China says it will take action against US delisting of its telcos

SHANGHAI: China will take “necessary measures” to safeguard the interests of its companies after the New York Stock Exchange began delisting three Chinese telecom firms accused of having military ties, the country’s commerce ministry said on Saturday (Jan 2). 

The NYSE said on Thursday that it would begin delisting China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom in response to a decision by President Donald Trump to bar US investment in firms owned or controlled by the Chinese military.

Trading of the companies is to be suspended sometime between Jan 7 and Jan 11.

READ: New York stock exchange delists Chinese telecoms firms

The Chinese Ministry of Commerce said in a statement that the delisting was an abuse of national security and inconsistent with market rules.

“China opposes the Americans from abusing national security by listing Chinese companies into the so-called ‘Communist China Military Companies’ list and will take the necessary countermeasures to resolutely safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies,” a spokesperson said.

The actions will also “greatly weaken all parties’ confidence in the US capital market”.

The ministry did not offer details on what the measures might be.

READ: US blocks imports of Xinjiang ‘slave labour’ cotton

Under Trump, the US has stepped up economic sanctions and travel bans against Chinese companies, government officials and Communist Party members, especially recently in Trump’s last few weeks in office.

In December, the US announced plans to limit visas for members of the Chinese Communist Party and their family members to one month, instead of 10 years.

Chinese tech giant Huawei has been shut out of the US market and the US has lobbied other countries to follow suit, albeit with mixed results.