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China to audit overseas assets of state-owned firms

[BEIJING] The Chinese government will audit the overseas assets of state-owned enterprises, the regulator announced, as it tries to improve transparency and combat corruption.

The State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission said late on Tuesday that it had issued a tender for the audit, in what state media said was the first time such a tender had been offered.

Companies who wish to apply must be incorporated in China and have Chinese government licences, the regulator said, adding that the results of the tender will be announced on April 7.

The only other details provided were technical ones about the bidding process.

The official Xinhua news agency said earlier this month that China does not audit the 4 trillion yuan (S$886 billion) of assets its state-owned enterprises hold overseas, highlighting difficulties the government faces when expanding its anti-corruption drive.