: U.S. tells universities to shed China share holdings ahead of potential delisting: report

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In this Aug. 7, 2020 file photo, students return to Notre Dame’s campus for the fall semester, in South Bend, Ind. Notre Dame University has canceled in-person undergraduate classes for two weeks after a spike of coronavirus cases that occurred since the semester began Aug. 10, 2020.

Robert Franklin/Associated Press

U.S. universities and colleges have been warned by the State Department that they should divest of Chinese stock holdings , ahead of a potential de-listing of those firms within months.

The warning came via a letter sent Tuesday to those the boards of directors of those institutions by Keith Krach, undersecretary for economic growth, energy and the environment, reported Bloomberg, which viewed a copy of the letter.

“Boards of U.S. university endowments would be prudent to divest from People’s Republic of China firms’ stocks in the likely outcome that enhanced listing standards lead to a wholesale de-listing of PRC firms from U.S. exchanges by the end of next year,” Krach said in the letter. He added colleges run the risk that those companies would need to restate financials.

Tensions between Beijing and Washington have been heating up amid a blame-game over the Covid-19 pandemic, and trade, which has seen the administration of President Donald Trump move to cut U.S. business ties to ByteDance’s TikTok social media app and isolate Chinese telecom equipment maker Huawei.

U.S. universities have been struggling amid the pandemic and the risks of students and teachers returning to the classroom. Dozens of positive cases of COVID-19 have sprung up across the country already as those students have started to come back. Universities rely on revenue from student housing and other activities, such as sports programs that have delayed fall season play due to infection fears.

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