US President Donald Trump is considering delisting of Chinese companies on US stock exchanges, a source familiar with the matter said Friday, in what could become a dramatic escalation of trade tensions between the two countries.
The move will be part of a broader effort to curb US investment in China, the source said, confirming the content of an earlier Bloomberg report that shocked financial markets.
Alibaba Group, JD.com, Baidu, Fibshop Holdings, Ozone and Aichi-Yi fell between 2 and 4 percent in afternoon trading.
The Chinese currency fell 0.4 percent against the dollar in overseas markets after the news, approaching its weakest level against its US counterpart in nearly three weeks.
Citing a source close to the consultations, Bloomberg reported that the exact mechanisms of how to cancel the listing are still under consideration and that any plan would require the approval of Trump, who gave the green light to discuss the matter.
The agency quoted three sources as saying officials were also considering ways to restrict Chinese companies listed on US-run stock indexes, but it is unclear about the method.
In June, a group of US Republican and Democratic lawmakers introduced a bill requiring Chinese listed companies to be regulated, including access to audit or face delisting.
Chinese authorities are reluctant to allow outside regulators to inspect domestic accounting firms – including members of the four largest international accounting networks – citing national security considerations.