China strikes deal on audit cooperation with U.S. amid delisting woes

China has reached an agreement with the United States on audit cooperation, the Asian country's securities regulator said Friday, in a move that would allow Chinese companies to maintain their listings on U.S. stock exchanges.

The regulator said the deal is an "important first step" to solve the audit issue between Beijing and Washington, which has been sparking fears that Chinese firms may be kicked off U.S. bourses.

While Washington demanded access to audit papers of Chinese enterprises listed in the United States, Beijing rejected it, citing security concerns. Under the agreement, however, China will let the United States inspect the nation's accountants.

More than 200 Chinese companies are listed in the United States. The world's two major powers have been at loggerheads over many matters, including Taiwan, but the latest deal indicated they have continued talks on the economic and financial fronts.

© Kyodo News