China's top securities regulator and relevant regulatory authorities have always been open to and fully respect Chinese companies' independent choices of overseas listing venues in compliance with relevant laws and regulations, a spokesperson with the securities watchdog said Sunday.
The remarks came after the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) released its rules for implementing the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act and certain Chinese company announced that it started to delist from the United States.
"We have taken notice of this recent development and the market's concerns over the audit oversight issues and the prospect of domestic companies listing in the United States," said the spokesperson with the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC).
The spokesperson refuted some overseas media reports that Chinese regulators will ban overseas listing of companies with VIE structure and demand Chinese companies to delist from U.S. stock exchanges as "complete misunderstanding and misinterpretation."
"As far as we know, some domestic companies are actively communicating with domestic and foreign regulators to seek listing in the U.S. markets," the spokesperson said.
In terms of audit oversight cooperation, the CSRC has recently conducted candid and constructive communications with the U.S. SEC and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board to address issues in bilateral cooperation and has made positive progress on several important issues.
"We believe that as long as regulators on both sides continue to conduct dialogues and negotiations in the spirit of mutual respect and trust, and deal with regulatory issues in a rational, pragmatic and professional way, we will certainly be able to find a mutually acceptable path of cooperation," said the spokesperson.
The spokesperson noted that both sides have been cooperating on audit oversight of U.S.-listed Chinese companies, and worked together on pilot inspection programs in order to find a more efficient way of cooperation, which has laid a good foundation for future cooperation.
In recent years, certain political fractions in the United States have turned capital market regulation into part of their politicizing tools, waging unwarranted clampdowns on Chinese companies and coercing them into delisting from U.S. stock exchanges.
This lose-lose mentality goes against the fundamental principles and rule of law of the market economy, harms the interests of global investors, and undermines the international status of the U.S. capital markets, which benefits nobody, the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson underlined that in today's era when the capital markets are highly globalized, it has become more imperative than ever for regulatory authorities to engage with each other on audit oversight cooperation in a pragmatic, rational and professional manner.
"Forcing Chinese companies to delist from U.S. stock exchanges is by no means a responsible policy option," the spokesperson said.
Talking about the series of policy measures that relevant Chinese regulatory authorities have introduced in the past months with respect to regulating the development of the platform economy, the spokesperson said these measures are aimed at limiting monopoly, protecting small and medium-sized enterprises, safeguarding data and personal information security, and preventing the disorderly expansion of capital.
Regulators in other parts of the world are also taking various regulatory measures against such emerging issues and challenges, with a view to promoting the sound and sustainable development of platform economy, the spokesperson noted.
"Therefore, relevant policy initiatives of the Chinese government are not targeted at specific industries or private companies, nor are they necessarily connected to overseas listing of Chinese companies," the spokesperson said.
In the process of implementing the relevant policy measures, the Chinese regulatory authorities will continue to steadfastly promote reform and opening-up, strive to engage with stakeholders including investors, companies and peer regulators, and further enhance policy transparency and predictability.
The CSRC will also continue its candid dialogues with its U.S. counterparts, and endeavour to resolve the remaining issues in audit oversight cooperation in the near future, the spokesperson added.