Mainland companies take steps to shift listings from US
US-listed Chinese companies quicken steps to shift to mainland, HK bourses as US toughens crackdown
Published: Jan 13, 2021 09:38 PM

File photo shows the exterior view of Shanghai Stock Exchange at Pudong New Area in Shanghai, east China. (Xinhua)

Several Chinese mainland-based companies whose shares are currently listed in the US, including Lenovo Group and Tencent Music, have either announced plans to issue Chinese Depositary Receipts (CDR) in Shanghai or are reportedly seeking secondary listings in Hong Kong, at a time when the US is toughing management on mainland companies listed there. 

Lenovo issued a statement on Tuesday, saying that its board of directors had approved preliminary suggestions for the company to apply to the Shanghai Stock Exchange for CDR listings on the Science and Technology Innovation Board. 

The DR, a physical certificate, allows investors to hold shares in equity of other countries.

On the same day, overseas media reported that three US-listed Chinese companies - Tencent Music, e-commerce website and video-based social media platform Joyy Inc - are seeking listings on the Hong Kong bourse.

Joyy Inc and declined to comment when contacted by the Global Times. Tencent Music didn't reply to an interview request as of press time. 

The steps came as the US intensified its crackdown on US-listed Chinese companies in the last days of Donald Trump's presidency. The New York Stock Exchange, for example, recently announced plans to delist three Chinese telecom companies in spite of some hesitation earlier. 

Xi Junyang, a professor at the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, said that at least one-third or even one-half of the mainland companies listed in the US are expected to either take steps to list in the mainland or Hong Kong, or make contingency plans for alternative listings.

"Although Joe Biden's policy tone is not clear yet, chances are great that the US will isolate Chinese companies listed there, considering the current situation, especially toward large, high-tech companies ... Therefore, quite a few companies will gradually take action to list in the mainland or Hong Kong," Xi told the Global Times on Wednesday. 

Dong Dengxin, director of the Financial Securities Institute at Wuhan University of Science and Technology, said that apart from US pressure, companies would also be attracted by the A-share market's high valuations and chances for refinancing. 

However, Dong stressed that the Hong Kong market would still be US-listed Chinese companies' first choice if a move became necessary, considering that Hong Kong's market has a higher internationalization level and is more convenient for overseas investment compared with mainland markets.