Jan. 21 (UPI) — China’s three telecommunications companies have requested the New York Stock Exchange to review its decision to delist their American depositary shares, a move that was made in response to an executive order signed by former President Donald Trump targeting companies linked to the Chinese military.
The state-owned companies China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom separately asked the NYSE to initiate the reviews in three nearly identical letters sent within hours of Joe Biden’s inauguration as president, requesting that it reverse its determination to delist them and to stay the trading suspension of their ADSs pending the completion of the reviews.
“Investors are cautioned that there is no assurance that the Company’s review request for the NYSE’s reversal of the Determination or request for staying the trading suspension of the ADSs pending review of the Determination will be successful,” each of the letters said.
The NYSE began delisting the three companies on New Year’s Eve with the trading of their shares to cease by Jan. 11. Days later, the stock exchange reversed its decision and said it would keep the companies listed “in light of further consultation with relevant regulatory authorities” only to announce on Jan. 6 that it will move forward with removing them.
The stock exchange said its delisting of the companies was to comply with an executive order Trump signed in November banning Americans and U.S. companies from owning shares of companies tied to the People’s Liberation Army.
“The People’s Republic of China is increasingly exploiting United States capital to resource and to enable the development and modernization of its military, intelligence and other security apparatuses,” the executive order said.
Trump signed the order amid worsening relations between Beijing and Washington as the United States has repeatedly condemned China over its human rights abuses and has sought to limit its telecoms access to developing its next generation wireless communications infrastructure citing national security concerns.
It was unknown if Biden would take a softer hand with China compared to his predecessor’s administration but his nomination for secretary of state, Antony Blinken, said during his confirmation on Tuesday that he agreed with Trump’s stronger approach to Beijing.
“I disagree very much with the way that he went about it in a number of areas but the basic principle was the right one, and I think that’s actually helpful to our foreign policy,” he said.