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China’s Securities Regulator Lays Out Overseas Listing Rules

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China’s securities regulator said domestic companies seeking to sell shares abroad would have to follow domestic rules and file for local registration, in a draft framework meant to clarify proceedings in a market rocked by the state’s crackdown on overseas listings.

The draft rules, released on Friday, follow a nearly six-month pause in Chinese listings in the U.S., since the ill-fated New York initial public offering for ride-hailing giant

Didi Global Inc.


DIDI -0.53%

In July, the Chinese government punished Didi for front-running domestic regulations and subsequently said it would install guidelines for Chinese companies selling shares overseas. Companies have put on hold their listing plans pending more regulatory clarity from Beijing.

The China Securities Regulatory Commission said the draft rules aren’t meant to tighten policies for overseas listings, though it also stressed that companies listed overseas can’t leak state secrets and that they must follow domestic regulations such as foreign-investment, cybersecurity and data-security laws. It is seeking public consultation until Jan. 23.

The rules also blessed the structure known as variable-interest entity, or VIE, which has been used since the early 2000s by virtually every Chinese internet company to get around China’s restrictions on foreign investments in domestic businesses. The regulator said on Friday that companies can sell shares abroad using the VIE structure provided they abide by domestic laws and register with the CSRC first.

The regulator seems to be trying to create a more efficient domestic system for Chinese companies that are trying to raise capital overseas, said

Jason Elder,

a capital-markets lawyer at Mayer Brown LLP who has worked on deals involving Chinese companies. He added that the framework will ultimately depend on the CSRC’s final guidance.

“What they’re not pushing toward is a further delinking or decoupling with the global financial system, but they’re rather recognizing that their regulatory environment could be improved to provide more certainty that companies listing overseas are complying with domestic laws,” Mr. Elder said.

The rules will first apply to those companies that are seeking to sell shares abroad and will be also applied to those seeking secondary listings, backdoor listings or listings via special-purpose acquisition companies. For those that are already listed overseas, there will be a grace period of unspecified duration, the CSRC said.

A company would need to file for a registration with the CSRC within three working days after filing for an overseas IPO. International banks that act as sponsors or lead underwriters of Chinese companies’ overseas listings are also required to register with the CSRC.

The development of the draft rules aims to provide a clearer framework for overseas listing and promote a stable and predictable policy environment, the CSRC said. It added that it has always supported Chinese companies choosing listing destinations of their own.

The language used to describe the process of getting the nod from the CSRC for overseas listing is “registration,” which in the domestic market hints at a friendly tone and typically indicates that the regulator will check only the completeness of the companies’ disclosure and if there are major compliance or legal issues.

In the U.S., securities regulators have started a countdown that will force many Chinese companies to leave American stock exchanges. In late 2020, then-President

Donald Trump

signed a law that bans the trading of securities in foreign companies whose audit working papers can’t be inspected by U.S. regulators for three years in a row. That year,

Luckin Coffee Inc.,

an upstart rival to

Starbucks Corp.

in China, admitted to fabricating revenue and expenses.

“In recent years, some overseas listed companies have committed serious violations of laws and regulations such as financial fraud, which has damaged the overall international image of Chinese companies and has adversely affected the overseas financing of Chinese companies,” the CSRC said.

In light of heightened scrutiny from Washington, some Chinese companies have rerouted to Hong Kong for IPOs.

Companies would need to get the CSRC’s approval before cooperating with investigations by overseas regulators, the CSRC said. The regulator reiterated that it would keep collaborating with overseas peers on cross-border securities regulations, including strengthening information-sharing and audit-inspections cooperation.

Under the draft rules, Chinese authorities would be able to require companies seeking to list outside the country to dispose of domestic assets or operations as a way to mitigate national-security concerns, the CSRC said.

Write to Dave Sebastian at dave.sebastian@wsj.com and Jing Yang at Jing.Yang@wsj.com

Copyright ©2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

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Teladoc Tumbled 38% After Big First-Quarter Loss. Is It Just a Pandemic Play?

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After pandemic drop, Canada’s detention of immigrants rises again By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Two closed Canadian border checkpoints are seen after it was announced that the border would close to “non-essential traffic” to combat the spread of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at the U.S.-Canada border crossing at the Thousand Isla

By Anna Mehler Paperny

TORONTO (Reuters) – Canada is locking up more people in immigration detention without charge after the numbers fell during the pandemic, government data obtained by Reuters shows.

