Trump signed a bill that could kick Chinese companies off US stock exchanges

WASHINGTON, December 18 (Reuters) – President Donald Trump signed into law Friday that will kick Chinese companies off U.S. stock exchanges unless they comply with American auditing standards, the White House said, giving Republicans one more tool to threaten Beijing before leaving office. next month.

“The Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act” prohibits the securities of foreign companies from being listed on any US exchange if they fail to comply with an audit by the US Board of Trustees of Certified Public Accountants for three consecutive years.

While it applies to companies from any country, the law’s sponsor intends to target Chinese companies registered in the United States, such as Alibaba (9988.HK), technology company Pinduoduo Inc (PDD.O) and oil giant PetroChina Co Ltd.

The law, like many others that take a hard line on Chinese business, passed Congress by a wide margin earlier this year. Lawmakers – both Democrats and Trump’s fellow Republicans – are echoing the president’s tough line on Beijing, which has become even more acrimonious this year when Trump blamed China for the coronavirus ravaging the United States.

The law would also require public companies to disclose whether they are owned or controlled by a foreign government.

China has dismissed the move as a discriminatory official policy that politically represses Chinese companies.

Chinese authorities have long been reluctant to let overseas regulators scrutinize local accounting firms, citing national security concerns.

Reporting by Eric Beech Editing by Chris Reese

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