Shares in Alibaba and Tencent sank following a report that the Trump administration could prevent US investment into the Chinese tech groups, risking a severe escalation in tensions between Washington and Beijing.
The Chinese companies’ Hong Kong-listed stocks both fell about 4 per cent on Thursday after the Wall Street Journal reported that officials were considering the measures against China’s largest listed companies in the US. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index slipped 0.5 per cent.
Such a move would fall under an existing blacklist of companies announced in November last year by executive order, which blocked investments in 31 Chinese companies Washington suspects of having ties to China’s military.
Both Alibaba and Tencent’s stocks also fell on Wednesday in New York, where the companies have a combined market capitalisation of over $1.3tn. Alibaba’s US listing in 2014 was at the time the largest in history.
An expansion of the existing executive order…