A major Chinese chipmaker is delisting from NYSE but says it has nothing to do with the trade war

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Traders and financial professionals work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) ahead of the opening bell, May 8, 2019 in New York City.

Drew Angerer | Getty Images

One of the biggest Chinese chipmakers is delisting from the New York Stock Exchange amid the trade war, but the company said the decision is not related to the heightened tensions between the United States and China.

Semiconductor Manufacturing International, a Shanghai-based component manufacturer worth $5.4 billion, has notified the NYSE it will apply for the voluntary delisting of its American depositary shares, or those that trade on a U.S. exchange, the company said in a statement Friday. The last day of trading of the ADSs on the NYSE will be on or about June 13.

The motivation for the withdrawal is that the company’s American depositary receipts listing in the U.S. sees “low trading volume and high costs,” Semiconductor Manufacturing told CNBC. The company’s main listing is in Hong Kong.

“SMIC has been considering this migration for a long time and it has nothing to do with the trade war and Huawei incident,” a spokesperson from Semiconductor Manufacturing told CNBC. “The migration requires a long preparation and timing has coincided with the current trade rhetoric, which may lead to misconceptions.”

A spokesperson from the NYSE declined to comment on the company’s delisting.

There was speculation that the company’s move to delist from the NYSE stemmed from the ongoing trade war. The U.S. this week hardened its stance on trade, blacklisting Chinese telecom giant Huawei and halting its ability to purchase American-made chips.The restrictions are expected to force many U.S. companies including Google to cut ties with Huawei after the temporary license expires in order to comply with President Donald Trump’s executive order.

Semiconductor Manufacturing is not only a chip leader in China, but it has a big footprint in the U.S. The company invested $280 million in an advanced assembly line with Qualcomm in 2015 and had a joint venture with the U.S. chip giant and Huawei in the same year, according to the company website. Semiconductor Manufacturing had more than $3.3 billion in revenue in fiscal 2018, according to FactSet.

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