What happened

Shares of China Telecom (NYSE:CHA) tumbled this morning after the New York Stock Exchange once again changed its mind and said that it would delist the China-based telecommunications company from the exchange.

The tech stock fell by as much as 16.1% during trading this morning and was down by 15.9% as of 12:27 p.m. EST.

So what 

Investors are having whiplash today caused by the NYSE's back-and-forth decision to delist China Telecom, and two other China-based telecommunications companies, only to reverse that decision just two days ago, and now to implement it once again. 

A white line pointing down on a red background.

Image source: Getty Images.

On Jan. 4 the NYSE said that, "In light of further consultation with relevant regulatory authorities" the exchange "no longer intends to move forward with the delisting action" against China Telecom, China Unicom, and China Mobile.  

But in a statement released yesterday, the NYSE said that it "will move forward with the delisting of the issuers" based on "new specific guidance" from the Department of Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control.  

As a result, U.S. investors won't be allowed to trade the securities of China Telecom, or its Chinese telecom peers, after 4 p.m. EST on Jan. 11. 

Now what 

The original delisting news came a few days ago as the NYSE followed an executive order that President Trump issued in November. In that order, the U.S. government prohibited Americans from investing in Chinese companies that the U.S. government deemed supportive of the Chinese military. 

With today's announcement of China Telecom's delisting, investors can likely expect the company's stock to continue falling leading up to the Jan. 11 deadline. Investors should proceed with caution surrounding China Telecom investments and keep in mind that it's unlikely the NYSE would reverse its decision for a third time. 

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.