Continuing its concerns over the quality of disclosures from companies based in or with a majority of their operations in the People’s Republic of China, in July 2023, the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance published yet another sample comment letter to China-based companies.
Back in April 2020, former SEC Chairman Jay Clayton and a group of senior SEC and PCAOB officials issued a joint statement warning about the risks of investing in emerging markets, especially China, including companies from those markets that are accessing the U.S. capital markets (see HERE). Before that, in December 2018, Chair Clayton, SEC Chief Accountant Wes Bricker and PCAOB Chairman William D. Duhnke III issued a similar cautionary statement, also focusing on China (see HERE).
The Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act (“HFCA”) was adopted on December 18, 2020, requiring both the SEC and the PCAOB to adopt rules and procedures implementing its provisions. The HFCA requires foreign-owned issuers to certify that the PCAOB
On March 24, 2021, the SEC adopted interim final amendments to implement the congressionally mandated submission and disclosure requirements of the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act (HFCA Act). Following adoption of the HFCA, on July 30, 2021, SEC Chairman Gary Gensler issued a statement warning of risks associated with investing in companies based in China. Although the statement has a different angle, it joins the core continued concerns of the SEC top brass and Nasdaq expressed over the years.
In June 2020 Nasdaq published proposed rules which would make it more difficult for a company to list or continue to list based on the quality of its audit, which could have a direct effect on companies based in China (see HERE). In September 2020, the SEC instituted proceedings as to whether to approve or deny the proposed rule change. As of the date of this blog, the proposal has not been ruled upon by the SEC.