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Chinese accounting standards

Chinese accounting standards are the accounting rules used in Chinese state owned corporations. They are currently being phased out in favor of GAAP or International Accounting Standards.

Chinese accounting standards are unique because they originated in a socialist period in which the state was the sole owner of industry. Therefore unlike Western accounting standards, they are less a tool of profit and loss and an inventory of assets available to a company. In contrast to a Western balance sheet, Chinese accounting standards do not include an accounting of the debts that a corporation holds, and are less suitable for management control than for accounting for tax purposes.

This system of accounting is widely considered to be unsuitable for managing corporations in a market economy. As a result, Chinese corporations are gradually moving toward International Accounting Standards. This has proven to be a massive undertaking. One consequence of this system is that Chinese companies who offer shares for sale in the United States must prepare three sets of statements, one using Chinese Accounting standards, one using international standards, and one using North American GAAP standards.

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