The US SEC dropped a bombshell last night, saying that it is beginning “administrative proceedings against the China affiliates of each of the ‘Big Four’ accounting firms” for failing to hand over audit papers related to suspected wrongdoings at nine Chinese companies that are listed in the United States. Although the identities of the nine China-based companies have not been revealed, this poses a risk to all US-traded Chinese stocks. Paul Gillis, a professor at Peking University’s management school, warns today:
I believe that this marks the beginning of the process to deregister Chinese accounting firms from the PCAOB and to ban them from practice before the SEC. Unless resolved, this will likely lead to the delisting of U.S. listed Chinese companies.