Continuous Disclosure of Chinese Cross-border Listed Companies in Australia: Challenges and Proposals

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Copyright: Guo, Belle
Chinese listed companies are struggling to meet the continuous disclosure requirements of the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) and have even been depicted as having poor corporate governance and transparency. Many get delisted from the ASX due to non-compliance in continuous disclosure or are rejected from listing because of continuous disclosure compliance concerns. This thesis addresses one overarching research question: What are the challenges faced by Chinese lawmakers, Chinese listed companies, Chinese companies’ external advisers and securities regulators in dealing with Chinese cross-border listed companies’ continuous disclosure in Australia — and how can these challenges be addressed? This thesis is theoretically founded on the divergent evolution and rationales for continuous disclosure requirements in Australia and China. The evolution of listed companies’ continuous disclosure requirements in Australia can be described as a market-driven process, the most theoretical underpinnings of which are market integrity and investor protection. In contrast, the fundamental rationale behind the presence or absence of continuous disclosure requirements throughout the history of the Chinese securities market is the service of the political economy in the corresponding period. This thesis investigates the research question through the following four dimensions based on such a theoretical framework. First, the application of continuous disclosure requirements for listed companies is composed of three elements in Australia and China: the non-general availability criteria, materiality thresholds, and timeliness requirements. Divergences regarding each element reflect weaknesses of the Chinese continuous disclosure rules. Second, deficiencies exist regarding the continuous disclosure compliance management regime within Chinese listed companies. Third, the obligation of due diligence surrounding external advisers’ monitoring role in Chinese listed companies’ continuous disclosure compliance has limitations. These limitations are manifested in two aspects of the due diligence obligation: the duty of care and the independence requirements. Last, there are also difficulties in respect of the Chinese securities cross-border supervision regime. This thesis thus proposes corresponding reform suggestions in respect of each of these challenges, with relevant experiences in Australia taken into consideration.
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