The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will not send public accounting inspectors to China or Hong Kong unless Washington and Beijing can agree on a framework allowing the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) to inspect and investigate audit firms completely. SEC chairperson Gary Gensler said the PCAOB would need to be able to bring “specificity and accountability” in audits of foreign companies listed on Wall Street. Washington and Beijing are in talks to settle the long-running dispute over the auditing compliance of US-listed Chinese firms. If unresolved, more than 270 Beijing companies may be kicked off New York bourses. Chinese authorities have long been reluctant to let overseas regulators inspect local accounting firms, citing national security concerns.
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