China's securities regulator plans to temporarily block expansion by brokerages and prevent new firms from forming, the Wall Street Journal reported. The move may mark the beginning of a new push to consolidate the industry, but may throw cold water on international firms' ambitions to push into the market. The China Securities Regulatory Commission said Thursday that it was suspending approvals of new securities companies (including joint ventures) and new securities outlets. The suspension is in principle and would not apply to individual cases that will help sector consolidation. The announcement makes no mention of how long the freeze will last. It comes after nearly a year of signals that the CSRC does not want more foreigners in the brokerage business, the newspaper reported.