In separate statements issued on Friday, China Life Insurance, PetroChina, Sinopec, Aluminum Corporation of China and Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical said they had notified the NYSE and applied for “voluntary listing”.
All five companies cited “low turnover in the US” and “high administrative burden and costs” as reasons for their departure.
However, the news comes after all five were flagged by the US Securities and Exchange Commission in May, according to Reuters, for failing to meet US auditing standards.
China’s securities watchdog, the China Securities Regulatory Commission, said on Friday that it was aware of the situation and that it was “normal for companies to list or delist from any market.”
“We will liaise with foreign regulatory bodies and protect the rights of corporations and investors together,” it said.
The news comes as the Securities and Exchange Commission ramps up its audits of Chinese companies.
Chinese companies that do business overseas are required to keep their audit documents in mainland China, where they cannot be audited by foreign firms.
However, companies like Alibaba are taking steps to prepare for the potential downside of direct access to US capital markets.
Before the commission added Alibaba to its watch list, the company announced it would seek an initial listing on the Hong Kong stock exchange.
Currently, Alibaba has a secondary listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
If the transition goes smoothly for Alibaba, it could “set the path” for many other Chinese ADRs to follow a similar switch, Citi analysts said.