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Focus: sustainability reporting in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong

In February 2023, China’s three major stock markets, the Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE), Shenzhen Stock Exchange (SZSE), and Beijing Stock Exchange (BSE), announced the publication of new sustainability reporting guidelines for listed companies, including a new requirement for hundreds of larger cap and dual-listed issuers to begin mandatory disclosure on a broad range of ESG topics in 2026.  

Mandatory reporting requirements under the new guidelines will apply to larger companies, including those on the flagship Shenzhen 100, SSE 180 and Shanghai Science and Technology Innovation 50 index, as well as dual-listed companies with securities on both domestic and foreign markets. Overall, the mandatory requirements apply to more than 450 companies, representing around half of listed market value. The Beijing exchange, which houses primarily small and medium enterprises, is introducing the guidelines on a voluntary basis. No specific reporting standards are being used in China.

Taiwan is one of Asia’s leading markets in terms of ESG disclosure regulations. The Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE) announced mandatory ESG reporting for a portion of listed companies in 2021. The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) of Taiwan soon followed with mandatory greenhouse gas (GHG) emission disclosure for large companies and key polluting industries. Listed companies are required to disclose ESG information if they meet at least one of the following criteria:

  1. The company is in the food and beverage industry;
  2. No less than 50% of the company’s operating revenue is derived from food and beverage;
  3. The company is in the chemical industry;
  4. The company is in the financial and insurance industry;
  5. The company’s share capital has reached NTD2bn (with companies under NTD5bn beginning disclosure in 2023)

Even Hong Kong is part of mainland China, the pace in ESG requirements is different, the mandatory disclosure of ESG reports at the same time as annual reports by listed companies in Hong Kong was effective in 2022.

Companies in Taiwan and Hong Kong are commonly using GRI and ISSB as ESG reporting standards.

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