Trump administration readies crackdown on U.S. investments in Chinese firms – sources

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Rain falls over the White House during a storm in Washington

By Humeyra Pamuk, Alexandra Alper and Idrees Ali

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Trump administration plans to unveil an executive order to prohibit U.S. investments in Chinese firms that Washington says are owned or controlled by the Chinese military, according to three sources familiar with the matter, ramping up pressure on Beijing after the U.S. election.

The order, which could impact some of China’s biggest companies, including telecoms firms China Telecom Corp Ltd (HK:), China Mobile Ltd (HK:) and surveillance equipment maker Hikvision (SZ:), could be released as soon as Thursday, two U.S. officials and one other person familiar with the matter said.

One of the sources said U.S. President Donald Trump had already signed the order.

The White House National Security Council (NSC) did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The move is designed to deter U.S. investment firms, pension funds and others from buying and selling shares of 31 Chinese companies that were designated by the Defense Department as backed by the Chinese military earlier this year. Starting Jan. 11, the order would prohibit any transaction by U.S. investors in their securities.

One of the sources, a U.S. official speaking on the condition of anonymity, said an executive order and statement from the NSC was expected as early as Thursday “on protecting investors from funding these companies.”

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