Chinese regulators have asked the local arms of KPMG, PwC, Ernst & Young, and Deloitte to review their audits on U.S.-listed Chinese companies and give details about the information they may have provided to overseas regulators, reports Reuters.
The Big Four firms are being asked to review all audits conducted in 2010 and all reviews of Chinese companies releasing IPOs in the United States, says a Reuters source. Another source said that the audit included a review of all correspondence between firms’ offices in mainland China and offices in Hong Kong and Macau.
According to Big4.com, the move follows the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s request to enforce a subpoena that requested Deloitte hand over papers relating to their audit of Longtop Financial Technologies of China. This audit takes place after Deloitte discontinued working with the client due to difficulties understanding the company’s financial statements.
Deloitte evaluated Longtop up until 2010. They gave the company a clean review until their stock price dropped significantly that year. That is when Deloitte stopped working with Longtop and withdrew its opinions on the firm, reports Big4.com.
This has led the SEC to speculate that Deloitte members in the Shanghai office may have been involved in the audits. The SEC wants to know if Deloitte performed necessary due diligence as it conducted the audit.
If Deloitte unveils these documents, they will be in violation of China’s laws on disclosing information. Deloitte has been questioning whether regulators in the United States have the right to audit Chinese companies.
Deloitte is resisting the subpoena, on the grounds it does not want to violate Chinese law. Anyone in Deloitte who violated these laws could be imprisoned, reports Big4.com.
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