20-F 1 tmb-20230930x20f.htm 20-F
7.29607.11356.45807.05336.55326.50955000000030000000300000000001779578--09-302023FYfalsefalsetrue35750000357500000.150.150.1500001779578us-gaap:CommonStockMember2019-10-162019-10-160001779578us-gaap:RetainedEarningsMember2023-09-300001779578us-gaap:ParentMember2023-09-300001779578us-gaap:NoncontrollingInterestMember2023-09-300001779578us-gaap:AdditionalPaidInCapitalMember2023-09-300001779578us-gaap:AccumulatedOtherComprehensiveIncomeMember2023-09-300001779578qli:StatutoryReserveMember2023-09-300001779578us-gaap:RetainedEarningsMember2022-09-300001779578us-gaap:ParentMember2022-09-300001779578us-gaap:NoncontrollingInterestMember2022-09-300001779578us-gaap:AdditionalPaidInCapitalMember2022-09-300001779578us-gaap:AccumulatedOtherComprehensiveIncomeMember2022-09-300001779578qli:StatutoryReserveMember2022-09-300001779578us-gaap:RetainedEarningsMember2021-09-300001779578us-gaap:ParentMember2021-09-300001779578us-gaap:NoncontrollingInterestMember2021-09-300001779578us-gaap:AdditionalPaidInCapitalMember2021-09-300001779578us-gaap:AccumulatedOtherComprehensiveIncomeMember2021-09-300001779578qli:StatutoryReserveMember2021-09-300001779578us-gaap:AdditionalPaidInCapitalMember2021-10-012022-09-300001779578us-gaap:VariableInterestEntityPrimaryBeneficiaryMembersrt:AffiliatedEntityMember2022-10-012023-09-300001779578us-gaap:VariableInterestEntityPrimaryBeneficiaryMembersrt:AffiliatedEntityMember2021-10-012022-09-300001779578us-gaap:VariableInterestEntityPrimaryBeneficiaryMembersrt:AffiliatedEntityMember2020-10-012021-09-300001779578qli:InternationalMarketsMember2022-10-012023-09-300001779578srt:MinimumMemberus-gaap:MachineryAndEquipmentMember2023-09-300001779578srt:MinimumMemberus-gaap:LandAndBuildingMember2023-09-300001779578srt:MinimumMemberus-gaap:AutomobilesMember2023-09-300001779578srt:MinimumMemberqli:OfficeAndElectricEquipmentMember2023-09-300001779578srt:MaximumMemberus-gaap:MachineryAndEquipmentMember2023-09-300001779578srt:MaximumMemberus-gaap:LandAndBuildingMember2023-09-300001779578srt:MaximumMemberus-gaap:AutomobilesMember2023-09-300001779578srt:MaximumMemberqli:OfficeAndElectricEquipmentMember2023-09-300001779578us-gaap:IPOMember2021-01-152021-01-150001779578qli:MoshangfaGansuFertilizerIndustryCo.LtdMember2018-10-012019-09-300001779578qli:MoshangfaGansuFertilizerIndustryCo.LtdMember2017-10-012018-09-300001779578qli:MoshangfaGansuFertilizerIndustryCo.LtdMember2016-10-012017-09-300001779578us-gaap:AccumulatedOtherComprehensiveIncomeMember2022-10-012023-09-300001779578us-gaap:ParentMember2021-10-012022-09-300001779578us-gaap:NoncontrollingInterestMember2021-10-012022-09-300001779578us-gaap:AccumulatedOtherComprehensiveIncomeMember2021-10-012022-09-300001779578qli:GansuQilianshanPharmaceuticalCo.LtdMemberqli:TibetCangmenTradingCo.LtdMember2023-09-300001779578qli:GansuQilianshanPharmaceuticalCo.LtdMemberqli:RugaoTianluAnimalProductsCo.LtdMember2023-09-300001779578qli:GansuQilianshanPharmaceuticalCo.LtdMemberqli:JiuquanQimingBiotechnologyCo.LtdMember2023-09-300001779578qli:GansuQilianshanPharmaceuticalCo.LtdMemberqli:JiuquanAhanBiotechnologyCo.Ltd.Member2023-09-300001779578qli:GansuQilianshanPharmaceuticalCo.LtdMemberqli:ChongqingShengfuBiologicalTechnologyCoLtdMember2023-09-300001779578qli:GansuQilianshanPharmaceuticalCo.LtdMemberqli:ChengduQilianshanBiotechnologyCo.LtdMember2023-09-300001779578qli:QilianInternationalHongKongHoldingsLtdMember2023-09-300001779578qli:ChengduQilianTradingCo.LtdMember2023-09-300001779578qli:GansuQilianshanPharmaceuticalCo.LtdMemberqli:TibetSamenTradingCo.LtdMember2022-09-300001779578qli:GansuQilianshanPharmaceuticalCo.LtdMemberqli:TibetCangmenTradingCo.LtdMember2022-09-300001779578qli:GansuQilianshanPharmaceuticalCo.LtdMemberqli:RugaoTianluAnimalProductsCo.LtdMember2022-09-300001779578qli:GansuQilianshanPharmaceuticalCo.LtdMemberqli:JiuquanQimingBiotechnologyCo.LtdMember2022-09-300001779578qli:GansuQilianshanPharmaceuticalCo.LtdMemberqli:JiuquanAhanBiotechnologyCo.Ltd.Member2022-09-300001779578qli:GansuQilianshanPharmaceuticalCo.LtdMemberqli:ChongqingShengfuBiologicalTechnologyCoLtdMember2022-09-300001779578qli:GansuQilianshanPharmaceuticalCo.LtdMemberqli:ChengduQilianTradingCo.LtdMember2022-09-300001779578qli:GansuQilianshanPharmaceuticalCo.LtdMemberqli:ChengduQilianshanBiotechnologyCo.LtdMember2022-09-300001779578qli:GansuQilianshanPharmaceuticalCo.LtdMemberqli:ChengduQilianTradingCo.LtdMember2021-09-300001779578qli:ZhongqiaoYouguanECommerceServiceCo.LtdMember2023-09-300001779578qli:GansuQilianshanPharmaceuticalCo.LtdMember2023-09-300001779578qli:ChengduQilianshanBiotechnologyCo.LtdMember2023-09-300001779578qli:GansuQilianshanPharmaceuticalCo.LtdMember2022-09-300001779578qli:ChengduQilianshanBiotechnologyCo.LtdMember2022-09-300001779578qli:ChinaConstructionBankMember2022-05-3100017795782019-10-012019-10-010001779578country:KY2022-10-012023-09-300001779578country:KY2021-10-012022-09-300001779578country:CN2021-10-012022-09-300001779578country:KY2020-10-012021-09-300001779578country:CN2020-10-012021-09-300001779578us-gaap:UseRightsMember2023-09-300001779578us-gaap:LicensingAgreementsMember2023-09-300001779578us-gaap:ComputerSoftwareIntangibleAssetMember2023-09-300001779578us-gaap:UseRightsMember2022-09-300001779578us-gaap:LicensingAgreementsMember2022-09-300001779578us-gaap:ComputerSoftwareIntangibleAssetMember2022-09-300001779578qli:GansuQilianshanPharmaceuticalCo.LtdMember2023-09-300001779578qli:ChengduQilianshanBiotechnologyCo.LtdMember2021-09-300001779578qli:ChengduQilianshanBiotechnologyCo.LtdMember2020-09-300001779578qli:MoshangfaGansuFertilizerIndustryCo.LtdMember2017-07-310001779578qli:ChinaConstructionBankMember2023-09-300001779578qli:ChengduQilianshanBiotechnologyCo.LtdMemberqli:LoanAgreementWithChengduAgricultureAndCommercialBankMember2023-06-300001779578qli:ChengduQilianshanBiotechnologyCo.LtdMemberqli:LoanAgreementWithChengduAgricultureAndCommercialBankMember2023-09-300001779578qli:ChengduQilianshanBiotechnologyCo.LtdMemberqli:ChinaConstructionBankMember2023-09-300001779578us-gaap:VariableInterestEntityPrimaryBeneficiaryMembersrt:AffiliatedEntityMember2023-09-300001779578us-gaap:VariableInterestEntityPrimaryBeneficiaryMembersrt:AffiliatedEntityMember2022-09-300001779578us-gaap:CostOfGoodsTotalMemberus-gaap:SupplierConcentrationRiskMemberqli:SupplierOneMember2022-10-012023-09-300001779578qli:CustomerTwoMemberus-gaap:RevenueFromContractWithCustomerMemberus-gaap:CustomerConcentrationRiskMember2022-10-012023-09-300001779578qli:CustomerTwoMemberus-gaap:AccountsReceivableMemberus-gaap:CustomerConcentrationRiskMember2022-10-012023-09-300001779578qli:CustomerThreeMemberus-gaap:AccountsReceivableMemberus-gaap:CustomerConcentrationRiskMember2022-10-012023-09-300001779578qli:CustomerOneMemberus-gaap:RevenueFromContractWithCustomerMemberus-gaap:CustomerConcentrationRiskMember2022-10-012023-09-300001779578qli:CustomerOneMemberus-gaap:AccountsReceivableMemberus-gaap:CustomerConcentrationRiskMember2022-10-012023-09-300001779578qli:CustomerFourMemberus-gaap:AccountsReceivableMemberus-gaap:CustomerConcentrationRiskMember2022-10-012023-09-300001779578us-gaap:CostOfGoodsTotalMemberus-gaap:SupplierConcentrationRiskMemberqli:SupplierOneMember2021-10-012022-09-300001779578qli:CustomerTwoMemberus-gaap:RevenueFromContractWithCustomerMemberus-gaap:CustomerConcentrationRiskMember2021-10-012022-09-300001779578qli:CustomerTwoMemberus-gaap:AccountsReceivableMemberus-gaap:CustomerConcentrationRiskMember2021-10-012022-09-300001779578qli:CustomerThreeMemberus-gaap:AccountsReceivableMemberus-gaap:CustomerConcentrationRiskMember2021-10-012022-09-300001779578qli:CustomerOneMemberus-gaap:RevenueFromContractWithCustomerMemberus-gaap:CustomerConcentrationRiskMember2021-10-012022-09-300001779578qli:CustomerOneMemberus-gaap:AccountsReceivableMemberus-gaap:CustomerConcentrationRiskMember2021-10-012022-09-300001779578us-gaap:CostOfGoodsTotalMemberus-gaap:SupplierConcentrationRiskMemberqli:SupplierOneMember2020-10-012021-09-300001779578qli:CustomerTwoMemberus-gaap:RevenueFromContractWithCustomerMemberus-gaap:CustomerConcentrationRiskMember2020-10-012021-09-300001779578qli:CustomerThreeMemberus-gaap:RevenueFromContractWithCustomerMemberus-gaap:CustomerConcentrationRiskMember2020-10-012021-09-300001779578qli:CustomerOneMemberus-gaap:RevenueFromContractWithCustomerMemberus-gaap:CustomerConcentrationRiskMember2020-10-012021-09-300001779578qli:CustomerOneMemberus-gaap:AccountsReceivableMemberus-gaap:CustomerConcentrationRiskMember2020-10-012021-09-300001779578qli:CustomerTwoMemberus-gaap:AccountsReceivableMemberus-gaap:CustomerConcentrationRiskMember2019-10-012020-09-300001779578us-gaap:CommonStockMember2023-09-300001779578us-gaap:CommonStockMember2022-09-300001779578us-gaap:CommonStockMember2021-09-300001779578srt:MaximumMemberus-gaap:CommonStockMember2019-10-160001779578us-gaap:CommonStockMember2019-10-160001779578us-gaap:CommonStockMember2019-02-0700017795782021-01-140001779578us-gaap:VariableInterestEntityPrimaryBeneficiaryMember2022-10-012023-09-300001779578us-gaap:VariableInterestEntityPrimaryBeneficiaryMember2021-10-012022-09-300001779578us-gaap:VariableInterestEntityPrimaryBeneficiaryMember2020-10-012021-09-3000017795782020-09-300001779578qli:ChengduQilianshanBiotechnologyCo.LtdMember2021-09-300001779578qli:OxytetracyclineLicoriceProductsAndTcmdMember2023-09-300001779578qli:HeparinProductsAndSausageCasingMember2023-09-300001779578qli:FertilizerMember2023-09-300001779578qli:OxytetracyclineLicoriceProductsAndTcmdMember2022-09-300001779578qli:HeparinProductsAndSausageCasingMember2022-09-300001779578qli:FertilizerMember2022-09-300001779578us-gaap:OverAllotmentOptionMember2021-01-150001779578us-gaap:IPOMember2021-01-140001779578qli:GansuQilianshanPharmaceuticalCo.LtdMember2022-10-012023-09-300001779578qli:GansuQilianshanPharmaceuticalCo.LtdMember2022-09-300001779578us-gaap:MachineryAndEquipmentMember2023-09-300001779578us-gaap:LandAndBuildingMember2023-09-300001779578us-gaap:AutomobilesMember2023-09-300001779578qli:OfficeAndElectricEquipmentMember2023-09-300001779578us-gaap:MachineryAndEquipmentMember2022-09-300001779578us-gaap:LandAndBuildingMember2022-09-300001779578us-gaap:AutomobilesMember2022-09-300001779578qli:OfficeAndElectricEquipmentMember2022-09-300001779578country:CN2022-10-012023-09-3000017795782021-01-142021-01-140001779578us-gaap:IPOMember2021-01-142021-01-140001779578srt:MinimumMember2022-10-012023-09-300001779578srt:MaximumMember2022-10-012023-09-300001779578us-gaap:AccountsReceivableMemberus-gaap:SupplierConcentrationRiskMemberqli:SupplierOneMember2021-10-012022-09-300001779578us-gaap:CostOfGoodsTotalMemberus-gaap:SupplierConcentrationRiskMember2023-09-300001779578us-gaap:CostOfGoodsTotalMemberus-gaap:SupplierConcentrationRiskMember2022-09-300001779578us-gaap:CostOfGoodsTotalMemberus-gaap:SupplierConcentrationRiskMember2021-09-300001779578qli:GansuQilianshanPharmaceuticalCo.LtdMember2023-09-300001779578qli:FormerIndependentDirectorsMember2022-09-300001779578us-gaap:RevenueFromContractWithCustomerMemberus-gaap:CustomerConcentrationRiskMember2023-09-300001779578us-gaap:AccountsReceivableMemberus-gaap:CustomerConcentrationRiskMember2023-09-300001779578us-gaap:RevenueFromContractWithCustomerMemberus-gaap:CustomerConcentrationRiskMember2022-09-300001779578us-gaap:AccountsReceivableMemberus-gaap:CustomerConcentrationRiskMember2022-09-300001779578us-gaap:RevenueFromContractWithCustomerMemberus-gaap:CustomerConcentrationRiskMember2021-09-300001779578us-gaap:AccountsReceivableMemberus-gaap:CustomerConcentrationRiskMember2021-09-300001779578qli:GansuQilianshanPharmaceuticalCo.LtdMember2006-08-310001779578qli:WesternRegionMember2022-10-012023-09-300001779578qli:GansuQilianshanPharmaceuticalCo.LtdMember2022-10-012023-09-300001779578qli:ChengduQilianshanBiotechnologyCo.LtdMember2022-10-012023-09-300001779578qli:WesternRegionMember2021-10-012022-09-300001779578qli:GansuQilianshanPharmaceuticalCo.LtdMember2021-10-012022-09-300001779578qli:ChengduQilianshanBiotechnologyCo.LtdMember2021-10-012022-09-300001779578qli:WesternRegionMember2020-10-012021-09-300001779578qli:GansuQilianshanPharmaceuticalCo.LtdMember2020-10-012021-09-300001779578qli:ChengduQilianshanBiotechnologyCo.LtdMember2020-10-012021-09-3000017795782021-09-300001779578qli:ChongqingJintongIndustrialConstructionInvestmentCo.LtdChongqingJintongMember2023-09-300001779578qli:OxytetracyclineLicoriceProductsAndTcmdMember2022-10-012023-09-300001779578qli:HeparinProductsAndSausageCasingMember2022-10-012023-09-300001779578qli:FertilizerMember2022-10-012023-09-300001779578qli:OxytetracyclineLicoriceProductsAndTcmdMember2021-10-012022-09-300001779578qli:HeparinProductsAndSausageCasingMember2021-10-012022-09-300001779578qli:FertilizerMember2021-10-012022-09-300001779578qli:OxytetracyclineLicoriceProductsAndTcmdMember2020-10-012021-09-300001779578qli:HeparinProductsAndSausageCasingMember2020-10-012021-09-300001779578qli:FertilizerMember2020-10-012021-09-300001779578country:HK2022-10-012023-09-300001779578country:HK2021-10-012022-09-300001779578country:HK2020-10-012021-09-300001779578country:HKqli:ScenarioTwoMember2018-10-012019-09-300001779578country:HKqli:ScenarioOneMember2018-10-012019-09-300001779578us-gaap:VariableInterestEntityPrimaryBeneficiaryMember2023-09-300001779578us-gaap:VariableInterestEntityPrimaryBeneficiaryMember2022-09-3000017795782022-09-300001779578us-gaap:RetainedEarningsMember2022-10-012023-09-300001779578us-gaap:ParentMember2022-10-012023-09-300001779578qli:StatutoryReserveMember2022-10-012023-09-300001779578us-gaap:RetainedEarningsMember2021-10-012022-09-300001779578qli:StatutoryReserveMember2021-10-012022-09-300001779578qli:GansuQilianshanPharmaceuticalCo.LtdMember2021-10-012022-09-300001779578qli:GansuQilianshanPharmaceuticalCo.LtdMember2020-10-012021-09-3000017795782021-10-012022-09-3000017795782020-10-012021-09-300001779578us-gaap:NoncontrollingInterestMember2022-10-012023-09-3000017795782023-09-300001779578dei:BusinessContactMember2022-10-012023-09-3000017795782022-10-012023-09-30qli:itemiso4217:USDxbrli:sharesqli:segmentxbrli:sharesiso4217:USDxbrli:pureiso4217:HKDiso4217:CNYiso4217:CNYiso4217:USDqli:customerqli:leaseqli:subsidiary

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549

FORM 20-F

    REGISTRATION STATEMENT PURSUANT TO SECTION 12(b) OR (g) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

OR

    ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the fiscal year ended September 30, 2023

OR

    TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

OR

    SHELL COMPANY REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

Date of event requiring this shell company report:

For the transition period from _________ to _____________.

Commission file number: 001-39805

Qilian International Holding Group Limited

(Exact name of Registrant as Specified in its Charter)

N/A

(Translation of Registrant’s name into English)

Cayman Islands

(Jurisdiction of Incorporation or Organization)

Jiuquan Economic and Technological Development Zone

Jiuquan City, Gansu Province, 735000

People’s Republic of China

+86-028-64775180

(Address of Principal Executive Offices)

Zhanchang Xin, Chief Executive Officer
Jiuquan Economic and Technological Development Zone
Jiuquan City, Gansu Province, 735000
People’s Republic of China
Telephone: +86-028-64775180

Email: xinzc@163.com

(Name, Telephone, E-mail and/or Facsimile Number and Address of Company Contact Person)

Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

Title of each class

 

Trading Symbol(s)

 

Name of each exchange on which registered

Ordinary Shares

 

QLI

 

The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC

Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:

None

(Title of Class)

Securities for which there is a reporting obligation pursuant to Section 15(d) of the Act:

None

(Title of Class)

Indicate the number of outstanding shares of each of the issuer’s classes of capital or common stock as of the close of the period covered by the annual report.

