Chinese authorities are preparing to give U.S. regulators full access to auditing reports of the majority of the 200-plus companies listed in New York as soon as mid-this year, making a rare concession to prevent a further decoupling between the world’s two largest economies.
The China Securities Regulatory Commission and other national regulators are in the process of drafting a framework that will allow most Chinese firms to keep their listings, people familiar with the process said, asking not to be named discussing a private matter. However, the government is prepared to accept that some state-owned enterprises and private companies that hold sensitive data will be delisted, they said.
The framework is expected to provide clarity on what data may trigger national security concerns, said the people. Regulators are debating whether companies that deal with consumer information, such as Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, would automatically fall into that category, one of the people said, adding that processing large volumes of such information wouldn’t necessarily make a firm a security concern.
If the plan proceeds, it would mark an unusual reversal by Beijing, potentially ending a decades-long dispute that escalated when the U.S. mandated a 2024 deadline for kicking non-compliant businesses off the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq. The compromise would also show China’s willingness to balance national security concerns with the needs of investors and businesses at a time when its economy faces numerous challenges.