Five major Chinese state-owned companies have announced they are delisting from Wall Street. The companies were on the SEC’s list of Chinese companies that did not comply with the two-year-old law for foreign companies listed in the US.
Under legislation introduced in 2020, the US regulator will have full access to information from accountants of foreign companies listed in the US to assess whether their results are reliable. Where companies from other countries open, the government in Beijing blocks access to this data. China and Hong Kong are the only two jurisdictions in the world that do not allow inspections by foreign parties due to concerns about national security and trade secrets.
Insurer China Life Insurance, oil and chemical companies PetroChina, China Petroleum & Chemical, Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical and Aluminum Corp of China all announced on Friday that they will list in September. China’s stock exchange regulator said in a statement that the canceled plans were based on “commercial concerns” by the companies.
However, according to Saxo Markets strategist Redmond Wong, these are companies in strategic sectors that have access to information and data that the Chinese government does not want to share with foreign regulators. While the listing will have little impact on the companies, whose shares are not traded in New York, the moves underscore high tensions between the United States and China. This has increased after US top politician Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan.
About 300 companies based in China and Hong Kong, with a market capitalization of more than $2.4 trillion, are at risk of being banned from US exchanges. The largest are China Life, PetroChina, China Petroleum & Chemical and Baidu. On July 29, major Chinese online store group Alibaba was also blacklisted. Alibaba said in August it would seek to have its main listing on the New York Stock Exchange.
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