Why Chinese firms still flock to American stock exchanges

CHINESE FIRMS get a frosty reception in America these days. President Donald Trump is a relentless China-basher. His administration has tried to crush Huawei, a telecoms giant, ban TikTok and WeChat, two popular Chinese-owned apps, and expel Chinese companies listed on American stock exchanges. No wonder that some have steered clear of late. Ant Group, a fintech star that may once have followed Alibaba, the tech titan with which it is affiliated, onto the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), is about to float in Hong Kong and Shanghai instead. Last month Sina, the Nasdaq-listed owner of Weibo, China’s answer to Twitter, said it would go private in a $2.6bn deal. A day later Tencent, another Chinese online colossus, said it would buy out Sogou, a NYSE-traded search company, for $3.5bn.

Many Chinese firms that might once have flocked to New York are eyeing their home stockmarkets. According to consultants at Deloitte, from January to September new listings in Hong Kong raised some $28bn, two-thirds more than in the same period last year. The money raised by newcomers to the biggest mainland exchanges, in Shanghai and Shenzhen, has reached 355bn yuan ($53bn), 2.5 times the comparable figure in 2019.

Look closer, though, and plenty of Chinese startups continue to covet American listings. In August KE Holdings, an online property...



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