The New York Stock Exchange reversed course again, saying on Wednesday that it would remove China’s three major state-run telecommunications companies from the exchange.
The decision came after a day of pressure from the Trump administration and Congress following a decision by the exchange to let the companies — China Unicom, China Telecom and China Mobile — remain listed. That twist came a week after the N.Y.S.E. said the company’s shares would be delisted to comply with President Trump’s executive order on China investments.
The exchange said in a statement that it was complying with United States law and that the latest decision came following “new specific guidance” that it received from the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.
The delisting is likely to further inflame tension between the United States and China in the final days of the Trump administration. The back and forth also reflected the lingering tensions within the administration about how hard a line to take against China, with the Department of Defense and the State Department pushing for a more expansive reading of Mr. Trump’s executive order to block Americans from investing in companies tied to the Chinese military.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who had initially supported greater accommodation of Chinese companies, pushed on Tuesday for the companies to be delisted after Senator Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican, and Pentagon officials expressed outrage that they would remain on the exchange. The Treasury secretary, who was traveling in Egypt on Tuesday, called Stacey Cunningham, president of the N.Y.S.E. Group, to voice his objection to the decision not to delist and issued updated guidance.
A person familiar with the process said that the Treasury Department provided N.Y.S.E with the new guidance on Tuesday night that made clear that the companies were covered by the executive order.
The N.Y.S.E. had said a week ago that it was moving ahead with the delistings before backtracking on Monday night after consultations with American regulators, it said. The exchange has pointed to ambiguity in the White House order about whether it applied to subsidiaries and affiliates.
Other exchanges such as MSCI, FTSE Russell and S&P Dow Jones Indices have dropped Chinese firms from their global indexes in recent weeks following American restrictions on owning their shares.
The exchange will stop trading of shares in the companies on Jan. 11.
The Chinese government criticized the Trump administration’s treatment of Chinese companies on Wednesday.
“Lately some political forces in the United States have been wantonly suppressing foreign companies listed in the country, exposing an arbitrary and capricious uncertainty in its rules and mechanisms,” said Hua Chunying, a spokeswoman for China’s foreign ministry. “The suppression against Chinese companies will have very limited direct impact on them, but at the end of the day, the national interests and image of the United States and the global standing of the American capital market will suffer.”