HONG KONG - U.S. regulators have selected e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and other U.S.-listed Chinese companies for audit inspections starting next month, three sources familiar with the matter said.
The move follows Friday's landmark audit deal between Beijing and Washington allowing U.S. regulators to vet accounting firms in mainland China and Hong Kong, potentially ending a long-running dispute that threatened to boot more than 200 Chinese companies from U.S. stock exchanges.
Alibaba has been notified that it is among the first batch of Chinese companies whose audits will be inspected by the U.S. audit watchdog - Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) - in Hong Kong, the sources told Reuters.
PwC, the accounting firm of China's biggest e-commerce company, has also been informed of the audit work inspection, said the sources, declining to be identified due to confidentiality constraints.
Alibaba and the PCAOB did not immediately respond to a request for comment. A PwC spokesperson said it was company policy not to comment on any client matters.
The China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) could not be immediately reached for comment outside of business hours.
Alibaba, which went public in New York in 2014 in what was at the time the largest listing in history, is the most valuable Chinese firm listed in the United States with a market value of $256 billion as of Monday.
(Reporting by Julie Zhu; Editing by Sumeet Chatterjee and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)