China appeared to target US moves to hinder domestic businesses, introducing rules to penalise international companies for complying with what it called unjustified overseas laws and to protect local companies.
In a statement, the Ministry of Commerce said the rules on “counteracting unjustified extra-territorial application” of overseas legislation empowers Chinese courts to punish companies which comply with the restrictions.
The ministry said the regulations apply to legislation which violates international law and the basic principles of global relations by prohibiting or restricting Chinese people and organisations from engaging in normal trade and related activities. The rules allow authorities to issue orders stating Chinese citizens and companies don’t need to follow the overseas laws.
Although the US is not explicitly named, the measure was introduced as the New York Stock Exchange prepared to delist China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom as part of moves to block invesment in companies deemed a threat by the Department of Defence.
Last week, outgoing US President Donald Trump issued another order banning transactions with eight Chinese apps, while reports indicated the government planned to expand a crackdown on Chinese companies deemed a security threat, with officials discussing prohibiting trading of Alibaba and Tencent shares.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back