An aggregate of 35,750,000 ordinary shares, par value $0.00166667 per share, as of September 30, 2023.

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes     No

If this report is an annual or transition report, indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Yes     No

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes     No

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). Yes      No

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, or a non-accelerated filer. See definition of “accelerated filer and large accelerated filer” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one):

Large accelerated filer

Accelerated filer    

Non-accelerated filer    

Emerging growth company  

If an emerging growth company that prepares its financial statements in accordance with U.S. GAAP, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards† provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.

If securities are registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act, indicate by check mark whether the financial statements of the registrant included in the filing reflect the correction of an error to previously issued financial statements.

Indicate by check mark whether any of those error corrections are restatements that required a recovery analysis of incentive-based compensation received by any of the registrant’s executive officers during the relevant recovery period pursuant to §240.10D-1(b).

Indicate by check mark which basis of accounting the registrant has used to prepare the financial statements included in this filing:

U.S. GAAP

International Financial Reporting Standards as issued by the
International Accounting Standards Board ☐

Other ☐

If “Other” has been checked in response to the previous question, indicate by check mark which financial statement item the registrant has elected to follow: Item 17  Item 18 

If this is an annual report, indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes      No 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed all documents and reports required to be filed by Sections 12, 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 subsequent to the distribution of securities under a plan confirmed by a court. Yes No

TABLE OF CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION

4

FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION

6

PART I

7

ITEM 1.

IDENTITY OF DIRECTORS, SENIOR MANAGEMENT AND ADVISERS

7

ITEM 2.

OFFER STATISTICS AND EXPECTED TIMETABLE

7

ITEM 3.

KEY INFORMATION

7

ITEM 4.

INFORMATION ON THE COMPANY

53

ITEM 4A.

UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

96

ITEM 5.

OPERATING AND FINANCIAL REVIEW AND PROSPECTS

97

ITEM 6.

DIRECTORS, SENIOR MANAGEMENT AND EMPLOYEES

112

ITEM 7.

MAJOR SHAREHOLDERS AND RELATED PARTY TRANSACTIONS

119

ITEM 8.

FINANCIAL INFORMATION

119

ITEM 9.

THE OFFER AND LISTING

120

ITEM 10.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

121

ITEM 11.

QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK

136

ITEM 12.

DESCRIPTION OF SECURITIES OTHER THAN EQUITY SECURITIES

137

PART II

138

ITEM 13.

DEFAULTS, DIVIDEND ARREARAGES AND DELINQUENCIES

138

ITEM 14.

MATERIAL MODIFICATIONS TO THE RIGHTS OF SECURITY HOLDERS AND USE OF PROCEEDS

138

ITEM 15.

CONTROLS AND PROCEDURES

138

ITEM 16A.

AUDIT COMMITTEE FINANCIAL EXPERT

140

ITEM 16B.

CODE OF ETHICS

140

ITEM 16C.

PRINCIPAL ACCOUNTANT FEES AND SERVICES

140

ITEM 16D.

EXEMPTIONS FROM THE LISTING STANDARDS FOR AUDIT COMMITTEES

141

ITEM 16E.

PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES BY THE ISSUER AND AFFILIATED PURCHASERS

141

ITEM 16F.

CHANGE IN REGISTRANT’S CERTIFYING ACCOUNTANT

141

ITEM 16G.

CORPORATE GOVERNANCE

141

ITEM 16H.

MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURE

141

PART III

142

ITEM 17.

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

142

ITEM 18.

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

142

ITEM 19.

EXHIBITS

142

3

INTRODUCTION

As used in this annual report on Form 20-F, (i) “we,” “us,” “Parent,” “Qilian International,” “our company,” the “Company,” or “our” refers specifically to Qilian International Holding Group Limited; (ii) “Gansu QLS,” “variable interest entity” or “ VIE” refers to Gansu Qilianshan Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., a company incorporated in the People’s Republic of China; (iii) “WFOE” or “PRC Subsidiary” are to Qilian International Trade (Chengdu) Co., Ltd., formerly known as Chengdu Qilian Trading Co., Ltd., and Qilian Shan International Trade (Hainan) Co., Ltd., both of which are limited liability company organized under the laws of the PRC and are wholly-owned by Qilian International (Hong Kong) Holdings Limited, a limited liability company organized under the laws of Hong Kong.

It is important to note that Qilian International is not a Chinese operating company but a Cayman Islands holding company with no material business operations. Qilian International conducts its operations in China through the variable interest entity-- Gansu Qilianshan Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. (the “VIE”, “Gansu QLS”) and its subsidiaries. Investors in Qilian International’s ordinary shares are not purchasing equity interest in its operating entities in China but instead are purchasing equity interest in a Cayman Islands holding company.

Qilian International receives the economic benefits of Gansu QLS and its subsidiaries’ business operation through a series of contractual arrangements, or the VIE Agreements. As a result of the VIE Agreements, Qilian International is the primary beneficiary of Gansu QLS for accounting purposes and treat it as a PRC consolidated entity under U.S. GAAP. Qilian International consolidates the financial results of Gansu QLS and its subsidiaries in its consolidated financial statements in accordance with U.S. GAAP. Qilian International does not own any equity interest in Gansu QLS and its subsidiaries. For detailed descriptions of each of the VIE Agreement, please refer to disclosures under “Item 4. Information on the Company-A. History and Development of the Company- Our Holding Company Structure and Contractual Arrangements” in this annual report on Form 20-F.

Unless the context otherwise requires, in this annual report on Form 20-F, references to:

“Affiliated Entities” are to Qilian International’s two subsidiaries through equity ownership, along with Gansu QLS (the “VIE”) and the VIE’s subsidiaries, which Qilian International does not own through equity ownership;
“Ahan” are to Jiuquan Ahan Biotechnology Co., Ltd., a limited liability company organized under the laws of the PRC, which is 100% owned by Gansu QLS;
“Ahan® Antibacterial Paste” are to a disinfection paste made from a mixture of 11 traditional Chinese herbal ingredients used to treat refractory chronic skin diseases;
“APIs” are to Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients, which refer to any substance or mixture of substances intended to be used in the manufacture of a drug (medicinal) product and that, when used in the production of a drug, becomes an active ingredient of the drug product;
“Cangmen” are to Tibet Cangmen trading Co., Ltd., a limited liability company organized under the laws of the PRC, which is 100% owned by Gansu QLS;
“Chengdu QLS” are to Chengdu Qilianshan Biotechnology Co., Ltd., a limited liability company organized under the laws of the PRC, which is 79.71% owned by Gansu QLS;
“China” or the “PRC” are to the People’s Republic of China, excluding Taiwan but including the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau for the purposes of this annual report only;
“Gan Di Xin®” are to an innovative antitussive and expectorant medicine made from raw licorice materials;
“Gansu QLS” are to Gansu Qilianshan Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., a limited liability company organized under the laws of the PRC, which Qilian International controls via a series of contractual arrangements between WFOE and Gansu QLS;
“Hainan Trade” are to Qilian Shan International Trade (Hainan) Co., Ltd., a limited liability company organized under the laws of the PRC and is wholly-owned by Qilian International (Hong Kong) Holdings Limited, a limited liability company organized under the laws of Hong Kong.
“Heparin Sodium Preparation” are to a primary ingredient for pharmaceutical companies to produce medications used in treating cardiovascular diseases, cerebrovascular diseases, and hemodialysis;
“Moshangfa” are to Moshangfa (Gansu) Fertilizer Industry Co., Ltd., formerly known as Jiuquan Qiming Biotechnology Co., Ltd., a limited liability company organized under the laws of the PRC, which is 100% owned by Gansu QLS;
“Ordinary Shares” are to the ordinary shares, par value US$0.00166667 per share, issued by Qilian International;
“Qilian HK” are to Qilian International’s wholly owned subsidiary, Qilian International (Hong Kong) Holdings Limited, a Hong Kong corporation;
“Qilian International” are to Qilian International Holding Group Limited, an exempted company with limited liability incorporated under the laws of the Cayman Islands;
“Qilian Shan® Licorice Extract” are to a primary ingredient for pharmaceutical companies to manufacture traditional licorice tablets;
“Qilian Shan® Licorice Liquid Extract” are to a primary ingredient for medical preparation companies to produce compound licorice oral solutions;
“Qilian Shan® Oxytetracycline APIs” are to an active ingredient used by pharmaceutical companies in the manufacturing of medications that use oxytetracycline;

4

“Qilian Shan® Oxytetracycline Tablets” are to tablets used to prevent and treat a wide range of diseases in chickens, turkeys, cattle, swine, and human;
“Rugao” are to Rugao Tianlu Animal Products Co., Ltd., a limited liability company organized under the laws of the PRC, which is 100% owned by Chengdu QLS;
“Samen” are to Tibet Samen Trading Co., Ltd., a limited liability company organized under the laws of the PRC, which was 100% owned by Gansu QLS. Samen was dissolved in June 2023;
“TCM” are to Traditional Chinese Medicine, a style of traditional medicine built on a foundation of more than 2,500 years of Chinese medical practice that includes various forms of herbal medicine, acupuncture, massage (tui na), exercise (qigong), and dietary therapy;
“TCMD” are to Traditional Chinese Medicine Derivatives, a type of product derived from TCM that has been prepared through modern medicine manufacturing procedures to be ready for use;
“VIE” are to Gansu QLS, the variable interest entity; 
“VIE Agreements” are to a series of contractual arrangements, including Exclusive Service Agreement, as amended on August 27, 2019 and later terminated and replaced by Hainan Exclusive Service Agreement on December 1, 2022, the Call Option Agreement, the Equity Pledge Agreement, the Shareholders’ Voting Rights Proxy Agreement and Powers of Attorney, and the Spousal Consents;
“we,” “us,” “Parent,” or “the Company” are to Qilian International;
“WFOE” or “PRC Subsidiary” are to Qilian International Trade (Chengdu) Co., Ltd., formerly known as Chengdu Qilian Trading Co., Ltd., and Qilian Shan International Trade (Hainan) Co., Ltd., both of which are limited liability company organized under the laws of the PRC and are wholly-owned by Qilian International (Hong Kong) Holdings Limited, a limited liability company organized under the laws of Hong Kong;
“Xiongguan® Organic Fertilizer” are to a fertilizer product designed to improve crop yield, increase soil’s chemical properties, and reduce soil compaction;
“Xiongguan® Organic-Inorganic Compound Fertilizer” are to a fertilizer product made from both organic materials and traditional chemical fertilizer and is designed to increased plant growth;
“Zhongqiao” are to Zhongqiao Youguan (Chengdu) E-Commerce Service Co., Ltd., a limited liability company organized under the laws of the PRC, which is a 51% subsidiary of Hainan Trade; and
“Zhu Xiaochang® Sausage Casings” are to an all-natural food product used for culinary purposes.

This annual report on Form 20-F includes our audited consolidated financial statements for the fiscal years ended September 30, 2023, 2022, and 2021. In this annual report, we refer to assets, obligations, commitments, and liabilities in our consolidated financial statements in United States dollars. These dollar references are based on the exchange rate of RMB to United States dollars, determined as of a specific date or for a specific period. Changes in the exchange rate will affect the amount of our obligations and the value of our assets in terms of United States dollars which may result in an increase or decrease in the amount of our obligations and the value of our assets.

This annual report contains translations of certain RMB amounts into U.S. dollars at specified rates. Unless otherwise stated, the following exchange rates are used in this annual report:

September 30,

US$Exchange Rate

    

2023

    

2022

    

2021

At the end of the year - RMB

 

RMB7.2960 to $1.00

 

RMB7.1135 to $1.00

 

RMB6.4580 to $1.00

Average rate for the year - RMB

 

RMB7.0533 to $1.00

 

RMB6.5532 to $1.00

 

RMB6.5095 to $1.00

5

FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION

This annual report on Form 20-F contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), that involve substantial risks and uncertainties. Known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, including those listed under “Item 3. Key Information—D. Risk Factors,” may cause our and the VIE and its subsidiaries’ actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. These statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our and the VIE and its subsidiaries’ actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements.

You can identify some of these forward-looking statements by words or phrases such as “may,” “will,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “aim,” “estimate,” “intend,” “plan,” “believe,” “is/are likely to,” “potential,” “continue” or other similar expressions. We have based these forward-looking statements largely on our current expectations and projections about future events that we believe may affect our, the VIE and its subsidiaries’ financial condition, results of operations, business strategy and financial needs. These forward-looking statements include statements relating to:

our and the VIE and its subsidiaries’ mission, goals and strategies;
The impact of COVID-19 on our and the VIE and its subsidiaries’ operations;
our and the VIE and its subsidiaries’ future business development, financial conditions and results of operations;
the expected growth of the PRC pharmaceutical and chemical industries in China;
our and the VIE and its subsidiaries’ expectations regarding demand for and market acceptance of their products;
our and the VIE and its subsidiaries’ expectations regarding their relationships with their suppliers and customers;
competition in our and the VIE and its subsidiaries’ industries; and
relevant government policies and regulations relating to our and the VIE and its subsidiaries’ industry.

These forward-looking statements involve various risks and uncertainties. Although we believe that our expectations expressed in these forward-looking statements are reasonable, our expectations may later be found to be incorrect. Our, the VIE and its subsidiaries’ actual results could be materially different from our expectations. Other sections of this annual report include additional factors that could adversely impact Qilian International and its affiliated entities’ business and financial performance. Moreover, our and the VIE and its subsidiaries’ operate in an evolving environment. New risk factors and uncertainties emerge from time to time and it is not possible for our management to predict all risk factors and uncertainties, nor can we assess the impact of all factors on our, the VIE and its subsidiaries’ business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statements. You should read thoroughly this annual report and the documents that we refer to with the understanding that our actual future results may be materially different from, or worse than, what we expect. We qualify all of our forward-looking statements by these cautionary statements.

This annual report contains certain data and information that we obtained from various government and private publications. Statistical data in these publications also include projections based on a number of assumptions. The insurance industry may not grow at the rate projected by market data, or at all. Failure of this market to grow at the projected rate may have a material and adverse effect on our and the VIE and its subsidiaries’ business and the market price of the Ordinary Shares. In addition, the rapidly evolving nature of this industry results in significant uncertainties for any projections or estimates relating to the growth prospects or future condition of our and the VIE and its subsidiaries’ market. Furthermore, if any one or more of the assumptions underlying the market data are later found to be incorrect, actual results may differ from the projections based on these assumptions. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements.

The forward-looking statements made in this annual report relate only to events or information as of the date on which the statements are made in this annual report. Except as required by law, we undertake no obligation to update or revise publicly any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, after the date on which the statements are made or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events. You should read this annual report and the documents that we refer to in this annual report and exhibits to this annual report completely and with the understanding that our and the VIE and its subsidiaries’ actual future results may be materially different from what we expect.

6

PART I

Item 1. IDENTITY OF DIRECTORS, SENIOR MANAGEMENT AND ADVISERS

Not Applicable.

Item 2. OFFER STATISTICS AND EXPECTED TIMETABLE

Not Applicable.

Item 3. KEY INFORMATION

Our Holding Company Structure and Contractual Arrangements with the Consolidated Affiliated Entities

Qilian International Holding Group Limited is not a Chinese operating company but a Cayman Islands holding company with no business operations. The business operations are conducted by Gansu Qilianshan Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (the “VIE”, “Gansu QLS”) and its subsidiaries established in the PRC. See “Item 4.C. INFORMATION ON THE COMPANY - Our Corporate Structure” for further information regarding our affiliated entities’ names, places of incorporation, and equity ownership. Qilian International and its affiliated entities are subject to legal and operational risks associated with being mostly based in the PRC and Hong Kong and having all of their operations in the PRC, discussed in greater detail below. Qilian International is incorporated in the Cayman Islands-- a holding company with no material operations, the Company conducts its operations in China through the variable interest entities-- Gansu QLS and its subsidiaries. Investors in Qilian International’s ordinary shares are not purchasing equity interest in its operating entities in China but instead are purchasing equity interest in a Cayman Islands holding company.

Qilian International receives the economic benefits of Gansu QLS and its subsidiaries’ business operation through a series of contractual arrangements, or the VIE Agreements. As a result of the VIE Agreements, Qilian International is the primary beneficiary of Gansu QLS for accounting purposes and treat it as a PRC consolidated entity under U.S. GAAP. Qilian International consolidates the financial results of Gansu QLS and its subsidiaries in its consolidated financial statements in accordance with U.S. GAAP. Neither Qilian International nor its investors own any equity ownership in, direct foreign investment in, or control through such ownership/investment of Gansu QLS. These VIE Agreements have not been tested in a court of law in the PRC. As a result, investors in Qilian International’s ordinary shares thus are not purchasing equity interest in its operating entities in China but instead are purchasing equity interest in a Cayman Islands holding company. As used in this annual report, (i) “Gansu QLS,” “variable interest entity” or “ VIE” refers to Gansu Qilianshan Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., a company incorporated in the People’s Republic of China; (ii) “WFOE” or “PRC Subsidiary” are to Qilian International Trade (Chengdu) Co., Ltd., formerly known as Chengdu Qilian Trading Co., Ltd., and Qilian Shan International Trade (Hainan) Co., Ltd., both of which are limited liability company organized under the laws of the PRC and are wholly-owned by Qilian International (Hong Kong) Holdings Limited, a limited liability company organized under the laws of Hong Kong; and (iii) “Qilian International”, “the Company” are to Qilian International Holding Group Limited, an exempted company with limited liability incorporated under the laws of the Cayman Islands.

7

Our corporate structure is subject to risks associated with Qilian International’s contractual arrangements with the VIE. The Company that investors will own may never have a direct ownership interest in the businesses that are conducted by the VIE. If the PRC government finds that the agreements that establish the structure for operating the VIE and its subsidiaries’ business in China do not comply with PRC laws and regulations, or if these regulations or the interpretation of existing regulations change or are interpreted differently in the future, we could be subject to severe penalties or be forced to relinquish our interests in the operations of the VIE and its subsidiaries. This would result in the VIE being deconsolidated. The majority of our assets, including the necessary licenses to conduct business in China, are held by the VIE and its subsidiaries. A significant part of our revenue is generated by the VIE. An event that results in the deconsolidation of the VIE would have a material effect on the VIE and its subsidiaries’ operations and result in the Ordinary Shares diminish substantially in value or even become worthless. The Company, our Hong Kong entity, the VIE and its subsidiaries, and our investors face uncertainty about potential future actions by the PRC government that could affect the enforceability of the contractual arrangements with the VIE and, consequently, significantly affect the financial performance of the VIE and the Company as a whole. For a detailed description of the risks associated with our corporate structure, please refer to risks disclosed under “Item 3. Key Information-D. Risk Factors-Risks Related to Our Corporate Structure” in this annual report on Form 20-F.

