Rob Keopp – The SEC’s Misguided China Fight

Rob Koepp, author of “Betting on China”, shares his insights on SEC’s misguided China fight at the Wall Street Journal.

 … the SEC’s best way forward is to appeal to higher powers. If it does, Washington may find it has the support of the agency it now deems uncooperative. In January, Chinese media reported that the CSRC had joined the Ministry of Finance in submitting a proposal to the State Council, China’s highest administrative body, for U.S.-China cooperation on audit inspections. Coupled with other statements by CSRC officials, there’s ample reason to believe the CSRC genuinely wants resolution on this issue. Rather than browbeating the commission, Washington should support it.

That would entail a shift away from negotiations directly with the CSRC, and away from litigious actions that only trap auditors in the crossfire. Instead, senior U.S. officials should lobby their high-ranking Chinese counterparts. From this perspective, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew missed an excellent opportunity to raise securities-regulation cooperation with President Xi Jinping when the two met in March.

The focus should be on persuading Chinese officials that China has a stake in cooperation, too—both in terms of its reputation and in terms of its companies’ ability to continue listing abroad, something that’s in jeopardy if Washington and investors no longer trust audits of Chinese companies. It’s time for the SEC to abandon a failed strategy and more effectively try to bring justice to scammed shareholders and provide an environment of unambiguous accountability for Chinese stock listings in America.

Rob Keopp – The SEC’s Misguided China Fight

Rob Koepp

Rob Koepp is a trilingual (English, Chinese, and Japanese) author and consultant based in Beijing. With a career spanning the worlds of commentary and execution in management, economics, finance, and public policy, Rob advises on and writes about a variety of organizations and industries as well as challenges and opportunities for building multi-cultural collaboration. His first book compares models for innovation and entrepreneurship found in California’s Silicon Valley and Europe’s Silicon Fen; his latest book looks at the dynamics of globalization from the perspective of Chinese firms that list on US stock markets.

Rob has particular expertise in the dynamics of creative and knowledge-intensive enterprises. He authored the book Clusters of Creativity: Enduring Lessons on Innovation and Entrepreneurship from Silicon Valley and Europe’s Silicon Fen (John Wiley, 2002), which looks at the underpinning dynamics and key mechanisms of IT and life-science clusters from a global perspective, detailing how high-tech regions and their constituent companies are financed, managed, and generate wealth. Following the success of Clusters, Rob was selected by China’s Ministry of Science and Technology as a report leader in a series of World Bank-sponsored studies on China’s technology park system and reform of China’s national technology industrialization policies.

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