The New York Stock Exchange is withdrawing its plan to remove three Chinese state-owned telecommunications companies from its listings. The exchange said Tuesday that it will drop its plans to delist the companies following consultation with regulatory authorities and the Office of Foreign Assets Control.
The exchange previously announced plans of delisting the companies to comply with the executive order signed by U.S. President Donald Trump in November.
Under the order, American companies and individuals will be banned from investing in Chinese companies linked to the country's military. Major indexes such as the S&P, Dow Jones, and MSCI have already taken steps to comply with the executive order, which officially went into effect Monday.
The NYSE said on Dec. 31 that it would be removing the listings of China Telecom, China Unicom, and China Mobile. The exchange said during that time that the three companies would be suspended starting on Jan. 11. News of the reversal sent the three company's Hong Kong-listed shares up Tuesday.
The three companies have been trading on the NYSE for many years. China Mobile - the country's largest telecommunications company - listed on the NYSE in 1997. China Unicom and China Telecom have been trading on the exchange since the early 2000s.
Prior to the reversal, the China Securities and Regulatory Commission called the executive order a move based on politics. The Chinese regulator said that the order "ignored the actual situations of relevant companies and the legitimate rights of the global investors." It added that such a move would only end up damaging "market rule and order."
Had the NYSE pushed through with its plan to delist the three state-owned companies, tensions between the U.S. and China would have escalated further. Repairing the broken ties between the two nations will likely not be easy, even if Trump is already set to step down as president in a little over a week.
President-elect Joe Biden is not expected to make any immediate changes to repair the country's relationship with China. Biden has repeatedly said he was willing to work with other countries to enforce the global trading rules.