In addition, while Qilian International will take every precaution available to enforce the contractual and corporate relationship of the VIE agreements, these contractual arrangements are less effective than direct ownership and Qilian International may incur substantial costs to enforce the terms of the arrangements. For example, the VIE, its subsidiaries, and their shareholders could breach their contractual arrangements with Qilian International by, among other things, failing to conduct their operations in an acceptable manner or taking other actions that are detrimental to Qilian International’s interests. If Qilian International had direct ownership of the VIE and its subsidiaries, it would be able to exercise its rights as a shareholder to effect changes in the board of directors of the VIE, which in turn could implement changes, subject to any applicable fiduciary obligations, at the management and operational level. However, under VIE Agreements, Qilian International relies on the performance by the VIE and its shareholders of their obligations under the contracts to direct the operation of the VIE and its subsidiaries. As such, the shareholders of VIE and its subsidiaries may not act in the best interests of Qilian International or may not perform their obligations under these contracts. In addition, failure of the VIE shareholders to perform certain obligations could compel Qilian International to rely on legal remedies available under PRC laws, including seeking specific performance or injunctive relief, and claiming damages, which may not be effective. Further, it is uncertain whether any new PRC laws or regulations relating to variable interest entity structures will be adopted or if adopted, what they would provide. PRC regulatory authorities could disallow this structure, which would materially adversely affect the value of Qilian International’s ordinary shares, and could cause the value of such securities to significantly decline or become worthless. Qilian International faces numerous challenges in enforcing these contractual agreements due to uncertainties under Chinese law as well as jurisdictional limits. For a description of the risks related to these contractual arrangements and our corporate structure, see “Risk Factors - Risks Related to Our Corporate Structure.” For detailed descriptions of each of the VIE Agreement, please refer to disclosures under “Item 4. Information on the Company-A. History and Development of the Company- Our Holding Company Structure and Contractual Arrangements” in this annual report on Form 20-F.

8

Qilian International faces legal and operational risks associated with having the majority of its operations in China. The Chinese government has significant authority to exert influence on the ability of a China-based company, such as Qilian International, to conduct its business. Therefore, investors of Qilian International and its business conducted by the VIE and its subsidiaries face potential uncertainty from the PRC government. Changes in China’s economic, political or social conditions or government policies could materially adversely affect Qilian International and its affiliated entities’ business and results of operations. For example, Qilian International faces risks associated with PRC governmental authorities’ significant oversight and discretion over the businesses and financing activities of the VIE, the requirement of regulatory approvals for offerings conducted overseas by and foreign investment in China-based issuers, the use of variable interest entities, the enforcement of anti-monopoly regime, the regulatory oversight on cybersecurity and data privacy as well as the risk of delisting due to if the PCAOB is unable to conduct inspection on our auditors, which may impact our ability to conduct certain businesses, accept foreign investments, or list on a United States or other foreign exchange. These risks could result in a material adverse change in the VIE and its subsidiaries’ operations conducted by the VIE and its subsidiaries and the value of Qilian International’s ordinary shares, significantly limit or completely hinder Qilian International’s ability and the ability of any holder of its Ordinary Shares or other securities of Qilian International to offer or continue to offer such securities to investors, or cause the value of such securities to significantly decline. In particular, recent statements and regulatory actions by China’s government, such as those related to data security or anti-monopoly concerns, as well as the PCAOB’s ability to inspect our auditors, may impact Qilian International’s ability to conduct its business through the VIE and its subsidiaries, accept foreign investments, or be listed on a U.S. or other foreign stock exchange. See “Item 3. Key Information - D. Risk Factors - Risks Related to Doing Business in China - The PRC government has significant authority to intervene or influence the China operations of an offshore holding company, such as ours, at any time. The PRC government may exert more control over offerings conducted overseas and/or foreign investment in China-based issuers. If the PRC government exerts more oversight and control over offerings that are conducted overseas and/or foreign investment in China-based issuers and we, the VIE or its subsidiaries were to be subject to such oversight and control, it may result in a material adverse change to the VIE and its subsidiaries’ business operations, significantly limit or completely hinder Qilian International’s ability to offer or continue to offer securities to investors, and cause its ordinary shares to significantly decline in value or become worthless” and “Item 3. Key Information - D. Risk Factors - Risks Related to Doing Business in China - Uncertainties with respect to the PRC legal system and the interpretation and enforcement of PRC laws and regulations could limit the legal protections available to you and us, hinder Qilian International’s ability and the ability of any holder of Qilian International’s securities to offer or continue to offer such securities, result in a material adverse change to the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries’ business operations, and damage Qilian International and its subsidiaries’ reputation, which would materially and adversely affect Qilian International and its affiliates’ financial condition and results of operations and cause the Ordinary Shares to significantly decline in value or become worthless.”

Qilian International has been advised by Gansu Quanyi Law Firm, our PRC counsel that as of the date of this Annual Report, our listing in the U.S. is not subject to the review, permission or prior approval of PRC authorities including the Cyberspace Administration of China (“CAC”) or the China Securities Regulatory Commission (“CSRC”) because (i) the CSRC currently has not issued any definitive rule or interpretation concerning whether our listing is subject to this regulation; and (ii) our operating entities (the WFOE, the VIE and its subsidiaries) were established and operate in PRC are not included in the categories of industries and companies whose foreign securities offerings are subject to review by the CSRC or the CAC. Uncertainties still exist, however, due to the possibility that laws, regulations, or policies in the PRC could change rapidly in the future. In the event that the PRC government expanded the categories of industries and companies whose foreign securities offerings are subject to review by the CSRC or the CAC, and Qilian International inadvertently concluded that relevant permissions or approvals were not required or that Qilian International did not receive or failed to maintain relevant permissions or approvals required and such permissions were subsequently rescinded, any action by the PRC government could significantly limit or completely hinder Qilian International’s ability to offer or continue to offer securities to investors and could cause the value of such securities to significantly decline or be worthless.

9

On December 16, 2021, the PCAOB issued a report on its determination that it is unable to inspect or investigate completely PCAOB-registered public accounting firms headquartered in China and in Hong Kong because of positions taken by PRC and Hong Kong authorities in those jurisdictions. The PCAOB has made such determination as mandated under the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act. Pursuant to each annual determination by the PCAOB, the SEC will, on an annual basis, identify issuers that have used non-inspected audit firms and thus are at risk of such suspensions in the future. Our auditors, ZH CPA, LLC and Friedman LLP, the independent registered public accounting firms that issue the audit reports included elsewhere in this annual reports, as auditors of companies that are traded publicly in the U.S. and firms registered with the PCAOB, are subject to laws in the U.S., pursuant to which the PCAOB conducts regular inspections to assess their compliance with the applicable professional standards. ZH CPA, LLC and Friedman LLP are located in Denver, Colorado and Manhattan, New York, and have been inspected by the PCAOB on a regular basis. Our auditors are not subject to the determination issued by the PCAOB on December 16, 2021.

On June 22, 2021, the U.S. Senate passed the Accelerating Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act, and on December 29, 2022, legislation entitled “Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023” (the “Consolidated Appropriations Act”) was signed into law by President Biden, which contained, among other things, an identical provision to the Accelerating Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act and amended the HFCA Act by requiring the SEC to prohibit an issuer’s securities from trading on any U.S. stock exchanges if its auditor is not subject to PCAOB inspections for two consecutive years instead of three, thus reducing the time period for triggering the prohibition on trading. On August 26, 2022, the CSRC, the Ministry of Finance of the PRC (the “MOF”), and the PCAOB signed a Statement of Protocol (the “Protocol”) governing inspections and investigations of audit firms based in mainland China and Hong Kong, taking the first step toward opening access for the PCAOB to inspect and investigate registered public accounting firms headquartered in mainland China and Hong Kong. Pursuant to the fact sheet with respect to the Protocol disclosed by the SEC, the PCAOB shall have independent discretion to select any issuer audits for inspection or investigation and has the unfettered ability to transfer information to the SEC. On December 15, 2022, the PCAOB Board determined that the PCAOB was able to secure complete access to inspect and investigate registered public accounting firms headquartered in mainland China and Hong Kong and voted to vacate its previous determinations to the contrary. However, should PRC authorities obstruct or otherwise fail to facilitate the PCAOB’s access in the future, the PCAOB Board will consider the need to issue a new determination. See “—D. Risk Factors—Risks Related to Doing Business in China — Our Ordinary Shares may be delisted and prohibited from being traded under the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act if the PCAOB is unable to inspect auditors who are located in China. The delisting and the cessation of trading of our Ordinary Shares, or the threat of their being delisted and prohibited from being traded, may materially and adversely affect the value of your investment. Additionally, the inability of the PCAOB to conduct inspections deprives our investors with the benefits of such inspections.”

An investment in our ordinary shares involves a high degree of risk and should be considered speculative. You should carefully consider the following risks set out below and other information before investing in our ordinary shares. If any event arising from these risks occurs, the VIE and its subsidiaries’ business, prospects, financial condition, results of operations or cash flows could be adversely affected, the trading price of our ordinary shares could decline and all or part of your investment may be lost.

Transfers of Cash Amongst Our Subsidiaries, the VIE, and the VIE’s Subsidiaries

Qilian International is permitted under the laws of Cayman Islands to provide funding to its subsidiary in Hong Kong (Qilian HK) through loans or capital contributions without restrictions on the amount of the funds. Qilian HK is permitted under the laws of Hong Kong to provide funding to Qilian International through dividend distribution without restrictions on the amount of the funds. Any determination related to our dividend policy will be made at the discretion of Qilian International’s board of directors after considering its financial condition, results of operations, capital requirements, contractual requirements, business prospects and other factors the board of directors deems relevant, and subject to the restrictions contained in any financing instruments. Subject to the Cayman Islands company law and its Memorandum and Articles of Association, Qilian International’s board of directors may authorize and declare a dividend to shareholders at such time and of such an amount as they think fit if they are satisfied, on reasonable grounds, that immediately following the dividend the value of its assets will exceed its liabilities and Qilian International will be able to pay its debts as they become due. There is no further Cayman Islands company law restriction on the amount of funds which may be distributed by Qilian International by dividend.

10

If Qilian International determines to pay dividends on any of its Ordinary Shares, as a holding company, it will be dependent on receipt of funds from its Hong Kong subsidiary by way of dividend payments. Under the current practice of the Inland Revenue Department of Hong Kong, no tax is payable in Hong Kong in respect of dividends paid by us. The laws and regulations of the PRC do not currently have any material impact on transfer of cash from Qilian International to Qilian HK or from Qilian HK to Qilian International. There are no restrictions or limitation under the laws of Hong Kong imposed on the conversion of HK dollar into foreign currencies and the remittance of currencies out of Hong Kong, nor there is any restriction on foreign exchange to transfer cash between Qilian International and its affiliated entities, across borders and to U.S investors, nor there is any restrictions and limitations to distribute earnings from Qilian International’s operating business conducted by its PRC based VIE and its subsidiaries, to Qilian and U.S. investors and amounts owed.

Current PRC regulations permit WFOE to pay dividends to our Hong Kong subsidiary only out of its accumulated after-tax profits, if any, determined in accordance with Chinese accounting standards and regulations. In addition, WFOE is required to set aside at least 10% of its after-tax profits each year, if any, to fund a statutory reserve until such reserve reaches 50% of its registered capital. WFOE could further set aside a portion of its after-tax profits to fund a discretionary reserve, although the amount to be set aside, if any, is determined at the discretion of its shareholders. Although the statutory reserves can be used, among other ways, to increase the registered capital and eliminate future losses in excess of retained earnings of the respective companies, the reserve funds are not distributable as cash dividends except in the event of liquidation.

While the PRC government imposes controls on the conversion of RMB into foreign currencies and the remittance of currencies out of the PRC, none of the entities affiliated to the Company are on the negative list of domestic and foreign investments explicitly prohibited by the Chinese government. Thus, the Company will not experience difficulties in completing the administrative procedures necessary to obtain and remit foreign currency for the payment of dividends from its VIE’s profits. If WFOE incurs debt on its own in the future, the instruments governing the debt may restrict its ability to pay dividends or make other payments. If Qilian International or its subsidiaries are unable to receive all of the revenues from their operations through the current VIE agreements, it may be unable to pay dividends on its ordinary shares.

Cash dividends, if any, on Qilian International’s ordinary shares will be paid in U.S. dollars. If Qilian International is considered a PRC tax resident enterprise for tax purposes, any dividends it pays to its overseas shareholders may be regarded as China-sourced income and as a result may be subject to PRC withholding tax at a rate of up to 10.0%. In order for Qilian International to pay dividends to its shareholders, it will rely on payments made from the VIE and its subsidiaries to WFOE, pursuant to VIE agreements between them, and the distribution of such payments to Qilian HK as dividends from WFOE. Certain payments from the VIE and its subsidiaries to WFOE are subject to PRC taxes, including enterprise income taxes, VAT and certain other taxes, as the case maybe.

For the year ended September 30, 2023, cash flow from VIE to WFOE includes payment of $39,508 for net payments for products sales and purchase. For the year ended September 30, 2022, cash flow from WFOE to VIE includes proceeds from repayment of loan of $762,986, interest payment of $166,458 and net payment for product sales and purchase of $209,064. For the year ended September 30, 2021, cash flow from WFOE to VIE includes proceeds from repayment of loan of $768,108 and net proceeds from product sales and purchase of $1,263,906, and $117,656 for interest payment.

See “Dividend Policy”, “Risk Factors — Qilian International is a holding company and it relies for funding on dividend payments from its affiliated entities by contracts, which are subject to restrictions under PRC laws. Any limitation on the ability of Qilian’s affiliated entities to make payments to it could have a material adverse effect on Qilian International’s ability to maintain its business.”, Summary Consolidated Financial Data and Consolidated Statements of Change in Shareholders’ Equity in the Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm for more information.

11

PRC Limitation on Overseas Listing and Share Issuances

Currently, Qilian International, including its affiliated entities, are not required to obtain approval from Chinese authorities, including the China Securities Regulatory Commission, or CSRC, or Cybersecurity Administration Committee, or CAC, to operate and list on U.S. exchanges or issue securities to foreign investors. If approval is required in the future and Qilian International was denied permission from Chinese authorities to list on U.S. exchanges, Qilian International will not be able to operate or to continue listing on U.S. exchange, which would materially affect the interest of the investors. It is uncertain when and whether the Company will be required to obtain permission from the PRC government to continue to operate or to list on U.S. exchanges in the future, and even when such permission is obtained, whether it will be denied or rescinded. Although Qilian International and its affiliated entities are currently not required to obtain permission from any of the PRC federal or local government and have not received any denial to list on the U.S. exchange, Qilian International’s operations and ability to continue to list and issue securities to foreign investors may be adversely affected in the future, directly or indirectly, by existing or future laws and regulations relating to Qilian International’s PRC business operations. For more detailed information, see “Risks Related to Doing Business in China — The PRC government may intervene and influence the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries’ business operations at any time or may exert more control over offerings conducted overseas and foreign investment in China based issuers, which could result in a material change in the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries’ business operations or the value of Qilian International’s securities. Additionally, the governmental and regulatory interference could significantly limit or completely hinder Qilian International’s ability to offer or continue to offer securities to investors and cause the value of such securities to significantly decline or be worthless. Qilian International and its affiliated entities are also currently not required to obtain approval from Chinese authorities to list on U.S. exchanges, however, if they are required to obtain approval in the future and are denied permission from Chinese authorities to list on U.S. exchanges, Qilian International will not be able to continue listing on U.S. exchange, which would materially affect the interest of the investors.”

Financial Information Related to the VIE

The following tables provide condensed consolidating schedules depicting the financial position, cash flows, and results of operations for the parent, subsidiaries, WFOE, the consolidated VIE, and any eliminating adjustments and consolidated totals as of and for the years ended September 30, 2023, 2022 and 2021.

Selected Condensed Consolidating Statements of Operations Information

For the year ended September 30, 2023

The VIE

and

Consolidated

Parent

Qilian HK

WFOE

subsidiaries

Elimination

Total

    

US$

    

US$

    

US$

    

US$

    

US$

    

US$

Total revenues

 

 

 

(1,260,840)

 

46,471,478

 

1,260,840

 

46,471,478

Including: Service fee revenue (loss absorbed) from the VIE

(1,333,066)

1,333,066

Cost of revenues

 

 

 

3,255

 

44,716,729

 

 

44,719,984

Total operating expenses

 

649,697

 

 

307,155

 

2,143,901

 

1,260,840

 

4,361,593

Including: Service fee expense charged by the WFOE

 

 

 

 

(1,333,066)

 

1,333,066

 

Share of (loss) income of subsidiary (1)

 

(1,602,772)

 

(1,602,772)

 

 

 

3,205,544

 

Net income (loss)

 

(7,780,620)

 

(1,602,772)

 

(1,602,772)

 

(341,450)

 

3,205,544

 

(8,122,070)

12

For the year ended September 30, 2022

The VIE

and

Consolidated

Parent

Qilian HK

WFOE

subsidiaries

Elimination

Total

    

US$

    

US$

    

US$

    

US$

    

US$

    

US$

Total revenues

 

 

 

7,440,476

 

64,468,807

 

(7,054,258)

 

64,855,025

Including: Service fee revenue from the VIE

2,730,580

(2,730,580)

Cost of revenues

 

 

 

4,268,747

 

58,682,658

 

(4,323,677)

 

58,627,728

Total operating expenses

 

522,923

 

 

318,236

 

6,014,715

 

(2,730,580)

 

4,125,294

Including: Service fee expense charged by the WFOE

 

 

 

 

2,730,580

 

(2,730,580)

 

Share of income of subsidiary(1)

 

2,720,596

 

2,720,596

 

 

 

(5,441,192)

 

Net income

 

3,050,625

 

2,720,596

 

2,720,596

 

21,632

 

(7,147,192)

 

1,366,257

    

For the year ended September 30, 2021

The VIE

and

Consolidated

Parent

Qilian HK

WFOE

subsidiaries

Elimination

Total

    

US$

    

US$

    

US$

    

US$

    

US$

    

US$

Total revenues

 

 

 

8,029,035

 

57,049,381

 

(7,978,532)

 

57,099,884

Including: Service fee revenue from the VIE

2,835,032

(2,835,032)

Cost of revenues

 

 

 

4,828,584

 

51,776,270

 

(5,143,500)

 

51,461,354

Total operating expenses

 

212,705

 

 

135,316

 

5,737,496

 

(2,835,032)

 

3,250,485

Including: Service fee expense charged by the WFOE

 

 

 

 

2,835,032

 

(2,835,032)

 

Share of income of subsidiary(1)

 

2,974,990

 

2,974,990

 

 

 

(5,949,980)

 

Net income

 

3,085,685

 

2,974,990

 

2,974,990

 

