American lawmakers have long complained that Chinese companies do not play by the same rules as other companies on U.S. stock exchanges. Despite years of discussions, Beijing and Washington have failed to strike an agreement that would give American regulators access to fully inspect the audit papers of U.S.-listed Chinese businesses.
A listing on Wall Street, with its deep investor base and liquid market, was once seen as a coveted position for China’s biggest companies and an important step for those aspiring to go global.
But tensions between China and the United States have spilled over into nearly every aspect of the relationship between the two countries, from defense to climate and finance. A contentious trip last week by Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan, which China has claimed as its own, has further inflamed the relationship. Hours after her visit, Beijing halted talks on military coordination, climate change and other issues.
China’s market regulator said the moves would not “jeopardize” fund-raising activities by the five firms, adding that they can choose from multiple markets. The companies will keep their listings in Hong Kong and mainland China.