Chinese Regulators Investigate Great Wall Group After Its Stock Rise
A porcelain and education firm that seemed quite dubious is reportedly under investigation by a top Chinese regulator after it became a blockchain stock much in demand last week.
Guangdong Great Wall Group’s stock price went rising for five days straight last week after Chinese President Xi Jinping praised and admitted to adopting blockchain technology. But on Monday, the said company was under investigation by the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC).
The investigation follows the government’s appeal for “rational” investments in Chinese blockchain and fintech firms.
Great Wall Group was initially a creative porcelain firm in 1996, and it revealed details about six blockchain projects in its 2018 annual report. Still, investigators were interrogating the company on whether this blockchain push is a sincere one in light of its recent stock bump.
As per the firm’s filing with the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, investigators are trying to find evidence on whether the firm violated information disclosure regulations.
“According to the Securities Law of the People’s Republic of China, the committee of CSRC has decided to open an investigation against the firm,” the filing said.
The firm received an earlier request from ChiNext, a NASDAQ-style board for the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, on the 28th of October. It demanded answers from the firm on how its businesses are related to the blockchain industry.
ChiNext was reportedly demanding a much more detailed explanation of the six research and development projects, which, according to the firm, were blockchain-related. These six are out of the 50 projects listed in the 2018 annual report, according to the filing.
The exchange wants to receive complete information regarding the projects’ background, cycles, amounts of investment, research team, and specific use cases.
It also demanded data on the profits earned from the projects and how much the realized gains and revenue from the projects affect the firm’s total profits and revenue over the last year and the first three quarters of 2019.
The firm’s response in the filing goes as follows. Two of the six projects are being developed by its internet training subsidiary Zhiyou Education, which plans to establish a cryptocurrency ecosystem based on its still not developed OK Angel Coin software.
“The two projects have not had any impact on our revenue or profits yet,” the firm said.
The other four are from the education wing it acquired recently, which goes by the name Emerald Education Group.
“We have lost control over Emerald Education,” Great Wall Group said in a June filing with the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, adding:
“The subsidiary no longer provides any financial statements and reports to us; therefore, we are not able to explain how Emerald Education is related to the blockchain technology.”
In August, Great Wall Group filed a lawsuit against the Emerald Education Group on the equity transfer fall-out.
“We have been unable to control the decision-making process in terms of its recruitment and funds due to resistance from Emerald’s core management team,” the firm mentioned in the filing.
There is a chance that the Shenzhen Stock Exchange will suspend trading of Great Wall’s stock if it fails to present annual reports for two consecutive fiscal years. This is because it was unable to include Emerald’s financial statements in them.
Currently, that is on the 4th of November, Great Wall Group’s market cap is 2.627 billion RMB.