22,459

 

(5,949,980)

 

3,108,144

Selected Condensed Consolidating Balance Sheets Information

    

As of September 30, 2023

The VIE

and

Consolidated

Parent

Qilian HK

WFOE

subsidiaries

Elimination

Total

    

US$

    

US$

    

US$

    

US$

    

US$

    

US$

Cash and cash equivalents

 

277,218

 

 

322,834

6,876,195

7,476,247

Amount due from the Parent/WFOE(2)

 

 

 

4,125,329

(4,125,329)

Total current assets

 

15,230,237

 

 

369,857

23,037,856

(4,125,329)

34,512,621

Service fee receivable from the VIE

 

 

 

11,091,165

(11,091,165)

Investment in subsidiary(3)

 

10,693,672

 

10,693,672

 

(21,387,344)

Other non-current assets

 

 

 

2,772,206

13,973,167

16,745,373

Total assets

 

25,923,910

 

10,693,672

 

14,233,228

37,011,023

(36,603,839)

51,257,994

Amounts due to the VIE and its subsidiaries(2)

 

575,793

 

 

3,549,536

(4,125,329)

Total current liabilities

 

575,793

 

 

3,539,555

6,670,120

(4,125,329)

6,660,139

Service fee payable to the WFOE

 

 

 

11,091,165

(11,091,165)

Other non-current liabilities

 

 

 

246,454

246,454

Total liabilities

 

575,793

 

 

3,539,555

18,007,739

(15,216,494)

6,906,593

Total equity

 

25,348,117

 

10,693,672

 

10,693,673

19,003,284

(21,387,345)

44,351,401

Total liabilities and equity

 

25,923,910

10,693,672

14,233,228

37,011,023

(36,603,839)

51,257,994

13

    

As of September 30, 2022

The VIE

and

Consolidated

Parent

Qilian HK

WFOE

subsidiaries

Elimination

Total

    

US$

    

US$

    

US$

    

US$

    

US$

    

US$

Cash and cash equivalents

 

3,700,202

 

 

591,865

 

10,027,167

 

 

14,319,234

Amount due from the Parent/WFOE(2)

 

 

 

 

3,764,354

 

(3,764,354)

 

Total current assets

 

3,725,202

 

 

633,191

 

29,439,950

 

(3,764,354)

 

30,033,989

Service fee receivable from the VIE

 

 

 

12,424,231

 

 

(12,424,231)

 

Investment in subsidiary(3)

 

12,645,883

 

12,645,883

 

 

 

(25,291,766)

 

Other non-current assets

 

19,470,401

 

 

2,843,497

 

12,178,730

 

 

34,492,628

Total assets

 

35,841,486

 

12,645,883

 

15,900,919

 

41,618,680

 

(41,480,351)

 

64,526,617

Amounts due to the VIE and its subsidiaries(2)

 

575,793

 

 

3,241,620

 

 

(3,817,413)

 

Total current liabilities

 

575,793

 

 

3,255,036

 

9,167,185

 

(3,817,413)

 

9,180,601

Service fee payable to the WFOE

 

 

 

 

12,424,231

 

(12,424,231)

 

Other non-current liabilities

 

 

 

 

382,480

 

 

382,480

Total liabilities

 

575,793

 

 

3,255,036

 

21,973,896

 

(16,241,644)

 

9,563,081

Total equity

 

35,265,693

 

12,645,883

 

12,645,883

 

19,644,784

 

(25,238,707)

 

54,963,536

Total liabilities and equity

 

35,841,486

 

12,645,883

 

15,900,919

 

41,618,680

 

(41,480,351)

 

64,526,617

Selected Condensed Consolidating Cash Flows Information

For the year ended September 30, 2023

The VIE and

Consolidated

Parent

Qilian HK

WFOE

subsidiaries

Elimination

Total

US$

US$

US$

US$

US$

US$

Net cash (used in) provided by operating activities

(635,467)

(268,752)

1,203,435

12,993

312,209

Net cash used in by investing activities

(1,000,000)

(29,347)

(3,700,105)

(12,993)

(4,742,445)

Net cash provided by (used in) financing activities

(1,787,517)

56,711

(1,190,278)

(2,921,084)

For the year ended September 30, 2022

The VIE and

Consolidated

Parent

Qilian HK

WFOE

subsidiaries

Elimination

Total

US$

US$

US$

US$

US$

US$

Net cash (used in) provided operating activities

    

(527,971)

    

    

280,889

    

12,901,270

    

    

12,654,188

Net cash (used in) provided by investing activities

 

 

 

(1,341,994)

 

(1,153,972)

 

(762,986)

 

(3,258,952)

Net cash provided by (used in) financing activities

 

 

 

(762,986)

 

(5,937,529)

 

762,986

 

(5,937,529)

For the year ended September 30, 2021

The VIE and

Consolidated

Parent

Qilian HK

WFOE

subsidiaries

Elimination

Total

US$

US$

US$

US$

US$

US$

Net cash (used in) provided operating activities

    

(217,260)

    

    

(1,560,244)

    

2,122,539

    

    

345,035

Net cash (used in) provided by investing activities

 

(20,000,000)

 

 

(2,226,099)

 

(1,781,618)

 

(192,315)

 

(24,200,032)

Net cash provided by (used in) financing activities

 

24,445,434

 

 

(768,108)

 

123,697

 

192,315

 

23,993,338

14

The following table represents the roll-forward of the investments in our subsidiaries, the VIE and the VIE’s subsidiaries:

    

USD

As of September 30, 2020

 

6,966,081

Share of income of subsidiaries, the VIE and the VIE’s subsidiaries

 

2,974,990

Effect of exchange rate

6,858

As of September 30, 2021

 

9,947,929

Share of income of subsidiaries, the VIE and the VIE’s subsidiaries

 

2,720,596

Effect of exchange rate

(22,641)

As of September 30, 2022

12,645,883

Share of income of subsidiaries, the VIE and the VIE’s subsidiaries

(1,602,772)

Effect of exchange rate

(349,439)

As of September 30, 2023

 

10,693,672

Notes

(1)It represents the elimination of share of income by Qilian International from Qilian HK with the net income recognized at Qilian HK level, and share of income by Qilian HK from the WFOE with the net income recognized at the WFOE level, respectively.
(2)It represents the elimination of intercompany balances among Qilian International, Qilian HK, the Primary WFOE, and the VIEs and their subsidiaries that we consolidate.
(3)As of September 30, 2023, the $4,125,329 intercompany balances included $575,793 loan due to the VIE and its subsidiaries from the Parent, $3,316,379 of receivable of the VIE and its subsidiaries from WFOE originated from purchase made by WFOE from the VIE and its subsidiaries and $233,157 of other payable to the VIE and its subsidiaries from WFOE.

As of September 30, 2022, the $3,622,971 intercompany balances included $575,793 loan due to the VIE and its subsidiaries from the Parent, $3,047,178 of receivable of the VIE and its subsidiaries from WFOE originated from purchase made by WFOE from the VIE and its subsidiaries.

(4)It represents the elimination of the investments in Qilian HK by Qilian International, and investments in the WFOE by Qilian HK, respectively.

B.        Capitalization and Indebtedness

Not applicable.

C.        Reasons for the Offer and Use of Proceeds

Not applicable.

D.        Risk Factors

Summary of Risk Factors

Investing in our Ordinary Shares involves significant risks. You should carefully consider all of the information in this annual report before making an investment in our Ordinary Shares. Below please find a summary of the principal risks we, our subsidiaries, the VIE and its subsidiaries face, organized under relevant headings. These risks are discussed more fully in the section titled “Item 3. Key Information—D. Risk Factors” in this annual report.

15

Risks Related to our Corporate Structure

We, our subsidiaries, the VIE and its subsidiaries are also subject to risks and uncertainties related to our corporate structure, including, but not limited to, the following:

PRC laws and regulations governing our subsidiaries, the VIE, and its subsidiaries’ businesses and the validity of certain of our contractual arrangements are uncertain. If we, our subsidiaries, the VIE or its subsidiaries are found to be in violation, we, our subsidiaries, the VIE or its subsidiaries could be subject to sanctions. In addition, changes in PRC laws and regulations or changes in interpretations thereof may materially and adversely affect the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries’ business.
We rely on contractual arrangements with the VIE and its subsidiaries in China for the VIE and its subsidiaries’ business operations, which may not be as effective in providing operational control or enabling us to derive economic benefits as through ownership of controlling equity interests, and the VIE’s shareholders may fail to perform their obligations under the contractual arrangements.
Gansu QLS’s shareholders may have potential conflicts of interest with us, which may materially and adversely affect Qilian International and its affiliated entities’ business and financial condition and the value of your investment in our shares.

Risks Related to Doing Business in China

The approval and/or other requirements of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, or the CSRC, or other PRC governmental authorities may be required in connection with an offering under PRC rules, regulations or policies, and, if required, we and our affiliated entities cannot predict whether or how soon we, the VIE or its subsidiaries will be able to obtain such approval.
Our Ordinary Shares may be delisted and prohibited from being traded under the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act if the PCAOB is unable to inspect auditors who are located in China. The delisting and the cessation of trading of our Ordinary Shares, or the threat of their being delisted and prohibited from being traded, may materially and adversely affect the value of your investment. Additionally, the inability of the PCAOB to conduct inspections deprives our investors with the benefits of such inspections.
On June 22, 2021, the U.S. Senate passed the Accelerating Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act, and on December 29, 2022, the Consolidated Appropriations Act was signed into law by President Biden, which contained, among other things, an identical provision to the Accelerating Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act and amended the HFCA Act by requiring the SEC to prohibit an issuer’s securities from trading on any U.S. stock exchanges if its auditor is not subject to PCAOB inspections for two consecutive years instead of three, , and thus, would reduce the time before our ordinary shares may be prohibited from trading or delisted.

16

On December 16, 2021, the PCAOB issued a report on its determination that it is unable to inspect or investigate completely PCAOB-registered public accounting firms headquartered in China and in Hong Kong because of positions taken by PRC and Hong Kong authorities in those jurisdictions. The PCAOB has made such determination as mandated under the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act. Pursuant to each annual determination by the PCAOB, the SEC will, on an annual basis, identify issuers that have used non-inspected audit firms and thus are at risk of such suspensions in the future. Our auditors, ZH CPA, LLC and Friedman LLP, the independent registered public accounting firms that issue the audit reports included elsewhere in this annual report, as auditors of companies that are traded publicly in the U.S. and firms registered with the PCAOB, are subject to laws in the U.S., pursuant to which the PCAOB conducts regular inspections to assess their compliance with the applicable professional standards. ZH CPA, LLC and Friedman LLP are located in Denver, Colorado and Manhattan, New York, and have been inspected by the PCAOB on a regular basis. Our auditors are not subject to the determination issued by the PCAOB on December 16, 2021.
The PRC government has significant authority to intervene or influence the China operations of an offshore holding company, such as ours, at any time. The PRC government may exert more control over offerings conducted overseas and/or foreign investment in China-based issuers. If the PRC government exerts more oversight and control over offerings that are conducted overseas and/or foreign investment in China-based issuers and we or our affiliated entities were to be subject to such oversight and control, it may result in a material adverse change to the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries’ business operations, significantly limit or completely hinder Qilian International’s ability to offer or continue to offer securities to investors, and cause Ordinary Shares to significantly decline in value or become worthless. See “-Risks Relating to Doing Business in China -The PRC government has significant authority to intervene or influence the China operations of an offshore holding company, such as ours, at any time. The PRC government may exert more control over offerings conducted overseas and/or foreign investment in China-based issuers. If the PRC government exerts more oversight and control over offerings that are conducted overseas and/or foreign investment in China-based issuers and we and our affiliated entities were to be subject to such oversight and control, it may result in a material adverse change to our, the VIE or its subsidiaries business operations, significantly limit or completely hinder Qilian International’s ability to offer or continue to offer securities to investors, and cause our Ordinary Shares to significantly decline in value or become worthless”;
On December 28, 2021, the CAC, the National Development and Reform Commission (“NDRC”), and several other administrations jointly issued the revised Measures for Cybersecurity Review, or the “Revised Review Measures”, which became effective and replaced the existing Measures for Cybersecurity Review on February 15, 2022. According to the Revised Review Measures, if an “online platform operator” that is in possession of personal data of more than one million users intends to list in a foreign country, it must apply for a cybersecurity review. Based on a set of Q&A published on the official website of the State Cipher Code Administration in connection with the issuance of the Revised Review Measures, an official of the said administration indicated that an online platform operator should apply for a cybersecurity review prior to the submission of its listing application with non-PRC securities regulators. Moreover, the CAC released the draft of the Regulations on Network Data Security Management in November 2021 for public consultation, which among other things, stipulates that a data processor listed overseas must conduct an annual data security review by itself or by engaging a data security service provider and submit the annual data security review report for a given year to the municipal cybersecurity department before January 31 of the following year. Given the recency of the issuance of the Revised Review Measures and their pending effectiveness, there is a general lack of guidance and substantial uncertainties exist with respect to their interpretation and implementation. For more information, see page 29 under “The PRC government may intervene or influence the WFOE or the VIE and its subsidiaries’ business operations at any time or may exert more control over offerings conducted overseas and foreign investment in China based issuers, which could result in a material change in the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries’ business operations or the value of Qilian International’s securities.” Additionally, the governmental and regulatory interference could significantly limit or completely hinder Qilian International’s ability to offer or continue to offer securities to investors and cause the value of such securities to significantly decline or be worthless. We and our affiliated entities are also currently not required to obtain approval from Chinese authorities to list on U.S. exchanges, however, if we or our affiliated entities are required to obtain approval in the future and are denied permission from Chinese authorities to list on U.S. exchanges, we will not be able to continue listing on U.S. exchange, which would materially affect the interest of the investors.

17

Failure to comply with cybersecurity, data privacy, data protection, or any other laws and regulations related to data may materially and adversely affect Qilian International and its affiliated entities’ business, financial condition, and results of operations. See “Risks Relating to Doing Business in the PRC-Failure to comply with cybersecurity, data privacy, data protection, or any other laws and regulations related to data may materially and adversely affect Qilian International and its affiliated entities’ business, financial condition, and results of operations”.
Uncertainties with respect to the PRC legal system and the interpretation and enforcement of PRC laws and regulations could limit the legal protections available to you and us, hinder Qilian International’s ability and the ability of any holder of Qilian International’s securities to offer or continue to offer such securities, result in a material adverse change to the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries’ business operations, and damage our reputation, which would materially and adversely affect Qilian International and its affiliated entities’ financial condition and results of operations and cause the Ordinary Shares to significantly decline in value or become worthless.
A severe or prolonged downturn in the Chinese or global economy could materially and adversely affect Qilian International and its affiliated entities’ business and financial condition.
Substantial uncertainties exist with respect to the interpretation of the PRC Foreign Investment Law and how it may impact the viability of our current corporate structure, corporate governance and business operations.

Risks Related to the WFOE, the VIE and its Subsidiaries’ Business

Risks and uncertainties related to the WFOE, the VIE and its subsidiaries’ business include, but are not limited to, the following:

The VIE and its subsidiaries face significant competition in industries experiencing rapid technological change, and there is a possibility that their competitors may achieve regulatory approval and develop new product candidates before the VIE and its subsidiaries, which may harm our and the VIE and its subsidiaries’ financial condition and the ability of the VIE and its subsidiaries to successfully market or commercialize any of their product candidates.
The pharmaceutical business of the WFOE, the VIE and its subsidiaries is subject to inherent risks relating to product liability and personal injury claims.
The business operations of the WFOE, the VIE and its subsidiaries require a number of permits and licenses. We cannot assure you that the VIE and its subsidiaries can maintain all required licenses, permits and certifications to carry on their business at all times.
A significant portion of the VIE and its subsidiaries’ revenue is concentrated on a few large customers, and the WFOE, the VIE and its subsidiaries do not have long-term agreements with their key customers and rely upon their longstanding relationship with these customers. If the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries lose one or more of their customers, Qilian International and its affiliated entities’ results of operations may be adversely and materially impacted.
The WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries source raw materials used for manufacturing from a limited number of suppliers. If the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries lose one or more of the suppliers, their operation may be disrupted, and Qilian International and its affiliated entities’ results of operations may be adversely and materially impacted.
If the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries fail to increase their brand name recognition, they may face difficulty in obtaining new customers.
Any disruption in the supply chain of raw materials and the products of the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries could adversely impact their ability to produce and deliver products.

18

Risks Related to Our Ordinary Shares

Risks and uncertainties related to our Ordinary Shares include, but are not limited to, the following:
The trading price of our Ordinary Shares is likely to be volatile, which could result in substantial losses to investors.
Since our directors and executive officers own 77.45% of our Ordinary Shares, they have the ability to elect directors and approve matters requiring shareholder approval by way of resolution of members.
As a foreign private issuer, we are not subject to certain U.S. securities law disclosure requirements that apply to a domestic U.S. issuer, which may limit the information publicly available to our shareholders.
The recent joint statement by the SEC and PCAOB, proposed rule changes submitted by Nasdaq, and the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act all call for additional and more stringent criteria to be applied to emerging market companies upon assessing the qualification of their auditors, especially the non-U.S. auditors who are not inspected by the PCAOB. These developments could add uncertainties to Qilian International and its affiliated entities’ performance. For more information, see page 47 under Risks Related to Our Ordinary Shares.

Risks Related to Our Corporate Structure

PRC laws and regulations governing the VIE and its subsidiaries’ businesses and the validity of certain of our contractual arrangements are uncertain. If we or our affiliated entities are found to be in violation, we could be subject to sanctions. In addition, changes in PRC laws and regulations or changes in interpretations thereof may materially and adversely affect the VIE and its subsidiaries’ business.

Current PRC laws and regulations place certain restrictions and conditions on foreign ownership of certain areas of businesses. In accordance with the Special Administrative Measures on Access of Foreign Investment, promulgated in June 2020 and effective in July 2020, or the Negative List, foreign investors are not prohibited nor restricted from investing in our current operations and production. See “Item 4. Information on the Company—B. Business Overview—Regulation—PRC Laws and Regulations on Foreign Investment.” The VIE and its subsidiaries conducts their business activities in China. We are a holding company and do not conduct any business activities. Qilian International Trade (Chengdu) Co., LTD, or WFOE, has entered into contractual arrangements with the VIE and its shareholders, and such contractual arrangements enable us to exercise certain control over, receive substantially all of the economic benefits of, and have an exclusive option to purchase all or part of the equity interest and assets in the VIE when and to the extent permitted by PRC law. For a detailed description of these contractual arrangements, see “Item 4. Information on the Company—C. Organizational Structure—Contractual Arrangements between WFOE and Gansu QLS.” We have evaluated the guidance in FASB ASC 810 and concluded that we are the primary beneficiary of the VIE and its subsidiaries because of these contractual arrangements. Accordingly, under U.S. GAAP, the financial statements of the VIE are consolidated as part of our financial statements. In fiscal years ended September 30, 2023, 2022, and 2021, the VIE and its subsidiaries contributed to 100% of our total revenues.

