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China listings may soon flee U.S., expert says

A mass exodus of Chinese companies listed on U.S. exchanges looks increasingly possible as an accounting rift between the two countries reaches a dangerous stage, a Chinese accounting expert says.

Since 2009, however, China has prohibited the locally based auditors — which audit the U.S.-listed Chinese firms, and are registered with the PCAOB — from sharing accounting papers with foreign regulators. Chinese officials have argued that sharing such information would be in violation of their own laws involving state secrets.

The disappearance of Chinese listings from the U.S. could have tremendous financial consequences. When ranked by value, the biggest 200 Chinese American Depository Receipts have a market capitalization of $951 billion, according to July calculations by investment bank Macquarie.
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