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China, US working hard on solution to audit dispute

USC experts talk about the importance of U.S.-China trade and how it affects the economy. (Illustration/iStock)

Chinese regulators and their U.S. counterparts are working hard to solve an audit dispute affecting U.S.-listed Chinese firms. They want to achieve effective and sustainable cooperation as soon as possible. The official China Securities Journal reported that the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) heard opinions from some U.S.-listed Chinese companies during an online meeting.

They stated that both the Chinese and U.S. regulators are fully aware of each other’s concerns, and are moving toward each other. They are working hard to find solutions to the issue in order to achieve effective and sustainable cooperation as soon as possible. This is in the best interests of the capital markets of both countries and global investors. CSRC said that the recent talks with U.S. regulators have been efficient, candid, and professional. The recent media speculation about an imminent deal with China was premature. It remained unclear if the Chinese government would grant the access required by a new U.S. listing law.

Washington is demanding complete access to the books of U.S-listed Chinese companies, but Beijing bars foreign inspection of working papers from local accounting firms. The Hang Seng Tech Index, which tracks some of China’s biggest tech companies including Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and Baidu Inc, jumped 3.6%, compared with a 1.3% gain in the benchmark index Hang Seng. Hao Hong head of the research at BOCOM International stated that the significant differences exist between the US and Chinese regulators. Many US-listed Chinese companies will face delisting eventually.

U.S. regulators require disclosure of government interest in the listed companies, as well as sensitive information and data. This is while the Chinese government has been tightening its control on many of China’s biggest and most important companies. New York-based asset manager Krane Funds Advisors said earlier this month that its $4.9 billion KraneShare CSI China Internet ETF aims to convert all Chinese American Depository Receipts (ADRs) in its portfolio into their Hong Kong shares in the coming months. Chinese regulators have asked some of the country’s U.S.-listed firms, including Alibaba, Baidu and This is to prepare for more audit disclosures as Beijing steps up efforts to ensure they remain listed in New York. The Financial Times and Bloomberg News also reported that China’s securities watchdog is weighing a proposal that would allow U.S. regulators to inspect auditors’ working papers for some companies.

The China Securities Journal reported that CSRC cautioned market participants not to blindly believe in speculation by some media with little knowledge of the details and direction of the talks, as such reports caused unnecessary disturbances to market expectations.

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