However, Qilian International is a Cayman Islands holding company with no equity ownership in the VIE or its subsidiaries. We do not conduct any business. The business operations are instead conducted in China through the VIE and the VIE’s subsidiaries with which we have maintained only contractual arrangements. Investors in our Ordinary Shares thus are not purchasing equity interest in our consolidated affiliated entities in China but instead are purchasing equity interest in a Cayman Islands holding company. If the PRC government deems that our contractual arrangements with the VIE do not comply with PRC regulatory restrictions on foreign investment in the relevant industries, or if these regulations or the interpretation of existing regulations change or are interpreted differently in the future, we and the VIE could be subject to severe penalties or be forced to relinquish our interests in those operations. Our holding company in the Cayman Islands, the VIE, and investors of our Company face uncertainty about potential future actions by the PRC government that could affect the enforceability of the contractual arrangements with the VIE and, consequently, significantly affect the financial performance of the VIE and our Company as a group.

19

There are substantial uncertainties regarding the interpretation and application of PRC laws and regulations, including, but not limited to, the laws and regulations governing the business operations of the VIE and its subsidiaries, or the enforcement and performance of our contractual arrangements with the VIE and its shareholders. These laws and regulations may be subject to change, and their official interpretation and enforcement may involve substantial uncertainty. New laws and regulations that affect existing and proposed future businesses may also be applied retroactively. Due to the uncertainty and complexity of the regulatory environment, we cannot assure you that we, the VIE and its subsidiaries would always be in full compliance with applicable laws and regulations, the violation of which may have adverse effect the business and reputation of the VIE and its subsidiaries.

Our PRC counsel, Gansu Quanyi Law Firm, is of the opinion that (i) the ownership structure of WFOE and the VIE does not violate applicable PRC laws and regulations currently in effect, and (ii) the contractual arrangements are valid, binding and enforceable in accordance with the applicable PRC laws or regulations currently in effect.

Although we believe we and the VIE and its subsidiaries are not in violation of current PRC laws and regulations, we cannot assure you that the PRC government would agree that our contractual arrangements comply with PRC licensing, registration or other regulatory requirements, with existing policies or with requirements or policies that may be adopted in the future. The PRC government has broad discretion in determining rectifiable or punitive measures for non-compliance with or violations of PRC laws and regulations. If the PRC government determines that the VIE or any of the VIE’s subsidiaries do not comply with applicable law, it could revoke their business and operating licenses, require them to discontinue or restrict their operations, restrict their right to collect revenues, block their websites, require them to restructure their operations, impose additional conditions or requirements with which they may not be able to comply, impose restrictions on their business operations or on their customers, or take other regulatory or enforcement actions against them that could be harmful to their business. Any of these or similar occurrences could significantly disrupt the business operations of the VIE and its subsidiaries or restrict the VIE and its subsidiaries from conducting a substantial portion of their business operations, which could materially and adversely affect the business, financial condition and results of operations of Qilian International and its affiliated entities. If any of these occurrences results in our inability to direct the activities of the VIE or its subsidiaries that most significantly impact its economic performance, and/or our failure to receive the economic benefits from the VIE or its subsidiaries, we may not be able to consolidate these entities in our consolidated financial statements in accordance with U.S. GAAP. In addition, our shares may decline in value or become worthless if we are unable to assert our contractual control rights over the assets of those entities that conduct a significant part of the VIE and its subsidiaries’ operations.

Qilian International relies on contractual arrangements with the VIE and VIE’s subsidiaries in China for its business operations, which may not be as effective in providing operational control or enabling us to derive economic benefits as through ownership of controlling equity interests, and the VIE’s shareholders may fail to perform their obligations under the contractual arrangements.

Qilian International relies on and expect to continue to rely on its wholly owned PRC Subsidiary’s contractual arrangements with Gansu QLS and Gansu QLS’s shareholders to operate its business. These contractual arrangements may not be as effective in providing Qilian International with control over Gansu QLS as ownership of controlling equity interests would be in providing Qilian International with control over, or enabling Qilian International to derive economic benefits from the operations of Gansu QLS. Under the current contractual arrangements, as a legal matter, if Gansu QLS or any of its shareholders executing the VIE contractual arrangements fails to perform its, his or her respective obligations under these contractual arrangements, Qilian International may have to incur substantial costs and resources to enforce such arrangements, and rely on legal remedies available under PRC laws, including seeking specific performance or injunctive relief, and claiming damages, which Qilian International cannot assure investors will be effective. For example, if shareholders of a variable interest entity were to refuse to transfer their equity interests in such variable interest entity to Qilian International or its designated persons when it exercise the purchase option pursuant to these contractual arrangements, Qilian International may have to take a legal action to compel them to fulfill their contractual obligations.

If (i) the applicable PRC authorities invalidate these contractual arrangements for violation of PRC laws, rules and regulations, (ii) the VIE or its shareholders terminate the contractual arrangements or (iii) the VIE or its shareholders fail to perform their obligations under these contractual arrangements, Qilian International’s business operations in China would be materially and adversely affected, and the value of Qilian International’s shares would substantially decrease. Further, if Qilian International fails to renew these contractual arrangements upon their expiration, Qilian International would not be able to continue its business operations unless the then current PRC law allows Qilian International to directly operate businesses in China.

20

In addition, if the VIE or all or part of its assets become subject to liens or rights of third-party creditors, Qilian International may be unable to continue some or all of its business activities, which could materially and adversely affect Qilian International and its affiliated entities’ business, financial condition and results of operations. If the VIE undergoes a voluntary or involuntary liquidation proceeding, its shareholders or unrelated third-party creditors may claim rights to some or all of these assets, thereby hindering Qilian International’s ability to operate its business, which could materially and adversely affect Qilian International and its affiliated entities’ business and its ability to generate revenues.

All of these contractual arrangements are governed by PRC law and provide for the resolution of disputes through arbitration in the PRC. The legal environment in the PRC is not as developed as in some other jurisdictions, such as the United States. As a result, uncertainties in the PRC legal system could limit Qilian International’s ability to enforce these contractual arrangements. In the event Qilian International is unable to enforce these contractual arrangements, Qilian International may not be able to exert expected control over its operating entities and Qilian International may be precluded from operating its business, which would have a material adverse effect on its financial condition and results of operations.

If the PRC government deems that Qilian International’s contractual arrangements with the VIE do not comply with PRC regulatory restrictions on foreign investment in the relevant industries, or if these regulations or the interpretation of existing regulations change in the future, Qilian International could be subject to severe penalties or be forced to relinquish our interests in those operations.

Qilian International has entered into, through WFOE, a series of contractual arrangements with the VIE and its shareholders. These contractual arrangements enable Qilian International to (i) direct the activities that most significantly affect the economic performance of the VIE and its subsidiaries; (ii) receive substantially all of the economic benefits from the VIE and its subsidiaries in consideration for the services provided by the PRC Subsidiary; and (iii) have an exclusive option to purchase all or part of the equity interests in the VIE or to all or part of the assets of the VIE, when and to the extent permitted by PRC law, or request any existing shareholder of the VIE to transfer all or part of the equity interest in the VIE to another PRC person or entity designated by Qilian International at any time in its discretion.

These agreements make Qilian International their “primary beneficiary” for accounting purposes under U.S. GAAP. For descriptions of these contractual arrangements, see “Item 4. Information on the Company—C. Organizational Structure—Contractual Agreements with the VIE and its Shareholders.” Qilian International believes that its corporate structure and contractual arrangements comply with the current applicable PRC laws and regulations. Qilian International’s PRC legal counsel, based on its understanding of the relevant laws and regulations, is of the opinion that each of the contracts among our wholly owned PRC Subsidiary, the consolidated VIE and their shareholders is valid, binding and enforceable in accordance with its terms. However, Qilian International’s PRC legal counsel has also advised us that there are substantial uncertainties regarding the interpretation and application of PRC laws and regulations, including the Foreign Investment Law (2019), Regulations on Mergers and Acquisitions of Domestic Enterprises by Foreign Investors, or the M&A Rules and the Telecommunications Regulations and the relevant regulatory measures concerning the telecommunications industry. Accordingly, the PRC regulatory authorities may take a view that is contrary to the opinion of the PRC legal counsel. There can be no assurance that the PRC government authorities, such as the Ministry of Commerce, or the MOFCOM, the MIIT, or other authorities that regulate Qilian International’s business and/or other participants in the relevant industry, would agree that Qilian International’s corporate structure or any of the above contractual arrangements comply with PRC licensing, registration or other regulatory requirements, with existing policies or with requirements or policies that may be adopted in the future. PRC laws and regulations governing the validity of these contractual arrangements are uncertain and the relevant government authorities have broad discretion in interpreting these laws and regulations.

If the PRC government determines that these contractual arrangements do not comply with its restrictions on foreign investment in the internet business, if these regulations or the interpretation of existing regulations change or are interpreted differently in the future, or if the PRC government otherwise finds that Qilian International, the VIE, or any of its subsidiaries is in violation of PRC laws or regulations or lack the necessary permits or licenses to operate the VIE and its subsidiaries’ business, the relevant PRC regulatory authorities, including but not limited to the MIIT, which regulates internet information service companies, would have broad discretion in dealing with such violations, including:

revoking Gansu QLS and its subsidiaries’ business and operating licenses;
discontinuing or restricting the VIE and its subsidiaries’ operations;

21

imposing fines or confiscating any of our income that they deem to have been obtained through illegal operations;
requiring us or our PRC affiliated entities to restructure the relevant ownership structure or operations;
placing restrictions on our right to collect revenues;
restricting or prohibiting Qilian International use of the proceeds from its initial public offering to finance the business and operations of the VIE; and
taking other regulatory or enforcement actions that could be harmful to the VIE and its subsidiaries’ business.

The imposition of any of these penalties could have a material and adverse effect on Qilian International’s business, financial condition and results of operations. If any of these penalties results in our inability to direct the activities of the VIE that most significantly impact its economic performance, and/or Qilian International’s failure to receive the economic benefits from the VIE, Qilian International may not be able to consolidate the financial results of the VIE and its subsidiaries in its consolidated financial statements in accordance with U.S. GAAP. In addition, Qilian International’s shares may decline in value or become worthless if it is unable to assert its contractual control rights over the assets of its affiliated entities in PRC that conduct all or substantially all of Qilian International’s operations.

Gansu QLS’s shareholders may have potential conflicts of interest with us, which may materially and adversely affect Qilian International and its affiliated entities’ business and financial condition and the value of your investment in our shares.

The equity interests of Gansu QLS are held by a total of 151 shareholders. Their interests in the VIE may differ from the interests of our Company as a whole. These shareholders may breach, or cause Gansu QLS to breach, or refuse to renew the existing contractual arrangements we have with Gansu QLS, which would have a material adverse effect on Qilian International’s ability to control Gansu QLS and its subsidiaries and receive economic benefits from them. For example, the shareholders may be able to cause our agreements with Gansu QLS to be performed in a manner adverse to us by, among other things, failing to remit payments due under the contractual arrangements to us on a timely basis. We cannot assure you that when conflicts of interest arise, any or all of these shareholders will act in the best interests of our Company or such conflicts will be resolved in our favor.

Currently, we do not have any arrangements to address potential conflicts of interest between these shareholders and our Company, except that we could exercise our purchase option under the exclusive option agreement with these shareholders to request them to transfer all of their equity interests in Gansu QLS to a PRC entity or individual designated by us, to the extent permitted by PRC laws. If we cannot resolve any conflict of interest or dispute between us and the shareholders of Gansu QLS, we would have to rely on legal proceedings, which could result in the disruption of the VIE and its subsidiaries’ business and subject us and our affiliated entities to substantial uncertainty as to the outcome of any such legal proceedings.

Contractual arrangements in relation to the VIE may be subject to scrutiny by the PRC tax authorities and they may determine that we or the VIE owe additional taxes, which could negatively affect our results of operations and the value of your investment.

Under applicable PRC laws and regulations, arrangements and transactions among related parties may be subject to audit or challenge by the PRC tax authorities within ten years after the taxable year when the transactions are conducted. The Enterprise Income Tax Law of the People’s Republic of China (the “EIT Law”) requires every enterprise in China to submit its annual enterprise income tax return together with a report on transactions with its related parties to the relevant tax authorities. The tax authorities may impose reasonable adjustments on taxation if they have identified any related party transactions that are inconsistent with arm’s length principles. We may face material and adverse tax consequences if the PRC tax authorities determine that the contractual arrangements between our WFOE, Gansu QLS, and the shareholders of Gansu QLS were not entered into on an arm’s length basis in such a way as to result in an impermissible reduction in taxes under applicable PRC laws, rules and regulations, and adjust Gansu QLS’s income in the form of a transfer pricing adjustment. A transfer pricing adjustment could, among other things, result in a reduction of expense deductions recorded by Gansu QLS for PRC tax purposes, which could in turn increase their tax liabilities without reducing WFOE’s tax expenses. In addition, if WFOE were to request that the shareholders of Gansu QLS transfer their equity interests in Gansu QLS at nominal or no value pursuant to these contractual arrangements, such transfer could be viewed as a gift and could subject WFOE to PRC income tax. Furthermore, the PRC tax authorities may impose late payment fees and other penalties on Gansu QLS for the adjusted but unpaid taxes according to the applicable regulations. Qilian International and its affiliated entities’ results of operations could be materially and adversely affected if Gansu QLS’s tax liabilities increase or if it is required to pay late payment fees and other penalties.

22

If we exercise the option to acquire equity ownership of Gansu QLS, the ownership transfer may subject us to certain limitation and substantial costs.

Pursuant to the VIE contractual arrangements, WFOE has the exclusive right to purchase all or any part of the equity interests in Gansu QLS from Gansu QLS’s shareholders for a nominal price, unless the relevant government authorities or then applicable PRC laws request that a minimum amount be used as the purchase price, in such case the purchase price shall be the lowest amount under such request. The shareholders of Gansu QLS will be subject to PRC individual income tax on the difference between the equity transfer price and the then current registered capital of Gansu QLS. Additionally, if such a transfer takes place, the competent tax authority may require WFOE to pay enterprise income tax for ownership transfer income with reference to the market value, in which case the amount of tax could be substantial.

Risks Related to Doing Business in China

The approval and/or other requirements of the CSRC or other PRC governmental authorities may be required in connection with an offering under PRC rules, regulations or policies, and, if required, we and our affiliated entities cannot predict whether or how soon we will be able to obtain such approval.

The Regulations on Mergers and Acquisitions of Domestic Enterprises by Foreign Investors, or the M&A Rules, purport to require offshore special purpose vehicles that are controlled by PRC companies or individuals and that have been formed for the purpose of seeking a public listing on an overseas stock exchange through acquisitions of PRC domestic companies or assets to obtain CSRC approval prior to publicly listing their securities on an overseas stock exchange. The interpretation and application of the regulations remain unclear. If a governmental approval is required, it is uncertain how long it will take for us or our affiliated entities to obtain such approval, and, even if we or our affiliated entities obtain such approval, the approval could be rescinded. Any failure to obtain, or a delay in obtaining, the requisite governmental approval for an offering, or a rescission of such CSRC approval if obtained by us or our affiliated entities, may subject us or our affiliated entities to sanctions imposed by the relevant PRC regulatory authority, which could include fines and penalties on the operations of the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries in China, restrictions or limitations on Qilian International’s ability to pay dividends outside of China, and other forms of sanctions that may materially and adversely affect Qilian International and its affiliates’ business, financial condition, and results of operations.

Our PRC counsel has advised us that, based on its understanding of the current PRC laws and regulations, we or our affiliated entities will not be required to submit an application to the CSRC for the approval under the M&A Rules for an offering, because (i) the CSRC currently has not issued any definitive rule or interpretation concerning whether any follow-on offerings are subject to this regulation; and (ii) we did not acquire any equity interests or assets of a “PRC domestic company,” as such terms are defined under the M&A Rules.

23

However, our PRC counsel has further advised us that there remains some uncertainty as to how the M&A Rules will be interpreted or implemented in the context of an overseas offering, and its opinions summarized above are subject to any new laws, rules and regulations or detailed implementations and interpretations in any form relating to the M&A Rules. We cannot assure you that relevant PRC governmental authorities, including the CSRC, would reach the same conclusion as our PRC counsel, and hence, we or our affiliated entities may face regulatory actions or other sanctions from them. Furthermore, relevant PRC governmental authorities promulgated the Opinions on Strictly Cracking Down Illegal Securities Activities, which provided that the administration and supervision of overseas-listed China-based companies will be strengthened, and the special provisions of the State Council on overseas issuance and listing of shares by such companies will be revised, clarifying the responsibilities of domestic industry competent authorities and regulatory authorities. However, the Opinions on Strictly Cracking Down Illegal Securities Activities were only issued recently, leaving uncertainties regarding the interpretation and implementation of these opinions. It is possible that any new rules or regulations may impose additional requirements on us. In addition, on July 10, 2021 and November 14, 2021, the Cyberspace Administration of China, or the CAC, issued a revised draft of the Measures for Cybersecurity Review and a draft of the Regulations on the Network Data Security, respectively, for public comments, according to which, among other things, operators of “critical information infrastructure” or data processors holding over one million users’ personal information shall apply to the Cybersecurity Review Office for a cybersecurity review before any listing on a foreign stock exchange. It is uncertain when the final measures will be issued and take effect, how they will be enacted, interpreted or implemented, and whether they will affect us. If it is determined in the future that CSRC approval or other procedural requirements are required to be met for, and prior to, an offering, it is uncertain whether we or our affiliated entities can or how long it will take us or our affiliated entities to obtain such approval or complete such procedures and any such approval could be rescinded. Any failure to obtain or delay in obtaining such approval or completing such procedures for an offering, or a rescission of any such approval, could subject us or our affiliated entities to sanctions by the relevant PRC governmental authorities. The governmental authorities may impose restrictions and penalties on the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries’ operations in China, such as the suspension of our apps and services, revocation of our licenses, or shutting down part or all of the VIE or its subsidiaries’ operations, limit Qilian International’s ability to pay dividends outside of China, delay or restrict the repatriation of the proceeds from an offering into China or take other actions that could have a material adverse effect on Qilian International and its affiliated entities’ business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects, as well as the trading price of the Ordinary Shares. The PRC governmental authorities may also take actions requiring us, or making it advisable for us, to halt an offering before settlement and delivery of the Ordinary Shares. Consequently, if you engage in market trading or other activities in anticipation of and prior to settlement and delivery, you do so at the risk that settlement and delivery may not occur. In addition, if the PRC governmental authorities later promulgate new rules or explanations requiring that we or our affiliated entities obtain their approvals for filings, registrations or other kinds of authorizations for an offering, we cannot assure you that we or our affiliated entities can obtain the approval, authorizations, or complete required procedures or other requirements in a timely manner, or at all, or obtain a waiver of the requisite requirements if and when procedures are established to obtain such a waiver.

