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Behind the NYSE’s Swerves on Delisting China Stocks: QuickTake

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Photographer: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

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In the course of a week, the New York Stock Exchange said it would delist a trio of Chinese companies, then that it wouldn’t and then that it would, stoking confusion among investors globally. The moves were the result of an initiative by then-President Donald Trump to punish companies with close ties to the Chinese military as part of a crescendo in U.S.-China tensions. The dizzying sequence reflects ambiguity over both how Trump’s push would work and what its impact would be. As global index providers, banks and money managers raced to comply with the order, investors were bracing for the possibility of wider fallout. The three firms targeted, meanwhile, have asked the NYSE for a review.

It’s the process of removing a stock from a public exchange where it’s been traded. The most common reason for a delisting is when a company runs into financial trouble and its value falls below a minimum set by an exchange for inclusion or it is purchased by a different entity. Companies can also be delisted to comply with U.S. laws like Trump’s executive order.