China Eases Overseas Listing Rules, Paving Way for Rebound

China’s securities regulator has toned down curbs on local companies seeking initial public offerings overseas just as the economic rebound sparks renewed interest in the country’s assets.

In the final rules published Friday, the China Securities Regulatory Commission said it would support the listing of firms with so-called variable interest entity structures if they are compliant, signaling a softening stance toward the country’s capital markets.

The CSRC reiterated that Chinese companies seeking to sell shares abroad would have to register with the regulator after a transition period. Firms would need to abide by China’s rules when disclosing personal data, and take necessary steps to safeguard state secrets. The regulator will block listings that may impede state security or involve companies or shareholders that have committed corruption, bribes or are under investigation.

“As long as companies stay compliant with the regulations, their listings won’t be affected no matter which market they choose,” the CSRC said in an separate Q&A on its website. “The CSRC and related authorities will respect companies’ independent choice and provide support.”

The move could help revive a path for Chinese companies and investors to tap global public markets again. Chinese companies have struggled to list in New York amid tightening scrutiny at home and from the US Securities and Exchange Commission. That triggered the sharpest drop in venture capital investments in more than two decades.