Found this comical section among the Risk Factors in some Chinese company’s filings:
Techniques employed by manipulative short sellers in Chinese small-cap stocks may drive down the market price of our common stock.
Short selling is the practice of selling securities that the seller does not own but rather has borrowed from a third party with the intention of buying identical securities back at a later date to return to the lender. The short seller hopes to profit from the difference in the sale price of the borrowed securities and the purchase price of the replacement shares. As it is therefore in the short seller’s best interests for the price of the stock to decline, there have been incidents of short sellers publishing, or arranging to publish negative opinions in order to create negative market momentum. While traditionally these disclosed shorts have been limited in their ability to access mainstream business media or to otherwise create negative market rumors, the rise of the Internet and technological advancements regarding document creation, videotaping and publication by weblog (“blogging”) have allowed many disclosed shorts to publicly attack a company’s credibility, strategy and veracity by means of so-called research reports that mimic the type of investment analysis performed by large Wall Street firms and independent research analysts. These short attacks have, in the past, resulted in the selling of shares in the market, on occasion on a large scale and broad base. Issuers with business operations based in the PRC, that have limited trading volumes and that are susceptible to higher volatility levels than U.S. domestic large-cap stocks can be particularly vulnerable to such short attacks.
These short seller publications are not regulated by any governmental, self-regulatory organization or other official authority in the U.S., are not subject to the certification requirements imposed by the SEC in Regulation Analyst Certification and, accordingly, the opinions they express may be based on distortion of the actual facts or, in some cases, fabrication of the facts. In light of the limited risks involved in publishing such information, and the enormous profit that can be made from running just one successful short attack, unless the short sellers become subject to significant penalties, it is more likely than not that disclosed shorts will continue to issue such reports.
While we intend to strongly defend our public filings against any such short seller attacks, oftentimes we are constrained, either by principles of freedom of speech, applicable state law (often called Anti-SLAPP statutes), or issues of commercial confidentiality, in the manner in which we can proceed against the relevant short seller. You should be aware that in light of the relative freedom to operate that such persons enjoy – oftentimes blogging from outside the U.S. with little or no assets or identity requirements – should we be targeted for such an attack and the rumors not dismissed by market participants, our stock will likely suffer from a temporary, or possibly long term, decline in market price.