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The U.S. and China are one step closer to preventing stocks like Alibaba from delisting. What to watch next

  • The U.S. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board said its inspectors are set to arrive in Hong Kong in mid-September, shortly after which "all audit work papers requested by the PCAOB must be made available to them."
  • What needs to happen next is a smooth on-ground inspection in China by the U.S., and adequate support from the Chinese authorities, analysts said.
  • However, there's uncertainty around implementation, analysts said.

The U.S. and China have taken a significant first step toward keeping U.S.-listed Chinese stocks like Alibaba from being forced off U.S. stock exchanges.Holger Gogolin | iStock | Getty Images

BEIJING — The U.S. and China recently took a significant first step toward keeping U.S.-listed Chinese stocks like Alibaba from being forced off U.S. stock exchanges.

What needs to happen next is a smooth on-ground inspection in China by the U.S. with adequate support from Chinese authorities, analysts said.

"Many implementation details probably can only be figured out by the auditing firms and the [Ministry of Finance] — together with [the China Securities Regulatory Commission] — through real-case auditing trials under this unprecedented agreement," said Winston Ma, adjunct professor of law at New York University.

The U.S. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board said its inspectors are set to arrive in Hong Kong in mid-September, shortly after which "all audit work papers requested by the PCAOB must be made available to them."

Audit work papers differ from the actual information on companies gathered by accounting firms.

The work papers record the audit procedure, tests, gathered information and conclusions about the review, according to the PCAOB website. It is not clear what level of highly sensitive information, if any, would be included in the work papers.

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