The World's largest wireless carrier is removed by the New York Stock Exchange
UPDATE: The New York Stock Exchange did an about face on Monday and will no longer look to delist China's three biggest state-owned telecom companies. Reuters reported the change this afternoon.
This past Thursday, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) said that it would stop handling transactions involving the securities of China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom. The move by the securities exchange comes after U.S. President Donald Trump, back in November, banned American companies and consumers from investing in 31 outfits that Trump said are owned or controlled by the Chinese military.
Among the three telecom firms mentioned by the NYSE last week, China Mobile is the world's largest wireless provider. As of last October, the carrier had more than 946 million subscribers. Compare that figure with the 120 million+ subscribers that Verizon counted at the end of the last quarter; the latter is the largest mobile carrier in the states.
As you might imagine, Chinese government officials are not pleased. The Chinese Ministry of Commerce said in a statement, "This kind of abuse of national security and state power to suppress Chinese firms does not comply with market rules and violates market logic. It not only harms the legal rights of Chinese companies but also damages the interests of investors in other countries, including the United States." The Ministry not only said that it will take action to protect its firms, it also asked the U.S. to agree to a compromise over issues like trade and human rights. It isn't clear exactly what actions China is considering against the U.S.
According to Reuters, over the last two weeks the outgoing Administration has been even tougher on China than it has been. On January 20th at noon ET, the Biden era begins and China is hoping that the seating of the new U.S. president eases tensions between the two economic powers. Yesterday, China’s senior diplomat Wang Yi said that relations between China and the United States had reached a "new crossroads" and "a new window of hope" is on the way.