PCAOB announces ‘complete access’ to audit papers of Chinese firms

China scrutiny

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) announced Thursday it received “complete access to inspect and investigate” audit firms in China and Hong Kong, potentially averting the delisting of hundreds of Chinese public companies from U.S. exchanges.

The PCAOB said it vacated two 2021 determinations that it had not been able to access audit papers of companies based in China and Hong Kong, according to a new determination report.

“This historic and unprecedented access was only possible because of the leverage Congress created by passing the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act (HFCAA). Congress sent a clear message with that legislation that access to U.S. capital markets is a privilege and not a right, and China received that message loud and clear,” said PCAOB Chair Erica Williams in a press release.

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