December 5, 2021

US lawmakers to discuss risks from US-listed Chinese firms

A United States House of Representatives panel will meet on September 22 to discuss risks related to Chinese companies listed on US exchanges.

A United States House of Representatives panel tasked with protecting investors announced Tuesday that it will hold a hearing on September 22 about risks related to Chinese companies listed in US markets.

The Subcommittee on Investor Protection, Entrepreneurship and Capital Markets will hold a meeting entitled  “Taking Stock of ‘China, Inc.’: Examining Risks to Individual Investors and the US Posed by Foreign Issuers in US Markets.”

The hearing comes amid heightened concerns about the Chinese government’s regulatory actions towards Chinese firms and their impacts on investors abroad. A recent crackdown by Beijing caused sudden swings in the stock prices of Chinese companies listed on US exchanges.

On Monday, China announced that it was limiting the amount of time children under the age of 18 can play video games to just three hours most weeks.

Beijing said that gaming platforms such as Tencent and NetEase can only offer online gaming to minors from 8pm to 9pm in China (00:00 to 01:00 GMT) on Fridays, weekends and public holidays, rattling some Chinese gaming companies listed in the US.

The pressure on video-game firms is the latest move in a wider trend of Chinese authorities increasing oversight on the nation’s largest companies.

The Nasdaq Golden Dragon China Index — which keeps track of 98 of China’s biggest firms listed in the US — plunged on August 19 after China’s State Administration for Market Regulation released a set of draft rules with a focus on preventing unfair online competition. The index is down more than 26 percent year to date.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued its own warning to investors about the risks of investing in Chinese companies earlier in August.

Gary Gensler, the SEC chair, asked his staff to take “a pause for now” in approving initial public offerings for shell companies that Chinese firms use to list shares in the US.