China says it is going to reply to telecommunications giants being delisted

Flags of the United States and China are displayed on the booth of the American International Chamber of Commerce (AICC) during the International Trade Fair for Services in Beijing, China on May 28, 2019.

Jason Lee | Reuters

China on Saturday promised to respond to the New York Stock Exchange’s delisting of three telecommunications giants under an executive order signed by President Donald Trump in November.

The Ministry of Commerce said in a statement that China “will take the necessary measures to vigorously protect the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies,” according to the state-run Global Times.

The NYSE announced Thursday that it had acquired China Telecom Corp. Limited, China Mobile Limited and China Unicom Hong Kong Limited will delist. Trump signed an order in November preventing Americans from investing in companies alleged to be affiliated with the Chinese military.

The investment ban goes into effect on January 11, just days before President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated. According to the NYSE, trading with the three companies may stop as early as Jan 7th or Jan 11th.

The Commerce Department said the US is “abusing national security and using state power to crack down on Chinese companies” and that the move “is inconsistent with market rules and logic, which not only harms the legitimate rights of Chinese companies,” but also the interests of investors in other countries, including the US. “

It added, “We hope that the US and China will work together to create a fair, stable and predictable business environment for companies and investors, so that bilateral economic and trade relations can re-emerge.”

Trump has pursued an aggressive economic agenda against China that has become even more restrictive since the emergence of Covid-19, which Trump derogatoryly called the “China virus” in Wuhan.

Biden is not expected to change US-China relations dramatically, and he said Monday he would “hold China’s government accountable for its abuses in trade, technology, human rights and other areas.”

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on China’s statement on Saturday. The Biden transition team also did not respond to a request for comment.

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