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China-US clash over stock market rules casts doubt over $1tn of listings

Hong Kong in lead to attract Chinese companies if Washington tightens audit rules

Some 25 Chinese companies raised $3.4 billion in initial public offerings last year on Nasdaq and the New York Stock Exchange.   © Reuters

HONG KONG -- Escalating tensions between the world's two largest economies have taken on a new edge with a proposed audit rule for U.S.-listed Chinese companies, which threatens to restrict their access to American capital markets.

U.S. senators last month approved a bill that could push companies off American stock markets if they fail to comply with the country's regulatory audits for three consecutive years. Chinese officials have said that the bill would harm the interests of both Washington and Beijing and that political forces in the U.S. are pushing the two powers into a new Cold War.

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