New York’s stock market remains planning to remove Chinese telecom giants

The New York Stock Exchange abandoned plans to delist three state-owned Chinese telecom companies on Monday, reversing a decision that further dampened already strained relations between the world’s two major powers.

In a brief statement, the stock exchange said that it “no longer intends to proceed with the delisting” for China Telecom, China Mobile and China Unicom.

No detailed reason was given for the sudden turnaround, but the exchange said it came after “further consultation with relevant regulators”.

The shares of the three state-owned telecom companies jumped on the news.

In trade in Hong Kong on Tuesday morning, China Unicom rose eight percent, while China Mobile and China Telecom rose by more than six percent each.

The turnaround comes just four days after the NYSE said it was closing trade with companies to follow an order from the Trump administration that prevented investment in companies with ties to the Chinese military.

Donald Trump signed an executive order in November banning Americans from investing in Chinese companies believed to supply or support the country’s military and security apparatus and receive a reprimand from Beijing.

The order listed 31 companies that they said China used for the “increasing use” of US investment capital to finance military and intelligence services, including the development and deployment of weapons of mass destruction.

It was one of a series of executive orders and regulatory measures aimed at China’s economic and military expansion in recent months.

Trump’s order bans U.S. companies and individuals from owning shares in any of the companies, which also includes video surveillance company Hikvision and China Railway Construction Corp.

National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien said at the time that the order would prevent Americans from deliberately providing passive capital to Chinese companies – listed on stock exchanges around the world – that support the improvement of Beijing’s army and spy agencies.

Under his “America First” banner, Trump has portrayed China as the biggest threat to the United States and global democracy, waged a trade war with it, thwarted Chinese technology companies and blamed the coronavirus pandemic at Beijing’s door.

China had criticized the measures taken to remove its companies and threatened countermeasures.