US SEC adds Alibaba to list of Chinese companies facing delisting risk

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Alibaba Group Holding Ltd is among a list of Chinese companies that could face delisting, the US Securities and Exchange Commission said on Friday, pushing the e-commerce giant’s shares down about 9 percent in mid-day trading.

Alibaba is among more than 270 Chinese companies listed in New York identified as being at risk of delisting under the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act (HFCAA), intended to address a long-running dispute over the auditing compliance of US-listed Chinese firms.

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US regulators have been demanding complete access to audit working papers of New York-listed Chinese companies, which are stored in China.

While Washington and Beijing are in talks to settle the dispute, KFC operator Yum China Holdings, biotech firm BeiGene Ltd, Weibo Corp and JD.Com are among firms that could face delisting.

On Wednesday, the SEC Chair Gary Gensler said he would not send public accounting inspectors to China or Hong Kong unless Washington and Beijing can agree on complete audit access.

He said the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, which oversees audits of US-listed companies, would need to be able to bring “specificity and accountability” in audits of foreign companies listed on Wall Street.

Alibaba has until August 19 to submit evidence disputing identification, the SEC said.

The company did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Others added to the list on Friday include Mogu Inc , Boqii Holding Limited, Cheetah Mobile Inc and Highway Holdings Limited.

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