As part of a RMB 8 billion (US$1.25 billion) investment, PricewaterhouseCoopers will create 20,000 jobs in China in the next five years, even as global companies are dealing with the growing divergence between Beijing and the West. It will double the scale of its business in China.
The Big Four accounting firm on Monday formulated its expansion plan in China in what it called the “New Formula” strategy. The opening ceremony coincided with the first day of the China International Import Expo, an annual business event held in Shanghai to promote China’s role in global trade.
The strategy will double the number of PwC employees in China, making it almost twice the size of the company’s UK business, which employs approximately 22,000 employees.
As PricewaterhouseCoopers’ new five-year plan is released, the global accounting industry is increasingly caught in geopolitical tensions between China and the United States.
After auditors failed to hand over the audits of these companies’ financial statements for inspection, Washington regulators threatened to delist the Chinese companies from the New York Stock Exchange. According to the U.S. audit regulator, the Big Four accounting firms-PricewaterhouseCoopers, KPMG, Deloitte and Ernst & Young-audited 141 Chinese companies listed in the United States. As of June 30, the total market value was US$1.7 trillion .
In recent months, PricewaterhouseCoopers has been individually reviewed for its audit of Evergrande, the world’s most indebted real estate developer. Before Evergrande warned in August that it might struggle to meet its financial obligations, the company had been giving Evergrande’s account the green light for years, and Hong Kong regulators were investigating the company.
Among the Big Four accounting firms, PricewaterhouseCoopers relies most on its revenue in the Asia-Pacific region. In 2021, the region created $8.9 billion in expenses for the company, accounting for almost 20% of PwC’s global turnover. PricewaterhouseCoopers did not provide specific revenue or profit data for China.
“Despite continuing global challenges, China’s performance is still outstanding,” said Raymund Chao, Chairman of PricewaterhouseCoopers Asia Pacific and China. “We will continue to support and promote China’s major national strategy to promote sustained economic growth and development to achieve lasting results.”
PricewaterhouseCoopers, which has 28 offices in China, including Hong Kong and Macau, said that the US$1.25 billion investment will enable it to expand the services it provides to customers, such as environmental, social and governance standards, and digital transformation.
In June of this year, PricewaterhouseCoopers announced plans to increase its global workforce by more than one-third by 2026, adding 100,000 employees as part of a $12 billion investment in recruitment, training, technology, and transactions.
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