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US inspectors set to test audit deal of US-listed Chinese firms

US inspectors may soon get their first look under the hood of some of China’s largest corporations, if all goes as planned, after a decades-long impasse that led to a threat to kick about 200 Chinese firms off New York stock exchanges. US Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) inspectors may arrive in Hong Kong as early as this week to start checking the audit working papers of US-listed Chinese firms under a deal reached last month. The PCAOB officials then have to decide whether they have gotten sufficient access to sign off on Chinese firms as compliant. Audit inspections of publicly traded firms in the US were mandated by law in 2002, but China has long denied giving full access despite there being hundreds of listed Chinese firms worth more than USD1tr.

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