On Friday, China’s Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) announced that it wanted to collaborate with U.S. regulators on accounting inspections following international standards.
The move came after The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Tuesday listed five Chinese firms on a provisional list that could lead to delisting from U.S. exchanges over the next three years, including BeiGene Ltd., Yum China Holdings Inc., Zai Lab Ltd., ACM Research Inc., and HUTCHMED (China) Ltd.
The CSRC said, “We believe that through joint efforts, the two sides will work out cooperation arrangements that meet the legal and regulatory requirements of both countries as soon as possible.”
This event was part of the ongoing audit standoff between China and the U.S. The Chinese government has barred domestic corporations and their Chinese auditors from complying with such requests from foreign authorities.
According to Reuters, Under the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act (HFCAA), Washington asks permission to access the books of U.S-listed companies, including Chinese firms. However, Beijing prohibits foreign review of domestic accounting companies’ working papers.
Last December, SEC stated it had 273 U.S.-listed China companies at risk of being delisted without revealing their names.
Three of the companies cited, including BeiGene, ACM Research, Zai Lab, said they seek solutions.
BeiGene, the biotech company, told Bloomberg News that it is “trying to be compliant with the HFCAA” and hopes to preserve its Nasdaq, HKEx, and Shanghai Stock Exchange listings.
Zai Lab said the SEC listing “will not materially impact operations,” and it is adjusting to meet the requirements of the HFCAA.
The five companies have a chance to submit evidence to dispute by March 29.