Beijing has begun curtailing public access to Chinese company records available through the State Administration of Industry and Commerce, limiting the visibility of investors and investigators into often murky Chinese company financials, The Wall Street Journal reported. Basic details on the company’s registered capital and shareholders are still available, but documents such as financial reports, shareholder changes and assets transfers are now mostly off limits, lawyers, investors and research companies said. The SAIC declined to say whether it was now limiting information that once was public, but the agency’s Beijing branch said some lawyers had abused the availability of data by selling it. Research firms and other parties used this government data to uncover numerous incidences of alleged fraud among US-listed Chinese companies last year. Public, closely held and state-controlled companies are all required to file financial reports to the SAIC in China.
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