former US president Donald Trump signed an executive order to ban Americans from investing in a list of what eventually totalled 44 companies - including China Mobile, China Unicom, and China Telecom - that the Defence Department said had ties with China's military.

Biden shows 'more continuity than expected' from Trump policy on China.

"We commend the Department of Defence for releasing this list of Chinese military companies operating in the United States," said Republican Senator Tom Cotton from Arkansas, calling the list "one piece of a broader campaign our nation must wage against the Chinese Communist Party and its parasitic technology transfer efforts".

In January, the NYSE made two reversals within two days in its delisting decisions of the companies. The flip-flops were caused by confusing guidance about which firms were covered by the executive action.

The various US government departments were also at odds of how tough the ban should be. The Treasury Department had wanted to be more cautious and implement a narrower order to avoid disruption in the markets.

Shortly after Joe Biden took office, the three Chinese companies appealed the stock exchange for a review to reconsider its decision.

In the filings last Friday, the telecoms companies stressed that they have complied "with the laws and regulations, market rules as well as regulatory requirements".

In a notable contrast, two other Chinese companies that are also on the Defence Department list of military companies - Xiaomi and Luokung Technology - both won court battles to be exempted from sanctions.


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