Search giant Baidu said in documents submitted to the US Securities and Exchange Commission that it is evaluating the possibility of issuing China Depositary Receipts (CDRs), our sister site is reporting (in Chinese).

In early June, Baidu reportedly selected Huatai Securities and CITIC Securities as sponsors for the issuance of CDRs. Should the move materialize, Baidu may become the first company to return A shares from the Nasdaq through the CDR process.

China’s depositary receipts are a way to bring foreign-listed Chinese companies back home by allowing those living domestically to invest in them. The China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) adopted a set of draft rules in early June. The regulations provide an “institutional foundation” for domestic companies issuing CDRs in the Chinese market.

However, Baidu has not been the only company to show interest in CDRs. Alibaba and Baidu have also entertained ideas about listing locally.

Most recently, Xiaomi showed its intent to issue CDRs. On June 8, the company completed its filing ahead of its Hong Kong IPO. However, the smartphone maker abruptly postponed its plans after the review process had been scheduled. At the time it said it would only issue CDRs after its initial public offering.  In a final blow, it said that there is no timeframe in which the process would be completed.

The speed at which Xiaomi’s CDR application was accepted and scheduled for review—less than two weeks—highlights the government’s resolve in trading these companies domestically. Additionally, in April, biotech company WuXi AppTech’s request to relist in Shanghai was approved in just seven weeks. The rapid pace at which China hopes to list high profile companies may be a sign of competition between exchanges at home and abroad.

Christopher Udemans is TechNode's former Shanghai-based data and graphics reporter. He covered Chinese artificial intelligence, mobility, cleantech, and cybersecurity.

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