Our Ordinary Shares may be delisted and prohibited from being traded under the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act if the PCAOB is unable to inspect auditors who are located in China. The delisting and the cessation of trading of our Ordinary Shares, or the threat of their being delisted and prohibited from being traded, may materially and adversely affect the value of your investment. Additionally, the inability of the PCAOB to conduct inspections deprives our investors with the benefits of such inspections.

The Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act, or the HFCA Act, was enacted on December 18, 2020. The HFCA Act provides that if the SEC determines that we have filed audit reports issued by a registered public accounting firm that has not been subject to inspection by the PCAOB for three consecutive years, the SEC shall prohibit our shares or ADSs from being traded on a national securities exchange or in the “over-the-counter” trading market in the U.S.

Our auditors, the independent registered public accounting firms that issue the audit reports included elsewhere in this annual report, as auditors of companies that are traded publicly in the United States and firms registered with the PCAOB, are subject to laws in the United States pursuant to which the PCAOB conducts regular inspections to assess their compliance with the applicable professional standards. ZH CPA, LLC and Friedman LLP are located in Denver, Colorado and Manhattan, New York, and have been inspected by the PCAOB on a regular basis.

24

On March 24, 2021, the SEC adopted interim final rules relating to the implementation of certain disclosure and documentation requirements of the HFCA Act. We will be required to comply with these rules if the SEC identifies us as having a “non-inspection” year under a process to be subsequently established by the SEC. The SEC is assessing how to implement other requirements of the HFCA Act, including the listing and trading prohibition requirements described above. In September 2021, the PCAOB adopted a rule related to the PCAOB’s responsibilities under the HFCA Act, which establishes a framework for the PCAOB determine, as contemplated under the HFCA Act, whether the PCAOB is unable to inspect or investigate completely registered public accounting firms located in a foreign jurisdiction because of a position taken by one or more authorities in that jurisdiction. The rule was approved by the SEC in November 2021 and has become effective.

On September 22, 2021, the PCAOB adopted a new rule related to its responsibilities under the HFCA Act, which provides a framework for the PCAOB to use when determining, as contemplated under the HFCA Act, whether it is unable to inspect or investigate completely registered public accounting firms located in a foreign jurisdiction because of a position taken by one or more authorities in that jurisdiction. The new rule is subject to approval by the SEC.

On December 2, 2021, the SEC issued amendments to finalize rules implementing the submission and disclosure requirements in the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act. The rules apply to registrants that the SEC identifies as having filed an annual report with an audit report issued by a registered public accounting firm that is located in a foreign jurisdiction and that PCAOB is unable to inspect or investigate completely because of a position taken by an authority in foreign jurisdictions.

On December 16, 2021, the PCAOB issued a report on its determination that it is unable to inspect or investigate completely PCAOB-registered public accounting firms headquartered in China and in Hong Kong because of positions taken by PRC and Hong Kong authorities in those jurisdictions. The PCAOB has made such determination as mandated under the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act. Pursuant to each annual determination by the PCAOB, the SEC will, on an annual basis, identify issuers that have used non-inspected audit firms and thus are at risk of such suspensions in the future. Our auditors, ZH CPA, LLC and Friedman LLP, the independent registered public accounting firms that issue the audit reports included elsewhere in this annual report, as auditors of companies that are traded publicly in the U.S. and a firm registered with the PCAOB, are subject to laws in the U.S., pursuant to which the PCAOB conducts regular inspections to assess their compliance with the applicable professional standards. Our auditors are located in Denver and New York, and have been inspected by the PCAOB on a regular basis. Our auditors are not subject to the determination issued by the PCAOB on December 16, 2021.

On June 22, 2021, the U.S. Senate passed the Accelerating Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act, and on December 29, 2022, the Consolidated Appropriations Act was signed into law by President Biden, which contained, among other things, an identical provision to the Accelerating Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act and amended the HFCA Act by requiring the SEC to prohibit an issuer’s securities from trading on any U.S. stock exchanges if its auditor is not subject to PCAOB inspections for two consecutive years instead of three, thus reducing the time period for triggering the prohibition on trading.

On August 26, 2022, the CSRC, the MOF, and the PCAOB signed the Protocol governing inspections and investigations of audit firms based in mainland China and Hong Kong, taking the first step toward opening access for the PCAOB to inspect and investigate registered public accounting firms headquartered in mainland China and Hong Kong. Pursuant to the fact sheet with respect to the Protocol disclosed by the SEC, the PCAOB shall have independent discretion to select any issuer audits for inspection or investigation and has the unfettered ability to transfer information to the SEC. On December 15, 2022, the PCAOB Board determined that the PCAOB was able to secure complete access to inspect and investigate registered public accounting firms headquartered in mainland China and Hong Kong and voted to vacate its previous determinations to the contrary. However, should PRC authorities obstruct or otherwise fail to facilitate the PCAOB’s access in the future, the PCAOB Board will consider the need to issue a new determination. 

25

The PRC government has significant authority to intervene or influence the China operations of an offshore holding company, such as ours, at any time. The PRC government may exert more control over offerings conducted overseas and/or foreign investment in China-based issuers. If the PRC government exerts more oversight and control over offerings that are conducted overseas and/or foreign investment in China-based issuers and we or our affiliated entities were to be subject to such oversight and control, it may result in a material adverse change to Qilian International and its affiliated entities’ business operations, significantly limit or completely hinder Qilian International’s ability to offer or continue to offer securities to investors, and cause Ordinary Shares to significantly decline in value or become worthless.

Qilian International and its affiliated entities’ business, prospects, financial condition, and results of operations may be influenced to a significant degree by political, economic, and social conditions in China generally. The PRC government has significant authority to intervene or influence the China operations of an offshore holding company at any time, which could result in a material adverse change to Qilian International and its affiliated entities’ operations and the value of our Ordinary Shares. The PRC government has recently indicated an intent to exert more oversight and control over listings conducted overseas and/or foreign investment in China-based issuers. Any such action may hinder Qilian International’s ability to offer or continue to offer its securities to investors, result in a material adverse change to Qilian International and its affiliated entities’ business operations, and damage our reputation, which could cause Ordinary Shares to significantly decline in value or become worthless. See also “Failure to comply with cybersecurity, data privacy, data protection, or any other laws and regulations related to data may materially and adversely affect Qilian International and its affiliated entities’ business, financial condition, and results of operations.”

Failure to comply with cybersecurity, data privacy, data protection, or any other laws and regulations related to data may materially and adversely affect Qilian International and its affiliated entities’ business, financial condition, and results of operations.

We may be subject to a variety of cybersecurity, data privacy, data protection, and other laws and regulations related to data, including those relating to the collection, use, sharing, retention, security, disclosure, and transfer of confidential and private information, such as personal information and other data. These laws and regulations apply not only to third-party transactions, but also to transfers of information within our organization. These laws and regulations may restrict the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries’ business activities and require us or our affiliated entities to incur increased costs and efforts to comply, and any breach or noncompliance may subject us or our affiliated entities to proceedings against us or our affiliated entities, damage our and the affiliated entities’ reputation, or result in penalties and other significant legal liabilities, and thus may materially and adversely affect our and the affiliated entities’ business, financial condition, and results of operations.

In China, the cybersecurity, data privacy, data protection, or other data-related laws and regulations are relatively new and evolving, and their interpretation and application may be uncertain. For example, on November 14, 2021, the Administration Regulations on Cyber Data Security (Draft for Comments) (the “Draft Regulation”) was proposed by the Cyberspace Administration of China, or the CAC, for public comments until December 13, 2021. The Draft Regulation reiterates that data processors which process the personal information of at least one million users must apply for a cybersecurity review if they plan on listing its securities overseas, and the Draft Regulation further requires the data processors to apply for cybersecurity review in accordance with relevant laws and regulations under the following circumstances: (i) such data processor engages in merger, reorganization or division of internet platform operators that have gathered a large number of data resources related to national security, economic development and public interests affects or may affect national security; (ii) the listing of such data processor overseas affects or may affect national security; and (iii) such data processor engages in other data processing activities that affect or may affect national security. Any failure to comply with such requirements may subject us or our affiliated entities to, among others, suspension of services, fines, revocation of relevant business permits or business licenses, and/or penalties. Since the CAC is still seeking comments on the Draft Regulation from the public as of the date of this annual report, the Draft Regulation (especially its operative provisions) and its anticipated adoption or effective date are subject to further changes with substantial uncertainty.

26

As of the date of this annual report, we or our affiliated entities have not engaged in the relevant businesses provided in the Draft Regulation. As such, we or our affiliated entities currently do not expect the draft measures by the CAC or other recent regulations will have an impact on ours and our affiliated entities’ business or results of operations, and we believe that we and our affiliated entities are compliant with the regulations and policies that have been issued by the CAC to date. As of the date of this annual report, we or our affiliated entities have not been subjected to any investigation, nor have we or any of our affiliated entities received any notice, warning, or sanction from applicable government authorities (including the CAC) with regard to the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries’ business operations concerning any issues related to cybersecurity and data security. In addition, we or our affiliated entities have not been involved in any review, investigation, enquiry, penalty, or other legal proceedings initiated by applicable governmental or regulatory authorities or third parties in relation to in relation to cyber security or data protection. However, we and our affiliated entities still face uncertainties regarding the interpretation and implementation of these laws and regulations in the future. Cybersecurity review could result in disruption in the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries’ operations, negative publicity with respect to our Company, and diversion of our managerial and financial resources. Furthermore, if we or our affiliated entities were found to be in violation of applicable laws and regulations in China during such review, we or our affiliated entities could be subject to fines or other government sanctions and reputational damage. Therefore, potential cybersecurity review, if applicable to us, could materially and adversely affect Qilian International and its affiliated entities’ business, financial condition, and results of operations.

In addition, the PRC Data Security Law, which was promulgated by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (the “SCNPC”) on June 10, 2021 and took effect on September 1, 2021, requires data collection to be conducted in a legitimate and proper manner, and stipulates that, for the purpose of data protection, data processing activities must be conducted based on data classification and hierarchical protection system for data security. Furthermore, the Opinions on Strictly Cracking Down Illegal Securities Activities, recently issued jointly by the General Office of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the General Office of the State Council, require (i) speeding up the revision of the regulatory provisions on strengthening the confidentiality and archives management relating to overseas issuance and listing of securities and (ii) improving the laws and regulations relating to data security, cross-border data flow, and management of confidential information. The PRC Personal Information Protection Law, which was promulgated by the SCNPC on August 20, 2021 and took effect on November 1, 2021, integrates the scattered rules with respect to personal information rights and privacy protection and applies to the processing of personal information within China as well as certain personal information processing activities outside China, including those for the provision of products and services to natural persons within China or for the analysis and assessment of acts of natural persons within China. There remain uncertainties regarding the further interpretation and implementation of those laws and regulations. If they are deemed to be applicable to us, we cannot assure you that we or our affiliated entities will be compliant with such new regulations in all respects, and we or our affiliated entities may be ordered to rectify and terminate any actions that are deemed illegal by the government authorities and become subject to fines and other government sanctions, which may materially and adversely affect Qilian International and its affiliated entities’ business, financial condition, and results of operations.

The PRC government’s significant oversight over the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries’ business operations could result in a material adverse change in the WFOE, the VIE and its subsidiaries’ operations and the value of our Ordinary Shares.

We conduct business in China primarily through the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries. The WFOE, the VIE and its subsidiaries’ operations in China are governed by PRC laws and regulations. The PRC government has significant oversight over the conduct of the WFOE, the VIE and its subsidiaries’ business, and it regulates and may intervene in the VIE and its subsidiaries’ operations, which could result in a material adverse change in the WFOE, the VIE and its subsidiaries’ business operations and/or the value of our Ordinary Shares. Also, the PRC government has recently indicated an intent to exert more oversight over offerings that are conducted overseas and/or foreign investment in China-based issuers. Any such action could significantly limit or completely hinder Qilian International’s ability to offer or continue to offer securities to investors. In addition, implementation of industry-wide regulations directly targeting the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries’ operations could cause Qilian International’s securities to significantly decline in value or become worthless. Therefore, investors of our Company face potential uncertainty from actions taken by the PRC government affecting the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries’ business.

27

Uncertainties with respect to the PRC legal system and the interpretation and enforcement of PRC laws and regulations could limit the legal protections available to you and us, hinder Qilian International’s ability and the ability of any holder of Qilian International’s securities to offer or continue to offer such securities, result in a material adverse change to the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries’ business operations, and damage Qilian International and its subsidiaries’ reputation, which would materially and adversely affect Qilian International and its affiliates’ financial condition and results of operations and cause the Ordinary Shares to significantly decline in value or become worthless.

The PRC legal system is based on written statutes, and court decisions have limited precedential value. The PRC legal system is evolving rapidly and PRC laws, regulations, and rules may change quickly with little or no advance notice. The interpretations of many PRC laws, regulations, and rules are done inconsistently, subjecting the enforcement of the same to a great deal of uncertainties. From time to time, we or our affiliated entities may have to resort to court and administrative proceedings to enforce legal rights. However, since the administrative authorities in China have significant discretion in interpreting and implementing statutory and contractual terms, it may be more difficult to predict the outcome of a judicial or administrative proceeding in China than in more developed legal systems. Furthermore, the PRC legal system is, in part, based on government policies and internal rules, some of which are not published in a timely manner, or at all, but which may have retroactive effect. As a result, we or our affiliated entities may not always be aware of an instance of violation of these policies and rules even after its occurrence. Such unpredictability towards our contractual, property (including intellectual property), and procedural rights could adversely affect the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries’ business and impede Qilian International’s ability to continue its operations through the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries.

Laws and regulations concerning our industries are also developing and evolving in China and the PRC governmental authorities may further promulgate new laws and regulations regulating our industries and other businesses we or our affiliated entities have already engaged in or may further expand into in the future. Although we and our affiliated entities have taken measures to comply with and to avoid violation of applicable laws and regulations, we cannot assure you that our, the VIE and its subsidiaries’ business practices are and will remain in full compliance with applicable PRC laws and regulations.

In addition, the PRC government may regulate or intervene in the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries’ operations at any time, or may exercise more oversight and control at any time over offerings conducted outside of China and foreign investment in China-based companies. For example, the recently issued Opinions on Strictly Scrutinizing Illegal Securities Activities emphasized the need to strengthen the management over illegal securities activities and the supervision on overseas listings by China-based companies. These opinions propose to take effective measures, such as promoting the establishment of relevant regulatory systems, to deal with the risks and incidents facing China-based overseas-listed companies, and fulfill the demand for cybersecurity and data privacy protection. These opinions and any future related implementation rules may subject us or our affiliated entities to additional compliance requirement in the future. As these opinions were recently issued, official guidance and interpretation of these opinions are absent in several material respects at this time. In addition, the Measures for Cybersecurity Censorship (Revised Draft for Comments) issued by the CAC on July 10, 2021, if enacted in the current form, extends the scope of cybersecurity review to cover data processing operators engaging in data processing activities that affect or may affect national security, including the listed in a foreign country. If the final version of the draft measures mandates clearance of cybersecurity review by companies like us, we may face uncertainties as to whether such clearance can be timely obtained, or at all. Therefore, we cannot assure you that we or our affiliated entities will remain fully compliant with any new regulatory requirements or any future implementation rules on a timely basis, or at all. Any failure of us or our affiliated entities to fully comply with applicable laws and regulations may significantly limit or completely hinder Qilian International’s ability to offer or continue to offer such securities, cause significant disruption to the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries’ business operations, and severely damage our reputation, which would materially and adversely affect Qilian International and its affiliates’ financial condition and results of operations and cause the Ordinary Shares to significantly decline in value or become worthless.

28

The PRC government may intervene or influence the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries’ business operations at any time or may exert more control over offerings conducted overseas and foreign investment in China based issuers, which could result in a material change in the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries’ business operations or the value of Qilian International’s securities. Additionally, the governmental and regulatory interference could significantly limit or completely hinder Qilian International’s ability to offer or continue to offer securities to investors and cause the value of such securities to significantly decline or be worthless. We and our affiliated entities are also currently not required to obtain approval from Chinese authorities to list on U.S. exchanges, however, if we or our affiliated entities are required to obtain approval in the future and are denied permission from Chinese authorities to list on U.S. exchanges, we will not be able to continue listing on U.S. exchange, which would materially affect the interest of the investors

We do not conduct any business operations. The business operations are conducted through our affiliated entities in PRC, which subject us and our affiliated entities to certain laws and regulations in China. The Chinese government has exercised and continues to exercise substantial control over virtually every sector of the Chinese economy through regulation and state ownership. Our ability to operate in China may be harmed by changes in its laws and regulations, including those relating to taxation, environmental regulations, land use rights, property and other matters. The central or local governments of these jurisdictions may impose new, stricter regulations or interpretations of existing regulations that would require additional expenditures and efforts on our part to ensure our compliance with such regulations or interpretations. Accordingly, government actions in the future, including any decision not to continue to support recent economic reforms and to return to a more centrally planned economy or regional or local variations in the implementation of economic policies, could have a significant effect on economic conditions in China or particular regions thereof, and could require us to divest ourselves of any interest we then hold in Chinese properties.

For example, the Chinese cybersecurity regulator announced on July 2, 2021 that it had begun an investigation of Didi Global Inc. (NYSE: DIDI) and two days later ordered that the company’s app be removed from smartphone app stores. On July 24, 2021, the General Office of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the General Office of the State Council jointly released the Guidelines for Further Easing the Burden of Excessive Homework and Off-campus Tutoring for Students at the Stage of Compulsory Education, pursuant to which foreign investment in such firms via mergers and acquisitions, franchise development, and variable interest entities are banned from this sector.

As such, our, the VIE and its entities’ business segments may be subject to various government and regulatory interference in the provinces in which they operate. We or our affiliated entities could be subject to regulations by various political and regulatory entities, including various local and municipal agencies and government sub-divisions, and these regulations may be interpreted and applied inconsistently by different agencies or authorities. We may incur increased costs necessary to comply with existing and newly adopted laws and regulations or penalties for any failure to comply, and such compliance or any associated inquiries or investigations or any other government actions may:

delay or impede our development;

result in negative publicity or increase our operating costs;

require significant management time and attention; and
subject our Company to remedies, administrative penalties and even criminal liabilities that may harm the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries’ business, including fines assessed for our current or historical operations, or demands or orders that our affiliated entities modify or even cease their business practices.

29

The regulatory framework for the collection, use, safeguarding, sharing, transfer and other processing of personal information and important data worldwide is rapidly evolving in PRC and is likely to remain uncertain for the foreseeable future. Regulatory authorities in China have implemented and are considering a number of legislative and regulatory proposals concerning data protection. For example, the PRC Cybersecurity Law, which became effective in June 2017, established China’s first national-level data protection for “network operators,” which may include all organizations in China that connect to or provide services over the internet or other information network. The PRC Data Security Law, which was promulgated by the Standing Committee of PRC National People’s Congress, or the SCNPC, on June 10, 2021 and became effective on September 1, 2021, outlines the main system framework of data security protection. As of the date of this Annual Report on Form 20-F, we or our affiliated entities have not been involved in any investigations on data security compliance made in connection with the PRC Data Security Law, and we or our affiliated entities have not received any inquiry, notice, warning, or sanctions in such respect. Based on the foregoing, we do not expect that, as of the date of this annual report, the PRC Data Security Law would have a material adverse impact on our, the VIE or its subsidiaries’ business.

