PwC rejects allegations on Evergrande audit

HONG KONG – Accounting firm PwC on Monday rejected an anonymous letter that criticised the company’s involvement in auditing beleaguered Chinese real estate giant Evergrande, saying the letter contained “false allegations”.

Heavily indebted Evergrande has become a symbol of the years-long crisis in China’s property market and last month its onshore unit was accused of a $78 billion revenue overstatement.

Chinese authorities are examining the role of PwC in auditing Evergrande, though no decision regarding penalties has been made, Bloomberg News reported last month.

The firm said on Monday it was aware of a letter purportedly written by some PwC partners that was circulating on social media.

“We believe the letter contains inaccurate statements and false allegations… (that) could tarnish PwC’s reputation and infringe our legal rights,” the company said.

PwC said it had reported the matter to authorities and will fully investigate the incident with “high priority”.

The letter, written in Chinese and titled “Who led PwC into the firepit that was Evergrande?”, placed the blame on a senior figure within the firm and alleged problems with its corporate culture.

AFP is unable to verify who wrote the letter and its claims. 

PwC was the auditor for Evergrande for more than a decade before resigning last year amid disagreements on the audit of the firm’s 2021 accounts.

Chinese regulators said last month it would ban Evergrande chair Xu Jiayin from the securities market for life on grounds of financial fraud.

Earlier this year, the real estate behemoth was handed a winding-up order by a Hong Kong court after struggling for years to repay creditors after its 2021 default. –AFP