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The New York Stock Exchange on Dec. 18. Photo: Noam Galai/Getty Images

The New York Stock Exchange again reversed course Wednesday and announced it would delist three major Chinese telecom companies — China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom Hong Kong.

The backdrop: The NYSE originally announced it would delist the companies on New Year's Eve in order to comply with a White House executive order. The exchange then reversed course late on Monday and said it would no longer delist the telecoms.

Why it matters: The delisting complies with a November executive order that restricts American companies and individuals from owning shares in 31 Chinese companies with links to the People's Liberation Army, as part of an eleventh-hour effort from the Trump administration to increase pressure on China.

  • The NYSE said its latest reversal came after the Treasury Department's Foreign Assets Control office told the exchange on Tuesday that President Trump's order explicitly applies to equity-related securities of the three companies.
  • Trump signed a separate executive order on Tuesday to prohibit transactions with eight Chinese software applications, including Alipay and WeChat Pay. The White House deemed the apps a national security threat given their ability to access private information about their users.

What's next: Trading in securities associated with the three companies will be suspended early on Jan. 11.

Go deeper

Biden signs racial equity executive orders

Joe Biden prays at Grace Lutheran Church in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on September 3, 2020, in the aftermath of the police shooting of Jacob Blake. PHOTO: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Joe Biden on Tuesday signed executive orders on housing and ending the Justice Department's use of private prisons as part of what the White House is calling his “racial equity agenda.”

The big picture: Biden needs the support of Congress to push through police reform or new voting rights legislation. The executive orders serve as his down payment to immediately address systemic racism while he focuses on the pandemic.

Biden picks up his pen to change the tone on racial equity

Vice President Harris looks on as President Biden signs executive orders related to his racial equity agenda. Photo: Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images

President Biden is making a down payment on racial equity in a series of executive orders dealing with everything from private prisons to housing discrimination, treatment of Asian Americans and relations with indigenous tribes.

The big picture: Police reform and voting rights legislation will take time to pass in Congress. But with the stroke of his pen, one week into the job, Biden is taking steps within his power as he seeks to change the tone on racial justice from the Trump administration.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
20 hours ago - Economy & Business

Larry Fink to CEOs: Climate risk is investment risk

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The biggest investor in the world has an unambiguous message for the CEOs of the companies he invests in: climate risk is investment risk.

Why it matters: Pressure from BlackRock CEO Larry Fink, who controls $9 trillion, will encourage companies to report not only what their greenhouse gas emissions are today, but also what they're doing to ensure that their future emissions are in line with Paris Agreement targets that end at zero in 2050.