In August 2021, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of China promulgated the Personal Information Protection Law which became effective on November 1, 2021. The Personal Information Protection Law provides a comprehensive set of data privacy and protection requirements that apply to the processing of personal information and expands data protection compliance obligations to cover the processing of personal information of persons by organizations and individuals in China, and the processing of personal information of persons outside of China if such processing is for purposes of providing products and services to, or analyzing and evaluating the behavior of, persons in China. The Personal Information Protection Law also provides that critical information infrastructure operators and personal information processing entities who process personal information meeting a volume threshold to be set by Chinese cyberspace regulators are also required to store in China the personal information generated or collected in China, and to pass a security assessment administered by Chinese cyberspace regulators for any export of such personal information. Moreover, pursuant to the Personal Information Protection Law, persons who seriously violate this law may be fined for up to RMB50 million or 5% of annual revenues generated in the prior year and may also be ordered to suspend any related activity by competent authorities.

Recent statements by the Chinese government have indicated an intent to exert more oversight and control over offerings that are conducted overseas and/or foreign investments in China-based issuers. On July 6, 2021, the General Office of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the General Office of the State Council jointly issued a document to crack down on illegal activities in the securities market and promote the high-quality development of the capital market, which, among other things, requires the relevant governmental authorities to strengthen cross-border oversight of law-enforcement and judicial cooperation, to enhance supervision over China-based companies listed overseas, and to establish and improve the system of extraterritorial application of the PRC securities laws. On December 24, 2021, the CSRC published the Provisions of the State Council on the Administration of Overseas Securities Offering and Listing by Domestic Companies (the “Administration Provisions”), and the Administrative Measures for the Filing of Overseas Securities Offering and Listing by Domestic Companies (the “Measures”), which are now open for public comment.

Furthermore, on July 10, 2021, the CAC issued a revised draft of the Measures for Cybersecurity Review for public comments, which required that, among others, in addition to “operator of critical information infrastructure”, any “data processor” controlling personal information of no less than one million users which seeks to list in a foreign stock exchange should also be subject to cybersecurity review, and further elaborated the factors to be considered when assessing the national security risks of the relevant activities. On December 28, 2021, the CAC, the National Development and Reform Commission (“NDRC”), and several other administrations jointly issued the revised Measures for Cybersecurity Review, or the “Revised Review Measures”, which became effective and replaced the existing Measures for Cybersecurity Review on February 15, 2022. According to the Revised Review Measures, if an “online platform operator” that is in possession of personal data of more than one million users intends to list in a foreign country, it must apply for a cybersecurity review. Based on a set of Q&A published on the official website of the State Cipher Code Administration in connection with the issuance of the Revised Review Measures, an official of the said administration indicated that an online platform operator should apply for a cybersecurity review prior to the submission of its listing application with non-PRC securities regulators. Moreover, the CAC released the draft of the Regulations on Network Data Security Management in November 2021 for public consultation, which among other things, stipulates that a data processor listed overseas must conduct an annual data security review by itself or by engaging a data security service provider and submit the annual data security review report for a given year to the municipal cybersecurity department before January 31 of the following year. Given the recency of the issuance of the Revised Review Measures and their pending effectiveness, there is a general lack of guidance and substantial uncertainties exist with respect to their interpretation and implementation.

30

Qilian International has been advised by Gansu Quanyi Law Firm, our PRC counsel, that as of the date of this Annual Report, our listing in the U.S. is not subject to the review, permission or prior approval of any PRC authorities including the Cyberspace Administration of China (“CAC”) or the China Securities Regulatory Commission (“CSRC”) because (i) the CSRC currently has not issued any definitive rule or interpretation concerning whether our listing is subject to this regulation; and (ii) our operating entities affiliated to us were established and operate in PRC are not included in the categories of industries and companies whose foreign securities offerings are subject to review by the CSRC or the CAC. Uncertainties still exist, however, due to the possibility that laws, regulations, or policies in the PRC could change rapidly in the future. In the event that the PRC government expanded the categories of industries and companies whose foreign securities offerings are subject to review by the CSRC or the CAC, and we inadvertently concluded that relevant permissions or approvals were not required or that we or our affiliated entities did not receive or failed to maintain relevant permissions or approvals required and such permissions were subsequently rescinded, any action by the PRC government could significantly limit or completely hinder Qilian International’s ability to offer or continue to offer securities to investors and could cause the value of such securities to significantly decline or be worthless.

Further, the promulgation of new laws or regulations, or the new interpretation of existing laws and regulations, in each case that restrict or otherwise unfavorably may impact the ability or the way the VIE or its subsidiaries’ may conduct their business and could require them to change certain aspects of their business to ensure compliance, which could decrease demand for their products or services, reduce revenues, increase costs, require them to obtain more licenses, permits, approvals or certificates, or subject it to additional liabilities. As such, the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries’ operations could be adversely affected, directly or indirectly, by existing or future PRC laws and regulations relating to its business or industry, which could result in a material adverse change in the value of Qilian International’s securities, potentially rendering it worthless. As a result, both you and us face uncertainty about future actions by the PRC government that could significantly affect Qilian International’s ability to offer or continue to offer securities to investors and cause the value of Qilian International’s securities to significantly decline or be worthless.

PRC regulation of loans to, and direct investments in, PRC entities by offshore holding companies may delay or prevent us from using proceeds from future financing activities to make loans or additional capital contributions to our PRC Subsidiary.

As an offshore holding company, we may transfer funds to the PRC Subsidiary or finance our operating entity by means of loans or capital contributions. Any capital contributions or loans that we, as an offshore entity, make to our Company’s PRC Subsidiary, are subject to PRC regulations. Any loans to the PRC Subsidiary, which are foreign-invested enterprises, cannot exceed statutory limits based on the difference between the amount of our investments and registered capital in such subsidiary, and shall be registered with China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange (“SAFE”), or its local counterparts. Furthermore, any capital increase contributions we make to the PRC Subsidiary, which are foreign-invested enterprises, shall be approved by China’s Ministry of Commerce (“MOFCOM”), or its local counterparts. We or our affiliated entities may not be able to obtain these government registrations or approvals on a timely basis, if at all. If we or our affiliated entities fail to obtain such approvals or make such registration, our ability to make equity contributions or provide loans to the Company’s PRC Subsidiary or to fund its operations may be negatively affected, which may adversely affect its liquidity and ability to fund working capital and expansion projects and meet its obligations and commitments. As a result, our liquidity and our ability to fund and expand the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries’ business may be negatively affected.

A severe or prolonged downturn in the Chinese or global economy could materially and adversely affect the VIE and its subsidiaries’ business and financial condition.

The COVID-19 pandemic had a severe and negative impact on the Chinese and the global economy in 2020. Whether this will lead to a prolonged downturn in the economy is still unknown. Even before the outbreak of COVID-19, the global macroeconomic environment was facing numerous challenges. The growth rate of the Chinese economy had already been slowing since 2010. There is considerable uncertainty over the long-term effects of the expansionary monetary and fiscal policies which had been adopted by the central banks and financial authorities of some of the world’s leading economies, including the United States and China, even before 2020. Unrest, terrorist threats and the potential for war in the Middle East and elsewhere may increase market volatility across the globe. There have also been concerns about the relationship between China and other countries, including the surrounding Asian countries, which may potentially have economic effects. In particular, there is significant uncertainty about the future relationship between the United States and China with respect to trade policies, treaties, government regulations and tariffs. Economic conditions in China are sensitive to global economic conditions, as well as changes in domestic economic and political policies and the expected or perceived overall economic growth rate in China. Any severe or prolonged slowdown in the global or Chinese economy may materially and adversely affect Qilian International and its affiliated entities’ business, results of operations and financial condition.

31

Adverse changes in political and economic policies of the PRC government could have a material adverse effect on the overall economic growth of China, which could reduce the demand for the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries’ products and materially and adversely affect their competitive position.

All of the business operations are conducted in China. Accordingly, Qilian International and its affiliated entities’ business, results of operations, financial condition and prospects are subject to economic, political and legal developments in China. Although the Chinese economy is no longer a planned economy, the PRC government continues to exercise significant control over China’s economic growth through direct allocation of resources, monetary and tax policies, and a host of other government policies such as those that encourage or restrict investment in certain industries by foreign investors, control the exchange between RMB and foreign currencies, and regulate the growth of the general or specific market. These government involvements have been instrumental in China’s significant growth in the past 30 years. In response to the recent global and Chinese economic downturn, the PRC government has adopted policy measures aimed at stimulating the economic growth in China. If the PRC government’s current or future policies fail to help the Chinese economy achieve further growth or if any aspect of the PRC government’s policies limits the growth of our industry or otherwise negatively affects the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries’ business, their growth rate or strategy, and results of operations could be adversely affected as a result.

Under the EIT Law, we may be classified as a “Resident Enterprise” of China. Such classification will likely result in unfavorable tax consequences to us and our non-PRC shareholders.

China passed the EIT Law, which became effective on December 29, 2018, and its implementing rules, which became effective on April 23, 2019. Under the EIT Law, an enterprise established outside of China with “de facto management bodies” within China is considered a “resident enterprise,” meaning that it can be treated in a manner similar to a Chinese enterprise for enterprise income tax purposes, which is subject to an EIT rate of 25.0% on its global income. The implementing rules of the EIT Law define de facto management as “substantial and overall management and control over the production and operations, personnel, accounting, and properties” of the enterprise.

On April 22, 2009, the State Administration of Taxation of China (the “SAT”) issued the Notice Concerning Relevant Issues Regarding Cognizance of Chinese Investment Controlled Enterprises Incorporated Offshore as Resident Enterprises pursuant to Criteria of de facto Management Bodies, or the Notice, further interpreting the application of the EIT Law and its implementation to offshore entities controlled by a Chinese enterprise or group. Pursuant to the Notice, an enterprise incorporated in an offshore jurisdiction and controlled by a Chinese enterprise or group will be classified as a “non-domestically incorporated resident enterprise” if (i) its senior management in charge of daily operations reside or perform their duties mainly in China; (ii) its financial or personnel decisions are made or approved by bodies or persons in China; (iii) its substantial assets and properties, accounting books, corporate stamps, board and shareholder minutes are kept in China; and (iv) over half of its directors with voting rights or senior management reside in China. A resident enterprise would be subject to an enterprise income tax rate of 25% on its worldwide income and must pay a withholding tax at a rate of 10% when paying dividends to its non-PRC shareholders. Because substantially all of the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries’ operations and senior management are located within the PRC and are expected to remain so for the foreseeable future, we may be considered a PRC resident enterprise for enterprise income tax purposes and therefore subject to the PRC enterprise income tax at the rate of 25% on worldwide income. However, it remains unclear as to whether the Notice is applicable to an offshore enterprise controlled by a Chinese natural person. Therefore, it is unclear how tax authorities will determine tax residency based on the facts of each case.

32

If the PRC tax authorities determine that we are a “resident enterprise” for PRC enterprise income tax purposes, a number of unfavorable PRC tax consequences could follow. First, we or our affiliated entities may be subject to the enterprise income tax at a rate of 25% on worldwide taxable income as well as PRC enterprise income tax reporting obligations. In our case, this would mean that income such as non-China source income would be subject to PRC enterprise income tax at a rate of 25%. Currently, the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries do not have any non-China source income, as they conduct their sales in China. However, under the EIT Law and its implementing rules, dividends paid to us from the PRC Subsidiary would be deemed as “qualified investment income between resident enterprises” and therefore qualify as “tax-exempt income” pursuant to clause 26 of the EIT Law. Second, it is possible that future guidance issued with respect to the new “resident enterprise” classification could result in a situation in which the dividends we pay with respect to our Ordinary Shares, or the gain our non-PRC shareholders may realize from the transfer of our Ordinary Shares, may be treated as PRC-sourced income and may therefore be subject to a 10% PRC withholding tax. The EIT Law and its implementing regulations are, however, relatively new and ambiguities exist with respect to the interpretation and identification of PRC-sourced income, and the application and assessment of withholding taxes. If we are required under the EIT Law and its implementing regulations to withhold PRC income tax on dividends payable to our non-PRC shareholders, or if non-PRC shareholders are required to pay PRC income tax on gains on the transfer of their Ordinary Shares, the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries’ business could be negatively impacted and the value of your investment may be materially reduced. Further, if we were to be treated as a “resident enterprise” by PRC tax authorities, we and our affiliated entities would be subject to taxation in both China and such countries in which we have taxable income, and our PRC tax may not be creditable against such other taxes.

We may be exposed to liabilities under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and Chinese anti-corruption law.

We are subject to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (the “FCPA”), and other laws that prohibit improper payments or offers of payments to foreign governments and their officials and political parties by U.S. persons and issuers as defined by the statute for the purpose of obtaining or retaining business. We and our affiliated entities are also subject to Chinese anti-corruption laws, which strictly prohibit the payment of bribes to government officials. We and our affiliated entities have operations, agreements with third parties, and make sales in China, which may experience corruption. Our activities in China create the risk of unauthorized payments or offers of payments by one of the employees, consultants or distributors of our Company, because these parties are not always subject to our control.

Although we believe we and our affiliated entities have complied in all material respects with the provisions of the FCPA and Chinese anti-corruption law as of the date of the annual report on Form 20-F, our existing safeguards and any future improvements may prove to be less than effective, and the employees, consultants or distributors of our Company may engage in conduct for which we or our affiliated entities might be held responsible. Violations of the FCPA or Chinese anti-corruption law may result in severe criminal or civil sanctions, and we or our affiliated entities may be subject to other liabilities, which could negatively affect Qilian International and its affiliated entities’ business, operating results and financial condition. In addition, the government may seek to hold the Company liable for successor liability FCPA violations committed by companies in which it invest or that it acquire.

Governmental control of currency conversion may affect the value of your investment.

The PRC government imposes controls on the convertibility of the RMB into foreign currencies and, in certain cases, the remittance of currency out of China. The WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries receive substantially all of our revenues in RMB. Under our current corporate structure, our income is primarily derived from dividend payments from the PRC Subsidiary. Shortages in the availability of foreign currency may restrict the ability of the PRC Subsidiary to remit sufficient foreign currency to pay dividends or other payments to us, or otherwise satisfy their foreign currency denominated obligations. Under existing PRC foreign exchange regulations, payments of current account items, including profit distributions, interest payments and expenditures from trade-related transactions can be made in foreign currencies without prior approval from SAFE by complying with certain procedural requirements. However, approval from appropriate government authorities is required where RMB is to be converted into foreign currency and remitted out of China to pay capital expenses, such as the repayment of loans denominated in foreign currencies. The PRC government may also at its discretion restrict access in the future to foreign currencies for current account transactions. If the foreign exchange control system prevents us from obtaining sufficient foreign currency to satisfy our currency demands, we may not be able to pay dividends in foreign currencies to our security-holders.

33

Qilian International is a holding company and it relies for funding on dividend payments from its affiliated entities by contracts, which are subject to restrictions under PRC laws.

Qilian International is a holding company incorporated in the Cayman Islands, and it operates its core businesses through the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries in the PRC. Therefore, the availability of funds for Qilian International to pay dividends to its shareholders and to service its indebtedness depends upon dividends received from the WFOE, the VIE and its subsidiaries. If the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries incur debt or losses, their ability to pay dividends or other distributions to Qilian International may be impaired. As a result, Qilian International’s ability to pay dividends and to repay its indebtedness will be restricted.

Under PRC laws and regulations, Qilian International’s PRC Subsidiary, as wholly foreign-owned enterprises in China, may pay dividends only out of its accumulated after-tax profits as determined in accordance with PRC accounting standards and regulations. In addition, a wholly foreign-owned enterprise is required to set aside at least 10% of its accumulated after-tax profits each year, if any, to fund certain statutory reserve funds, until the aggregate amount of such funds reaches 50% of its registered capital. At its discretion, a wholly foreign-owned enterprise may allocate a portion of its after-tax profits based on PRC accounting standards to discretional funds. These reserve funds and discretional funds are not distributable as cash dividends.

Under existing PRC foreign exchange regulations, payments of current account items, such as profit distributions and trade and service-related foreign exchange transactions, can be made in foreign currencies without prior approval from the SAFE, by complying with certain procedural requirements. Therefore, our PRC Subsidiary is able to pay dividends in foreign currencies to its non-PRC shareholders without prior approval from the SAFE, subject to the condition that the remittance of such dividends outside of the PRC complies with certain procedures under PRC foreign exchange regulation, such as the overseas investment registrations by the beneficial owners of our Company who are PRC residents. However, approval from, or registration with, appropriate government authorities is required where RMB is to be converted into foreign currency and remitted out of China to pay capital expenses, such as the repayment of loans denominated in foreign currencies.

In response to the persistent capital outflow and RMB’s depreciation against the U.S. dollar in the fourth quarter of 2016, the PBOC and the SAFE have implemented a series of capital control measures, including stricter vetting procedures for China-based companies to remit foreign currency for overseas acquisitions, dividend payments and shareholder loan repayments. The PRC government may continue to strengthen its capital controls and our PRC Subsidiary’s dividends and other distributions may be subjected to tighter scrutiny in the future. Any limitation on the ability of our PRC Subsidiary to pay dividends or make other distributions to us could materially and adversely limit our ability to grow, make investments or acquisitions that could be beneficial to the VIE and its subsidiaries’ business, pay dividends, or otherwise fund and conduct the VIE and its subsidiaries’ business. See also “— Under the EIT Law, we may be classified as a ‘Resident Enterprise’ of China. Such classification will likely result in unfavorable tax consequences to us and our non-PRC shareholders.”

34

Qilian International is a holding company and it relies for funding on dividend payments from its affiliated entities by contracts, which are subject to restrictions under PRC laws. Any limitation on the ability of Qilian’s affiliated entities to make payments to it could have a material adverse effect on Qilian International’s ability to maintain its business.

Qilian International is a holding company, and it rely on dividends and other distributions on equity paid by its affiliated entities for cash and financing requirements, including the funds necessary to pay dividends and other cash distributions to its shareholders and service any debt it may incur. If any of its affiliated entities incurs debt on its own behalf in the future, the instruments governing the debt may restrict Qilian International’s ability to pay dividends or make other distributions to it.

Under PRC laws and regulations, the PRC Subsidiary, as a wholly foreign-owned enterprise in China, may pay dividends only out of its respective accumulated after-tax profits as determined in accordance with PRC accounting standards and regulations. In addition, a wholly foreign-owned enterprise in China is required to set aside at least 10% of its accumulated after-tax profits each year, if any, to fund certain statutory reserve funds, until the aggregate amount of such funds reaches 50% of its registered capital. At its discretion, a wholly foreign-owned enterprise may allocate a portion of its after-tax profits based on PRC accounting standards to staff welfare and bonus funds. These reserve funds and staff welfare and bonus funds are not distributable as cash dividends.

