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China sends Big Four audit records to SEC

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) may finally be winning its long battle to convince China to hand over audit papers of companies under investigation in the U.S.

The China Securities Regulatory Commission has handed over audit documents produced by Chinese affiliates of Ernst & Young, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu International and KPMG, and promised to provide work papers related to clients of Ernst & Young and PwC.

Earlier efforts to attain the documents had been stymied by fears that staff at the accounting firms could be jailed for breaking China’s corporate secrecy laws.

In July, the SEC urged U.S. judges to impose sanctions on Chinese affiliates of Deloitte, KPMG, PricewaterhouseCoopers, BDO and Ernst & Young, claiming their failure to hand over audit papers for nine U.S – listed Chinese companies caused “significant delays” to financial fraud investigations.

U.S-listed Chinese companies have been under fire from regulators for financial fraud. As of January 2013, more than 100 Chinese companies have been de-listed from the NASDAQ and NYSE exchanges following allegations of fraud that has cost U.S. investors billions.


A version of this post first appeared in the China Compliance Digest.

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