China telcos lose final appeal on US stock exchange listings

China telcos lose final appeal on US stock exchange listings


Three Chinese telecoms operators are to lose their US share listing within days after they lost an appeal.

Shares in China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom will no longer be traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in a move that is a direct consequence of former President Donald Trump’s executive order in November 2020 that identified all three as having connections with the Chinese military.

The companies said on Friday that they had lost their appeals against delisting. The US financial regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is expected to notify the NYSE that shares should no longer be listed.

Trump’s order in November said: “China is increasingly exploiting United States capital to resource and to enable the development and modernization of its military, intelligence, and other security apparatuses, which continues to allow the PRC [People’s Republic of China] to directly threaten the United States.”

President Joe Biden, who won the November 2020 presidential election and was inaugurated in late January, has done nothing to overturn Trump’s stance on Chinese operators — or vendors such as Huawei.

The three telcos traded on the NYSE via American depositary receipts (ADRs) which represent only a small fraction of their total value.

Under separate moves, by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), China Unicom and China Telecom also face losing their licences to operate in the US. The FCC rejected an application by China Mobile for a US licence.

China Mobile already lists its shares in Hong Kong but in March said it is studying the possibility of listing its shares in a mainland market. China Telecom also said it plans to list shares in Shanghai.


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