China Criticizes US Corporate Auditing Penalties

BEIJING (AP) -- China's government on Monday called on Washington not to enforce a measure that might expel Chinese companies from U.S. stock exchanges if they fail American government audits.

The law, signed Friday by President Donald Trump, is a response to complaints Chinese companies were failing to comply with stricter U.S. government oversight imposed following the 2008 global financial crisis. It applies to companies from any country but sponsors cited complaints Beijing was blocking American regulators from reviewing the work of auditors for U.S.-traded Chinese companies.

The Foreign Ministry complained U.S. authorities disregarded efforts by Chinese regulators to supervise corporate audits.

“We urge the U.S. not to implement the discriminatory provisions in the law concerning China” and “stop the wrong practice of politicizing securities supervision,” said a ministry spokesman, Wang Wenbin.

The law would bar companies from trading shares on U.S. exchanges if they fail to comply with an audit by the U.S. Public Companies Accounting Oversight Board for three straight years.

Chinese corporate giants including Alibaba Group and oil producer PetroChina Ltd. have raised billions of dollars from U.S. investors. Companies increasingly are pursuing listings on exchanges in China or Hong Kong but still want exposure to Western investors.