More than 80 companies, including China's JD.com, Pinduoduo, Bilibili, and NetEase, have been added to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's list of entities facing possible expulsion from American exchanges.
The SEC expanded the list, which now includes U.S.-listed Chinese entities, on a provisional basis under a 2020 law known as The Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act on Wednesday (May 4).
The act, which was signed into law by then-President Donald Trump, aims to bar foreign-jurisdiction companies from trading on US exchanges if they fail to meet American auditing standards for three years in a row.
JinkoSolar Holding, NIO, and China Petroleum & Chemical were among the other large Chinese companies added to the SEC's list.
Last month, sources told Reuters that Chinese regulators had requested more audit disclosures from some of the country's U.S.-listed companies, including Alibaba, Baidu, and JD.com.
JD.com stated on Thursday that it is aware that the company has been recognized by the SEC under the Act and that it is actively investigating possible solutions.
"The company will continue to comply with applicable laws and regulations in both China and the U.S.," JD.com said in a statement.
In early April, China proposed revising confidentiality rules on offshore listings, removing a legal barrier to Sino-US audit cooperation and putting the onus on Chinese firms to protect state secrets.
Chinese companies are legally required to allow U.S. regulators to audit their books. Beijing has long refused U.S. inspector's access, citing national security concerns. Until now, the U.S. has allowed Chinese companies to continue to trade on American exchanges despite their failure to meet U.S. disclosure requirements.
After the SEC released its initial list of targeted companies in early April, China's securities regulator offered to change its rules to allow US regulators more access-though a Chinese company would still need to get Beijing's explicit approval and highlight any possible "state secrets" and "sensitive information."
Several Chinese companies have already left or plan to leave U.S. exchanges. Following a Trump administration order prohibiting Americans from investing in the companies, China Mobile, China Telecom, and China Unicom left the New York Stock Exchange in early 2021.
China tech shares in Hong Kong, including those on the SEC's list, rose slightly in early trading on Thursday, buoyed by positive market sentiment following the U.S. The decision of the Federal Reserve to increase rates by half a percentage point. As of noon Hong Kong time, the Hang Seng Tech Index, which tracks the 30 largest Hong Kong-listed technology firms, was up 1.7%.