Goldman CEO Solomon says China’s tech crackdown will delay many U.S. listings

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David Solomon, chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs & Co., speaks during a Bloomberg Television interview at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., on Monday, April 29, 2019.

Patrick T. Fallon | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon said that China’s recent moves boosting oversight of its technology industry surprised him and will likely delay “a large number” of companies from listing shares in the U.S.

Last week, shares of riding hailing giant Didi Chuxing plunged after China declared that new users couldn’t download the app amid a cybersecurity review. Didi had been advised by Chinese regulators to postpone its U.S. listing, but the tech firm went ahead with it last month, the Wall Street Journal has reported.

“There’s a significant backlog of Chinese companies that are turning to global capital to raise money to support their growth, and we have our own backlog, a large number of companies that have been planning to come to the U.S. market,” Solomon told CNBC’s Wilfred Frost Tuesday in an interview.

“Because of the actions the Chinese government has taken, I think some of those companies will not come to market at this point in time,” Solomon said, adding it was too early to tell what the long-term impacts would be.

As head of what is arguably the premier global Wall Street advisory firm, Solomon will have to navigate the increasingly fraught relationship between China, its giant technology firms and the rest of the world. Goldman, along with JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley, were lead underwriters on Didi’s U.S. listing.

“I was surprised that this played out the way it did, at this moment in time, but we’re engaged with regulators around the world,” Solomon said. “I think it’s early to see how exactly the shift will balance over time, but there’s no question the Chinese want more control of the direction of some of this listing activity, and so they’re taking steps that will give them more control.”

Earlier Tuesday, the New York-based bank posted results that handily beat expectations, helped by strong revenue from Wall Street advisory activities.

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