The People’s Republic of China has been able to raise billions of dollars for its various business outlets by listing them on American stock exchanges—all while being exempt from the same public visibility and auditing requirements that other nations’ companies and our domestic ones must satisfy on our exchanges.
Maybe that’s changing.
Legislation passed by the Senate—and now introduced in the House—would kick Chinese companies off US stock exchanges unless their audits are inspected by US regulators.
The Senate legislation requires the Chinese companies with shares traded here to disclose to the Securities and Exchange Commission whether they are owned or controlled by state authorities.
This, though, would mean that all of them would have to admit disclose that they are controlled by state authorities. A 2017 intelligence law enacted by the PRC government requires all PRC companies to “cooperate” with intelligence requests of agencies of that government.
Now we have:
China says sharing audit work papers would violate its sovereignty and risk leaking state secrets.
There’s an effect of that 2017 law.
Michaels and Otani, at the first link, think that
economic tension between the two global superpowers, amplified by political outrage in the US over China’s role in the spread of the new coronavirus
are pushing this new emphasis. Emphasis maybe, but neither the economic war (now relabeled Cold War by the PRC) that the PRC has been inflicting on us for years nor the current Wuhan Virus situation and the PRC’s perfidy in the virus’ spread have anything to do with the substance of this. The secretiveness of the PRC’s outlets listed on our exchanges has been extant since they first were listed, and that’s what needs correction.
It’s enough that we gave the PRC Most Favored Nation status (mistakenly, in 20-20 hindsight). There’s nothing that warrants PRC companies on our exchanges being treated any differently than any other company—domestic or foreign—on our exchanges.
PRC companies need, badly, to be audited, and tossed from our exchanges at the slightest hesitation to be audited and for the same violations, should they be audited and any violations found, as any other company whose violations warrant expulsion.
This is especially important given that the PRC isn’t just any foreign nation; it’s an enemy of the United States. American dollars shouldn’t be involved in funding PRC companies.