Five Chinese companies leave NY stock exchange — here’s why more could follow

John Hugh DeMastri, DCNF

Five state-owned Chinese companies announced that they would delist from the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) Friday, as tensions between China and the U.S. remain high and a dispute over regulatory issues remains unresolved, Reuters reported.

Oil conglomerate Sinopec, China Life Insurance, Aluminum Corporation of China, PetroChina and the Sinopec subsidiary Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical Co. all annouced they would delist from the NYSE at the end of August, Reuters reported. Companies listed on the NYSE are required by U.S. law to submit to U.S. auditing, which China has refused to do, leading to the possibility that Chinese companies remaining listed may be forcibly removed by the U.S., according to The Wall Street Journal.

“These companies have strictly complied with the rules and regulatory requirements of the U.S. capital market since their listing in the U.S. and made the delisting choice for their own business considerations,” the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) said in a press release. “The CSRC respects these companies’ business-driven decision in compliance with rules of the listing venue. We will continue to communicate and cooperate with relevant overseas regulators to jointly protect the legitimate rights and interests of issuers and investors.”

In December 2021, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) notified 273 Chinese companies that they were at risk of being delisted if they continued to not comply with auditory regulations, Reuters reported. Some of the largest companies in China such as e-commerce company Alibaba and artificial intelligence company Baidu were included in this, Reuters reported.

The market value of Chinese companies listed in the U.S. was approximately $2 trillion, according to the WSJ.

While the companies have been delisted from the NYSE, they will remain listed on Hong Kong-based and mainland Chinese exchanges, according to Reuters. Global fund managers holding stock in U.S.-listed Chinese firms have begun to transition to holding stock on Hong Kong listings instead, Reuters reported.

“These companies are very thinly traded with very small US market cap so it is not a loss for US capital markets,” Brendan Ahern, CIO of Krane Funds Advisors, a New York fund focused on Chinese technology told Reuters.

Some experts surveyed by Reuters believed that the delistings could be a sign that China is not interested in continuing talks with the U.S. on this issue. “China is sending a message that its patience is wearing thin in the audit talks,” Kai Zhan, senior counsel at Chinese law firm Yuanda, told Reuters.

Ahern noted that the delisting of the five companies concerned may actually ease tensions between U.S. and China on the issue of auditing, as they are the ones most likely to have information the Chinese would not want foreign auditors to see, Reuters reported.

China Telecom, China Mobile, and China Unicom were delisted from the NYSE following a Trump-era regulatory rule that restricted investment in Chinese technology, which President Joe Biden has not retracted, Reuters reported.

The NYSE declined a Daily Caller News Foundation request for comment.

The SEC, PetroChina, Sinopec, Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical, Aluminum Corporation of China and China Life did not respond immediately to a DCNF request for comment.

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