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A statue of a bull outside the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, on Oct. 23, 2009.

Bobby Yip/Reuters

Chinese bourses have halted processing more than 40 initial public offering (IPO) plans in Shanghai and Shenzhen amid an investigation into four intermediaries in the deals including a law firm and a broker, according to exchange disclosures.

The Shenzhen Stock Exchange suspended more than 30 IPO plans on Aug. 18 slated for its ChiNext board, including a public share sale application from BYD Co.’s semi-conductor business, according to the official exchange filings.

The Shanghai Stock Exchange, meanwhile, has pressed the pause button on eight IPOs targeting the city’s tech-focused STAR Market since Aug. 19, exchange filings showed.

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The companies attributed the halt to an investigation by the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) into Tian Yuan Law Firm in Beijing, China Dragon Securities Co., CAREA Assets Appraisal Co. and Zhongxingcai Guanghua Certified Public Accountants LLP.

The news was first reported by Chinese media.

Tighter scrutiny on IPOs comes as Beijing launches a flurry of regulatory crackdowns against sectors ranging from the internet to tutoring. It also comes as China is stepping up efforts to channel household savings into capital markets to fund innovation and economic recovery.

On Monday, China said it would tighten scrutiny over accounting firms in a fight against financial forgery, vowing “zero tolerance” toward misconduct.

Over the weekend, the CSRC said it would require IPO disclosures to be of a higher quality and urged intermediaries to be accountable.

The companies whose IPO processes have been suspended by the Shenzhen Stock Exchange include Chongqing Yuxin Pingrui Electronic Co. Ltd., Suzhou Future Electrical Co. and Beijing BlueSky Technologies Co.

The Shanghai Stock Exchange has halted processing IPO applications from companies including Guangdong Baihe Medical Technology Co., Jiangsu Gao Kai Precision Fluid Technology Co. and Obio Technology (Shanghai) Corp.

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