The news was first reported by the Wall Street Journal, which said the plan was still under deliberation and may not go through as agencies debate its impact on markets.
Alibaba and Tencent shares were both down roughly 3% in morning trade on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Alibaba’s U.S.-listed shares closed down just over 5% on the news on Wednesday, but were roughly flat in after hours trading.
On Tuesday, U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order banning transactions with eight Chinese software applications, including Ant Group’s Alipay mobile payment app, escalating tensions with Beijing two weeks before President-elect Joe Biden takes office.
Alibaba and Tencent did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment.