U.S. Extends Period for Investors Coping With China Stock Ban

The U.S. is giving investors more time to wind down transactions with companies tied to the Chinese military as the Biden administration weighs the status of its relationship with China.

The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control announced Wednesday that it will extend the wind-down period for transactions with the firms to May 27, from Jan. 11. The full investment ban that former President Donald Trump set to take effect Nov. 11 remains intact.

OFAC named CNOOC Limited, China Mobile Ltd, China Telecom Corp. Ltd and China Unicom Hong Kong Ltd, saying transactions with the companies, which are on Treasury’s “Communist Chinese Military Companies” list, are not permitted.

The announcement comes after China’s three biggest telecommunications firms said they requested a review of the New York Stock Exchange’s decision to delist their shares more than a week ago, a move triggered by an executive order issued by Trump.

China Mobile, China Unicom, and China Telecom filed written requests with the NYSE earlier this month, asking for trading suspensions to be stayed while the review is undertaken.

The White House and Treasury Department have so far declined to comment on the three companies’ request, which was announced Jan. 20, the day President Joe Biden took office.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has indicated a continuation of the Trump administration’s tough stance on China, but says the new team will turn to allies for help addressing problems.

“China is undercutting American companies by dumping products, erecting trade barriers and giving illegal subsidies to corporations,” Yellen told senators last week, calling the nation an “important strategic competitor.”

The Biden administration will consult with allies before taking any steps to work toward rebalancing the U.S. relationship with China, she said.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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