Authorities cite an overall rise in foreign travelers amid easing restrictions but lawyers say their detained clients came to Canada years ago.

Canada held 206 people in immigration detention as of March 1, 2022 – a 28% increase compared with March 1 of the previous year. Immigration detainees have not been charged with crimes in Canada and 68% of detainees as of March 1 were locked up because Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) fears they are “unlikely to appear” at an immigration hearing, according to the data.

The rise puts Canada at odds with Amnesty International and other human rights groups that have urged Ottawa to end its use of indefinite immigration detention, noting CBSA has used factors such as a person’s mental illness as reason to detain them.

A CBSA spokesperson told Reuters that “when the number of entries (to Canada) goes up, an increase in detention is to be expected.” CBSA has said in the past it uses detention as a last resort.

A lawyer told Reuters her detained clients have been in Canada for years.

In the United Kingdom, too, immigration detention levels rose last year after dropping earlier in the pandemic, according to government statistics. Unlike Canada, the United States and Australia, European Union member states have limits on immigration detention and those limits cannot exceed six months.

The rise in detentions puts people at risk of contracting COVID-19 in harsh congregate settings, refugee lawyers say.

Julia Sande, Human Rights Law and Policy Campaigner with Amnesty, called the increase in detentions “disappointing but not surprising,” although she was reluctant to draw conclusions from limited data.

The number of immigration detainees in Canada dropped early in the pandemic, from a daily average of 301 in the fourth quarter (January through March) of 2019-20 to 126 in the first quarter (April through June) of 2020-21.

FEW NO-SHOWS AS DETENTIONS DROPPED

Detaining fewer people did not result in a significant increase in no-shows at immigration hearings – the most common reason for detention, according to Immigration and Refugee Board data.

The average number of no-shows as a percentage of admissibility hearings was about 5.5% in 2021, according to that data, compared to about 5.9% in 2019.

No-shows rose as high as 16% in October 2020, but a spokesperson for the Immigration and Refugee Board said this was due to people not receiving notifications when their hearings resumed after a pause in the pandemic.

Refugee lawyer Andrew Brouwer said the decline in detention earlier in the pandemic shows Canada does not need to lock up as many non-citizens.

“We didn’t see a bunch of no-shows. We didn’t see the sky fall … It for sure shows that the system can operate without throwing people in jail,” Brouwer said.

He added that detainees face harsh pandemic conditions in provincial jails – including extended lockdowns, sometimes with three people in a cell for 23 hours a day.

Refugee lawyer Swathi Sekhar said CBSA officials and the Immigration and Refugee Board members reviewing detentions took the risk of COVID-19 into account when deciding whether someone should be detained earlier in the pandemic but are doing so less now.

“Their position is that COVID is not a factor that should weigh in favor of release,” she said.

“We also see very, very perverse findings … [decision-makers] outright saying that individuals are going to be safer in jail.”

The Immigration and Refugee Board did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

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Nasdaq futures rise as market attempts comeback from April sell-off, Meta shares soar

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Stock futures rose in overnight trading as the market shook off the April sell-off and investors reacted positively to earnings from Meta Platforms.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 70 points or 0.2%. S&P 500 futures gained 0.7% and Nasdaq 100 futures jumped 1.2%.

The moves came as shares of Meta surged more than 18% after hours following a beat on earnings but a miss on revenue, a sign that investors may see signs of relief in the beaten-up tech sector. Shares were down 48% on the year heading into the results.

Meanwhile, shares of Qualcomm gained 5.6% in extended trading on the back of strong earnings while PayPal rose 5% despite issuing weak guidance for the second quarter.

“I think a lot of people want to believe that earnings are going to pull us out of this, but earnings are not what got us into this,” SoFi’s Liz Young told CNBC’s “Closing Bell: Overtime” on Wednesday. “… But the reality is there are so many macro headwinds still in front of us in the next 60 days that the market is just hard to impress.”

The after-hour activity followed a volatile regular trading session that saw the Nasdaq Composite stoop to its lowest level in 2022, as stocks looked to bounce back from a tech-led April sell-off. The index is down more than 12% since the start of April.

In Wednesday’s regular trading, the tech-heavy Nasdaq ended at 12,488.93, after rising to 1.7% at session highs. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 61.75 points, or 0.2%, to 33,301.93 propped up by gains from Visa and Microsoft, while the S&P 500 added 0.2% to 4,183.96.

Investors await big tech earnings on Thursday from Apple, Amazon and Twitter, along with results from Robinhood. Jobless claims are also due out Thursday.

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