- China •
- Cross-listing •
- Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act •
- Corporate governance
The 2020 Holding Foreign Companies Accountable (HFCA) Act will force China-based firms to delist from U.S. exchanges if China fails to permit audit inspections during a two-year period. The Act also requires such firms, as soon as China blocks such inspections, to disclose ties to the Chinese party-state. We first explain why the delisting provisions, while well-intentioned, may well harm U.S.
investors. We then turn to the disclosure provisions, explaining that they appear to be motivated by a desire to name-shame Chinese firms rather than to protect investors. While China-based firms do pose unique risks to U.S. investors, the Act fails to mitigate—and may well exacerbate—these risks.