(1) In general, overseas issuers incorporated in the common law jurisdictions of Bermuda and Cayman Islands may list on the Exchange provided that certain additional requirements set out or referred to in Chapter 19 are fulfilled. However, the legal system in the PRC is not based on a common law system. Furthermore, existing PRC law imposes various restrictions affecting the use of foreign exchange in the PRC and its remittance out of the PRC. Under current PRC law only PRC citizens and legal persons are permitted to own the domestic shares (內資股) of a PRC issuer (which pay dividends in Renminbi), and only foreign investors and investors from the regions of Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan are permitted to own the overseas listed foreign shares (境外上市外資股) of a PRC issuer (which pay dividends in a foreign currency). As a result, although under PRC law such domestic shares and foreign shares are all shares of a PRC issuer, the two kinds of shares in effect operate in separate markets subject to different investor demands.
(2) To deal with the different markets in which a PRC issuer's shares may be traded as well as with the non-common law basis of the PRC legal system, certain additional requirements, modifications and exceptions to the Exchange Listing Rules are necessary in order for a PRC issuer to obtain and to maintain a listing of its securities on the Exchange.
(3) The purpose of this Chapter is to clarify that the Exchange Listing Rules apply as much to PRC issuers as they do to Hong Kong and overseas issuers, subject to the additional requirements, modifications and exceptions set out or referred to in this Chapter. Among such requirements are that (a) PRC issuers are expected to present their annual accounts in accordance with HKFRS, IFRS or CASBE; (b) the articles of association of PRC issuers must contain provisions which will reflect the different nature of domestic shares and overseas listed foreign shares (including H shares) and the different rights of their respective holders; and (c) disputes involving holders of H shares and arising from a PRC issuer's articles of association, or from any rights or obligations conferred or imposed by the Company Law and any other relevant laws and regulations concerning the affairs of the PRC issuer, are to be settled by arbitration in either Hong Kong or the PRC at the election of the claimant.
(4) However, if changes in PRC law or market practices materially alter the validity or accuracy of any of the foregoing statements, then the Exchange may impose additional requirements or make listing of the equity securities of a PRC issuer subject to special conditions as the Exchange considers appropriate. Whether or not any such changes in PRC law or market practices occur, the Exchange retains its general power to impose additional requirements and make special conditions under rule 2.04.