The market, not the regulator, attempts to enforce upon listed companies the "principles" of the UK Combined Code. Even though audit committees feature in the UK Code only at the level of discretionary "provisions", almost all listed companies have audit committees. The responsibilities of audit committees in the UK and China are broadly similar, though UK guidance gives their audit committees a bigger role with respect to risk management and operational control. In China the market and the regulator are more closely aligned with the State, which is thus more influential in determining compliance with their corporate governance Code. Copyright Blackwell Publishing Ltd 2005.