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NYSE set to finally go through with Chinese telco ban

After repeatedly changing its mind at the start of the year, the New York Stock Exchange appears ready to delist all three major Chinese MNOs.

One of the last acts of the Trump presidency was to compel the NYSE to delist the shares of China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom. But even by the standards of that administration, those were chaotic times, and the next day the NYSE uncompelled itself, before recompelling itself the  day after.

Sensibly, the people running the exchange decided to refrain from any further public pronouncements for a while and have spent the intervening four months giving the matter a good old think. Now, according to the WSJ and other media, the decision has definitely been made to delist. They’re serious this time, there will definitely be no flip-flopping and this new, resolute NYSE doesn’t even recognise its whimsical former self.

According to the reports all three Chinese operators submitted filings in Hong Kong late last to the effect that they expect the NYSE to make it official, which it promptly did. While the new President lacks the forceful personality of his predecessor, his propensity towards avoiding the limelight does mean US organisations probably feel more comfortable about adopting public positions without the fear of having to immediately reverse them in the face of Presidential pique.

The practical consequences of banning the trading in stocks of Chinese telcos in the US are minimal, especially since they remain listed in Hong Kong. Symbolically, however, this is indirectly a further statement from the Biden administration that it fully intends to pick up where Trump left off in its economic belligerence towards anything with even the most tenuous links to the Chinese state.


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