China has updated its audit secrecy laws in an attempt to halt almost 270 Chinese companies from delisting from US bourses, in a huge concession to US pressure, reports the Financial Times. The China Securities Regulatory Commission, Beijing’s top financial watchdog, said on Saturday it would change confidentiality laws that prevent its overseas-listed companies from providing sensitive financial information to foreign regulators.
The CSRC said that its existing rules, which were last updated in 2009, had become outdated. It is the most significant move yet by Beijing to try to prevent Chinese companies in New York from being delisted in 2024. The Securities and Exchange Commission said last month that China’s largest companies including Baidu and Yum China had three years to provide detailed audit documents, prompting a sharp sell-off in their shares.
There are around 270 Chinese companies listed in the US with a combined market capitalization of over $2 trillion. The Nasdaq Golden Dragon China Index, which tracks blue-chip Chinese stocks, has lost around half its value in the last year.