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Originally published Friday, May 24, 2013 at 7:33 AM

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China gives US regulators access to audit records

China has agreed to give U.S. regulators access to audit records for Chinese companies whose shares trade on U.S. stock exchanges, a step forward in a long-running dispute.

The Associated Press

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WASHINGTON —

China has agreed to give U.S. regulators access to audit records for Chinese companies whose shares trade on U.S. stock exchanges, a step forward in a long-running dispute.

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, a watchdog agency for the accounting industry, announced the agreement with China on Friday.

The Securities and Exchange Commission has accused about a dozen Chinese companies of accounting fraud and has been investigating others. The SEC has said it had been hampered by the refusal of the Chinese government to permit the regulator to have access to the firms' accounting records.

The agreement allows the accounting board to share the records with the SEC, which says it needs access to the documents to protect U.S. investors from fraud.

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