U.S. Regulators Won't Accept Any Restrictions on China Audit Access

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The U.S. public company accounting regulator will not accept any restrictions on its access to the audit papers of Chinese companies listed in New York, including where firms have been delisted, two people with knowledge of the U.S. agency's thinking told Reuters. Washington and Beijing are in talks to settle a long-running dispute over the auditing compliance of U.S.-listed Chinese firms which, if unresolved, could see more than 270 Chinese firms kicked off New York bourses. Authorities in China have long been reluctant to let overseas regulators inspect local accounting firms, citing national security concerns. A person familiar with the thinking of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), which oversees audits of U.S.-listed companies, said delisting Chinese companies would not bring Beijing in line with the U.S. rules. The PCAOB must be able to pick who it wishes to inspect, based on risk, said the person. "If the Chinese regulators are going to restrict us to any degree, that would not allow us to achieve the mandate and we would not accept it." Read more.