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Chinese Stocks Attracted Investors After Delisting Reversal Decision, Alibaba Rose Despite Unexplained Absence of Chairman

Chinese equity shares listed on Wall Street rose sharply on Tuesday, after a sudden U-turn by the New York Stock Exchange, which surrendered to the delist of three Chinese firms, China Telecom Company Limited (CHA), China Unicom (Hong Kong) Limited (CHU) and China Mobile Limited (CHL).

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The Trump administration had targeted the three Chinese telecom operators, causing the NYSE to decide to de-list on January 11th. But in a brief statement on Tuesday, the chairman of the New York Stock Exchange eventually announced that he had reversed the decision ‘in the light of further discussions with the relevant regulatory authorities.’

The decision, which comes soon before the end of the term of Donald Trump on January 20, highlights the confusion around the U.S. ban on country’s investment in firms which Washington thinks as deemed owned or operated by the Chinese military.

The NYSE reversal was due to negotiations with the Office of Foreign Assets Control, which is in charge of sanctions, which said the delisting from the exchange were needless, analysts cited by Reuters said.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba’s shares soared 5.5% on Wall Street, amid the mysterious disappearance of its chairman, Jack Ma, who hasn’t been seen since late October, shortly after delivering a highly critical speech on Beijing’s financial regulatory practices. Beijing suspended the IPO of Ant Group, the online bank of Alibaba, in November, which was shaping up to be a record IPO.

Jack Ma is not the first Chinese businessman, since opposing the Chinese Communist government, to vanish from public life. This include the real estate entrepreneur Ren Zhiquiang, who vanished last March before being sentenced to 18 months in jail, or Sun Dawu, member of the Dawu Group, who was arrested after opposing police interference on the Weibo social network.

On Tuesday, a court in the northern Chinese town of Tianjin also confirmed the death penalty on corruption charges of former Huarong Asset Management president Lai Xiaomin. Around 2008 and 2018, when he was still a top financial regulator, he was convicted of accepting or soliciting bribes worth 1.788 billion yuan ($280 million).

China Unicom (Hong Kong) Limited (CHU) was the Chinese firm that pocketed largest gain on Tuesday rising +11.82% to $6.15 followed by China Mobile Limited (CHL) stock which jumped by +9.27 percent to $29.35 while China Telecom Company Limited (CHA) rose +8.83% to end the trading at $28.34.

Alibaba Group Holding Limited (BABA) saw an increase of +5.51 percent which raised its share price to $240.4 at ring of the bell.

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