The New York Stock Exchange is set to delist Chinese telecommunications giants China Mobile, China Telecom, and China Unicorn Hong Kong because they allegedly have ties with the Chinese military. Shares in the three firms, which have found themselves in the bad books of the Trump Administration, will be suspended in the coming week.
The decision comes following a bill President Trump signed in November, which prohibits American investment in firms that are controlled or influenced by the Chinese military. A number of high-profile Chinese firms have been subject to attempted domestic bans on this basis, including mobile phone manufacturer Huawei and the wildly-popular video-sharing social media application TikTok. In retaliation, China has banned several American firms from operating within their economy.
None of these telecommunications firms have a major economic presence within the United States; indeed, all of their revenue is generated in their native China. The motion to suspend their shares and delist the companies is unlikely to have a major financial impact on any of the firms, since the vast majority of their stock market operations are also conducted within China. Pundits have thus labeled the New York Stock Exchange’s move as a symbol of the escalating tensions between China and the United States.
If relations between the US and China continue to worsen significantly, weightier economic effects could be on the table. As a result of a long process of encouraging foreign involvement in the American stock market, over two hundred Chinese firms are presently listed on the New York Stock Exchange, with a combined market value of $2.2 trillion.