Chinese regulator seeks to avoid US delisting of Chinese companies

A Chinese national flag flies in front of the building of the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) on Financial Street in Beijing, China on July 9, 2021. REUTERS / Tingshu Wang

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HONG KONG, Nov. 25 (Reuters) – Chinese authorities are working with their US counterparts to prevent Chinese companies from being delisted from US stock exchanges, a Chinese regulator said Thursday, amid a protracted dispute over the standards of audit rumbles.

US authorities are preparing to expel foreign companies from US stock exchanges if their audits do not meet US standards.

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) and US policymakers have long complained about the lack of access to audit working papers for Chinese companies listed in the United States. Citing national security concerns, Chinese authorities have been reluctant to allow foreign regulators to inspect the working papers of local accounting firms.

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“We do not believe that delisting Chinese companies from the US market is a good thing for companies, nor for global investors or for Sino-US relations,” said Shen Bing, general manager of the international affairs department of the China Securities Regulatory Commission at a conference in Hong Kong.

“We are working very hard to resolve the audit problem with our American counterparts, communication is currently fluid and open. There is a risk of delisting of these companies but we are working very hard to prevent this from happening”, a- he added.

In December 2020, during the final weeks of his administration, President Donald Trump signed a law to remove foreign companies from U.S. stock exchanges if they failed to comply with U.S. auditing standards for three consecutive years.

The legislation was implemented by the PCAOB in September. A map on the organization’s website showed China as the only jurisdiction that denied the PCAOB “the access necessary for surveillance.”

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Reporting by Scott Murcoch; Writing of Alun John; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman & Simon Cameron-Moore

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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