The China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) announced new rules recently for companies seeking to go public overseas, meaning Chinese companies may soon seek listings on Wall Street again.
The guidelines, which go into effect on March 31, require all domestic companies planning to offer share sales outside of China to first be vetted and approved by the regulator. The CSRC has the power to block any potential overseas IPOs if it believes they pose a national security risk or impact Chinese personal data production laws.
This decision follows increased scrutiny from the Chinese government towards technology companies in recent years, with most overseas listingsthe sectorcoming to a halt after Didi Global's IPO in 2021. The ride-hailing company's listing on the New York Stock Exchange, which was the largest since Alibaba Group
Chinese authorities alleged that Didi had violated the country's data privacy laws and its public listing in the U.S. threatened national security just two days after its went public in New York. Beijing later suspended Didi's app from domestic stores and banned the company from adding new users. That pressure led Didi to delist from Wall Street.
Since then, Chinese companies have raised nearly $230 million in U.S. listings last year, according to Refinitiv data, down from $12.85 billion in 2021.
Companies already listed on the U.S. market will not need to apply for approval under the new rules, as Beijing did not ban the variable interest entity (VIE) structure commonly used. VIE structure allowed Chinese companies to list through a shell company, which circumvented domestic restrictions on foreign investments for certain sectors.
Instead, the CSRC requires U.S.-listed Chinese companies to register with the regulator and comply with its rules. The CSRC said it will even support efforts by them to raise capital in China and abroad, Reuters reports.