Any limitation on the ability of Qilian International’s affiliated entities in PRC to pay dividends or make other distributions to it could materially and adversely limit its ability to grow, make investments or acquisitions that could be beneficial to its business, pay dividends, or otherwise fund and conduct its business.

The WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries’ business may be materially and adversely affected if any of our PRC Subsidiary, the VIE or the VIE’s subsidiaries declares bankruptcy or becomes subject to a dissolution or liquidation proceeding.

The Enterprise Bankruptcy Law of the PRC, or the Bankruptcy Law, came into effect on June 1, 2007. The Bankruptcy Law provides that an enterprise will be liquidated if the enterprise fails to settle its debts as and when they fall due and if the enterprise’s assets are, or are demonstrably, insufficient to clear such debts.

Our PRC Subsidiary, the VIE and the VIE’s subsidiaries hold substantially all the assets that are important to the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries’ business operations. If any of these entities undergoes a voluntary or involuntary liquidation proceeding, unrelated third-party creditors may claim rights to some or all of these assets, thereby hindering WFOE, the VIE and its subsidiaries’ to operate their business, which could materially and adversely affect Qilian International and its affiliated entities’ business, financial condition and results of operations.

According to SAFE’s Notice of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange on Further Improving and Adjusting Foreign Exchange Administration Policies for Direct Investment, promulgated on November 19, 2012 and amended on May 4, 2015, and the Provisions on the Foreign Exchange Administration of Domestic Direct Investment of Foreign Investors, effective on May 13, 2013, if any of our PRC Subsidiary, the VIE, or the VIE’s subsidiaries undergoes a voluntary or involuntary liquidation proceeding, prior approval from SAFE for remittance of foreign exchange to our shareholders abroad is no longer required, but we still need to conduct a registration process with the SAFE local branch. It is not clear whether “registration” is a mere formality or involves the kind of substantive review process undertaken by SAFE and its relevant branches in the past.

Substantial uncertainties exist with respect to the interpretation of the PRC Foreign Investment Law and how it may impact the viability of our current corporate structure, corporate governance and business operations.

The MOFCOM published a discussion draft of the proposed Foreign Investment Law in January 2015, or the 2015 FIL Draft, which expands the definition of foreign investment and introduces the principle of “actual control” in determining whether a company is considered a foreign-invested enterprise, or an FIE. Under the 2015 FIL Draft, VIEs that are controlled via contractual arrangement would also be deemed as foreign invested enterprises, if they are ultimately “controlled” by foreign investors.

35

On March 15, 2019, the National People’s Congress approved the Foreign Investment Law of the PRC, or the Foreign Investment Law, which came into effect on January 1, 2020, repealing simultaneously the Law of the PRC on Chinese-foreign Equity Joint Ventures, the Law of the PRC on Wholly Foreign-owned Enterprises and the Law of the PRC on Chinese-foreign Cooperative Joint Ventures, together with their implementation rules and ancillary regulations. Pursuant to the Foreign Investment Law, foreign investment refers to any investment activity within China directly or indirectly carried out by foreign natural persons, enterprises, or other organizations, including investment in new construction project, establishment of foreign funded enterprise or increase of investment within China alone or jointly with any other investor, merger and acquisition, and investment in any other way stipulated under laws, administrative regulations, or provisions of the State Council. Although the Foreign Investment Law has deleted the particular reference to the concept of “actual control” and contractual arrangements, as compared to the 2015 FIL Draft, there is no assurance that foreign investment via contractual arrangement would not be interpreted as a type of indirect foreign investment activity in the future. In addition, the definition of foreign investment activities contains a catch-all provision providing that investments made by foreign investors through other methods specified in laws or administrative regulations or other methods prescribed by the State Council, which leaves leeway for future laws, administrative regulations or provisions promulgated by the State Council to provide for contractual arrangements as a method of foreign investment. Given the foregoing, it is uncertain whether our contractual arrangements will be deemed to be in violation of the market entry clearance requirements for foreign investment under the PRC laws and regulations.

Even if the VIE were to be identified as an FIE in the future, we believe that the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries’ current business would not be adversely affected. However, if they were to engage in any business conduct involving third parties identified as prohibited or restricted on the Negative List, we and our affiliated entities may be subject to laws and regulations on foreign investment. Such might be the case for Gansu QLS’s proposed acquisition of enterprises manufacturing traditional Chinese medicine pieces. In addition, our shareholders would also be prohibited or restricted to invest in certain sectors on the Negative List. However, even if the VIE were to be identified as an FIE, the validity of our contractual arrangements with Gansu QLS and its shareholders, as well as our corporate structure, would not be adversely affected. We would still be able to receive benefits from the VIE in accordance with the contractual arrangements. In addition, as the Chinese government has been updating the Negative List in recent years and reducing the sectors prohibited or restricted for foreign investment, it is possible in the future that, even if the VIE is identified as an FIE, it is still allowed to acquire or hold equity of enterprises in sectors currently prohibited or restricted for foreign investment.

It may be difficult for overseas regulators to conduct investigation or collect evidence within China.

Shareholder claims or regulatory investigation that are common in the United States generally are difficult to pursue as a matter of law or practicality in China. For example, in China, there are significant legal and other obstacles to providing information needed for regulatory investigations or litigations initiated outside China. Although the authorities in China may establish a regulatory cooperation mechanism with the securities regulatory authorities of another country or region to implement cross-border supervision and administration, such cooperation with the securities regulatory authorities in the Unities States may not be efficient in the absence of mutual and practical cooperation mechanism. Furthermore, according to Article 177 of the PRC Securities Law, which became effective in March 2020, no overseas securities regulator is allowed to directly conduct investigation or evidence collection activities within the PRC territory. While detailed interpretation of or implementation rules under Article 177 have yet to be promulgated, the inability for an overseas securities regulator to directly conduct investigation or evidence collection activities within China may further increase the difficulties you face in protecting your interests. See also “—Risks Related to Our Ordinary Shares— The laws of the Cayman Islands may not provide our shareholders with benefits comparable to those provided to shareholders of corporations incorporated in the United States. For instance, you may face difficulties in protecting your interests, and your ability to protect your rights through U.S. courts may be limited, because we are incorporated under Cayman Islands law” for risks associated with investing in us as a Cayman Islands company.

You may experience difficulties in effecting services of legal process, enforcing foreign judgments or bringing actions in China against us or our management based on foreign laws.

We are an exempted company incorporated under the laws of the Cayman Islands; however, we do not conduct any businesses and all business operations are conducted by the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries in China and most of our assets are located in China. In addition, all of our directors and executive officers are nationals or residents of the PRC and most of their assets are located outside the United States. As a result, it may be difficult for you to effect service of process upon us or our management inside mainland China. It may also be difficult for you to enforce in U.S. courts of the judgments obtained in U.S. courts based on the civil liability provisions of the U.S. federal securities laws against us and our officers and directors. In addition, there is uncertainty as to whether the courts of the Cayman Islands or the PRC would recognize or enforce judgments of U.S. courts against us or such persons predicated upon the civil liability provisions of the securities laws of the United States or any state.

36

The recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments are provided for under the PRC Civil Procedures Law. PRC courts may recognize and enforce foreign judgments in accordance with the requirements of the PRC Civil Procedures Law based either on treaties between China and the country where the judgment is made or on principles of reciprocity between jurisdictions. China does not have any treaties or other forms of written arrangement with the United States that provide for the reciprocal recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments. In addition, according to the PRC Civil Procedures Law, the PRC courts will not enforce a foreign judgment against us or our directors and officers if they decide that the judgment violates the basic principles of PRC laws or national sovereignty, security or public interest. As a result, it is uncertain whether and on what basis a PRC court would enforce a judgment rendered by a court in the United States.

The custodians or authorized users of our controlling non-tangible assets, including chops and seals, may fail to fulfill their responsibilities, or misappropriate or misuse these assets.

Under the PRC law, legal documents for corporate transactions, including agreements and contracts are executed using the chop or seal of the signing entity or with the signature of a legal representative whose designation is registered and filed with relevant PRC market regulation administrative authorities.

In order to secure the use of our chops and seals, we and our affiliated entities have established internal control procedures and rules for using these chops and seals. In any event that the chops and seals are intended to be used, the responsible personnel will submit an application and the application will be verified and approved by authorized employees in accordance with our internal control procedures and rules. In addition, in order to maintain the physical security of our chops, we and our affiliated entities generally have them stored in secured locations accessible only to authorized employees. Although we and our affiliated entities monitor such authorized employees, the procedures may not be sufficient to prevent all instances of abuse or negligence. There is a risk that our employees could abuse their authority, for example, by entering into a contract not approved by us or seeking to gain control of one of our affiliated entities or the VIE or its subsidiaries. If any employee obtains, misuses or misappropriates our chops and seals or other controlling non-tangible assets for whatever reason, we and our affiliated entities could experience disruption to our normal business operations. We and our affiliated entities may have to take corporate or legal action in such an event, which could involve significant time and resources to resolve and divert management from the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries’ operations.

Fluctuations in exchange rates could adversely affect the VIE and its subsidiaries’ business and the value of Qilian International’s securities.

Changes in the value of the RMB against the U.S. dollar, Euro and other foreign currencies are affected by, among other things, changes in China’s political and economic conditions. Any significant revaluation of the RMB may have a material adverse effect on our revenues and financial condition, and the value of, and any dividends payable on our shares in U.S. dollar terms. For example, to the extent that we need to convert U.S. dollars we receive from our initial public offering into RMB for our WFOE and VIE and its subsidiaries’ business operations, appreciation of the RMB against the U.S. dollar would have an adverse effect on RMB amount we would receive from the conversion. Conversely, if we decide to convert the RMB into U.S. dollars for the purpose of paying dividends on our Ordinary Shares or for other business purposes, appreciation of the U.S. dollar against the RMB would have a negative effect on the U.S. dollar amount available to us. In addition, fluctuations of the RMB against other currencies may increase or decrease the cost of imports and exports, and thus affect the price-competitiveness of the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries’ products against products of foreign manufacturers or products relying on foreign inputs.

Since July 2005, the RMB is no longer pegged to the U.S. dollar. Although the People’s Bank of China regularly intervenes in the foreign exchange market to prevent significant short-term fluctuations in the exchange rate, the RMB may appreciate or depreciate significantly in value against the U.S. dollar in the medium to long term. Moreover, it is possible that in the future PRC authorities may lift restrictions on fluctuations in the RMB exchange rate and lessen intervention in the foreign exchange market.

37

Increases in labor costs in the PRC may adversely affect the Qilian International and its affiliated entities’ business and results of operations.

The currently effective PRC Labor Contract Law, or the Labor Contract Law was first adopted on June 29, 2007, later amended on December 28, 2012 and effective on July 1, 2013. The PRC Labor Contract Law has reinforced the protection of employees who, under the Labor Contract Law, have the right, among others, to have written employment contracts, to enter into employment contracts with no fixed term under certain circumstances, to receive overtime wages and to terminate or alter terms in labor contracts. Furthermore, the Labor Contract Law sets forth additional restrictions and increases the costs involved with dismissing employees. To the extent that our affiliated entities need to significantly reduce their workforce, the Labor Contract Law could adversely affect their ability to do so in a timely and cost-effective manner, and their results of operations could be adversely affected. In addition, for employees whose employment contracts include non-competition terms, the Labor Contract Law requires the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries to pay monthly economic compensation after such employment is terminated, which will increase our operating expenses.

We expect that the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries’ labor costs, including wages and employee benefits, will continue to increase. Unless the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries’ are able to pass on these increased labor costs to their customers by increasing the prices of their products and services, their financial conditions and results of operations could be materially and adversely affected.

Some of our shareholders are not in compliance with the PRC’s regulations relating to offshore investment activities by PRC residents, and as a result, the shareholders may be subject to penalties if we are not able to remediate the non-compliance.

In July 2014, the SAFE promulgated the Circular on Issues Concerning Foreign Exchange Administration over the Overseas Investment and Financing and Roundtrip Investment by Domestic Residents via Special Purpose Vehicles, or “Circular 37”. According to Circular 37, prior registration with the local SAFE branch is required for Chinese residents to contribute domestic assets or interests to offshore companies, known as special purpose vehicles, or SPVs. Circular 37 further requires amendment to a PRC resident’s registration in the event of any significant changes with respect to the SPV, such as an increase or decrease in the capital contributed by PRC individuals, share transfer or exchange, merger, division, or other material event. Further, foreign investment enterprises established by way of round-tripping shall complete the relevant foreign exchange registration formalities pursuant to the prevailing foreign exchange control provisions for direct investments by foreign investors, and disclose the relevant information such as actual controlling party of the shareholders truthfully.

There are a total of 151 Gansu QLS shareholders, who are PRC residents. Amongst them, 122 have signed the VIE Agreements, but only 82 have completed the Circular 37 Registration. The remaining 40 shareholders who have yet to complete the Circular 37 Registration hold a total of 4.5% of shares of Gansu QLS. We have asked our shareholders who are Chinese residents to make the necessary applications and filings as required by Circular 37. While we attempt to comply, and attempt to ensure that our shareholders who are subject to these rules comply, with the relevant requirements, we cannot, however, provide any assurances that all of our shareholders who are Chinese residents will comply with our request to make or obtain any applicable registration or comply with other requirements required by Circular 37 or other related rules. The Chinese resident shareholders’ failure to comply with Circular 37 registration would not impose penalties on our Company, while it may result in restrictions being imposed on part of foreign exchange activities of the offshore special purpose vehicles, including restrictions on its ability to receive registered capital as well as additional capital from Chinese resident shareholders who fail to complete Circular 37 registration; and repatriation of profits and dividends derived from special purpose vehicles to China, by the Chinese resident shareholders who fail to complete Circular 37 registration, are also illegal. In addition, the failure of the Chinese resident shareholders to complete Circular 37 registration may subject each of the shareholders to fines less than RMB50,000. We cannot assure you that each of our Chinese resident shareholders will in the future complete the registration process as required by Circular 37.

38

The VIE is not in compliance with the PRC’s regulations relating to employee’s social insurance and housing funds, and as a result, Gansu QLS and its subsidiaries may be subject to penalties if it is not able to remediate the non-compliance.

Pursuant to the Social Security Law of the PRC, or the Social Security Law, which was promulgated by the SCNPC on October 28, 2010 and amended on December 29, 2018, employers shall pay the basic pension insurance, medical insurance, work-related injury insurance, unemployment insurance and maternity insurance for employees. Gansu QLS has not deposited social security premium for part of employees in accordance with the Social Security Law. Although Gansu QLS has failed to deposit social security premiums in full, we believe that no additional amount is required to be paid by Gansu QLS since (i) some of the employees of Gansu QLS are over the age limit to be paid social insurance fees, and some chose to waive receiving social insurance fees deposited by Gansu QLS and decided to participate in their own voluntary social insurance plans instead; and (ii) pursuant to the Emergency Notice on Practicing Principles of the State Council Executive Meeting and Stabilizing Work on Collecting Social Insurance Premiums promulgated by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security on September 21, 2018, local authorities are prohibited from recovering the unpaid social insurance premiums from enterprises. Thus, it is unlikely that the overdue social insurance premiums would be ordered to be repaid by Gansu QLS.

In accordance with the Regulation on Management of Housing Provident Fund (the “Regulations of HPF”), which were promulgated by the PRC State Council on April 3, 1999, and last amended on March 24, 2019, employers must register at the designated administrative centers and open bank accounts for employees’ housing fund deposits. Employers and employees are also required to pay and deposit housing funds in an amount no less than 5% of the monthly average salary of each of the employees in the preceding year in full and on time. Gansu QLS had not opened such bank accounts or deposited its employees’ housing funds until August 2019. On the basis that (i) Gansu QLS has opened the account for housing funds and deposited housing funds for staff since August 2019, and (ii) the local authorities had not taken enforceable measures to collect housing funds from local enterprises, we think it is unlikely that the overdue unpaid housing fund would be ordered to be recovered from Gansu QLS. However, Chengdu QLS has not opened bank accounts for its employees’ housing fund deposits, nor has it deposited employees’ housing funds in accordance with the Regulations of HPF. Thus, Chengdu QLS may be ordered by PRC authorities to open a housing funds account, make the payment, and deposit an amount required by the PRC authorities within a prescribed time limit. If Chengdu QLS fails to comply to PRC authorities’ order within the prescribed time limit, a court ordered compulsory enforcement may be adopted and a fine of no less than RMB10,000 but no more than RMB50,000 shall be imposed.

Since the VIE failed to make adequate social insurance and housing fund contributions, it may be subject to fines and legal sanctions, and Qilian International and its affiliated entities’ business, financial condition and results of operations may be adversely affected.

If we become directly subject to the recent scrutiny, criticism and negative publicity involving U.S.-listed Chinese companies, we may have to expend significant resources to investigate and resolve the matter which could harm the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries’ business operations and our reputation and could result in a loss of your investment in our stock, especially if such matter cannot be addressed and resolved favorably.

Recently, U.S. public companies that have substantially all of their operations in China, have been the subject of intense scrutiny, criticism and negative publicity by investors, financial commentators and regulatory agencies, such as the SEC. Much of the scrutiny, criticism and negative publicity has centered around financial and accounting irregularities, a lack of effective internal controls over financial accounting, inadequate corporate governance policies or a lack of adherence thereto and, in many cases, allegations of fraud. As a result of the scrutiny, criticism and negative publicity, the publicly traded stock of many U.S. listed Chinese companies has sharply decreased in value and, in some cases, has become virtually worthless. Many of these companies are now subject to shareholder lawsuits and SEC enforcement actions and are conducting internal and external investigations into the allegations. It is not clear what effect this sector-wide scrutiny, criticism and negative publicity will have on our Company and the VIE and its subsidiaries’ business. If we become the subject of any unfavorable allegations, whether such allegations are proven to be true or untrue, we will have to expend significant resources to investigate such allegations and/or defend the Company. This situation may be a major distraction to our management. If such allegations are not proven to be groundless, our Company and business operations will be severely hampered and your investment in our stock could be rendered worthless.

39

You may face difficulties in protecting your interests and exercising your rights as a shareholder since we do not conduct any business and substantially all of the business operations are conducted by the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries in China, and almost all of our officers and directors reside outside the U.S.

Although we are incorporated in the Cayman Islands, we do not conduct any business and substantially all of the business operations are conducted by the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries in China. All of our current officers and almost all of our directors reside outside the U.S. and substantially all of the assets of those persons are located outside of the U.S. It may be difficult for you to conduct due diligence on the Company or such directors in your election of the directors and attend shareholders meeting if the meeting is held in China. We plan to have one shareholder meeting each year at a location to be determined, potentially in China. As a result of all of the above, our public shareholders may have more difficulty in protecting their interests through actions against our management, directors or major shareholders than would shareholders of a corporation doing business entirely or predominantly within the U.S.

If we are classified as a passive foreign investment company, United States taxpayers who own our Ordinary Shares may have adverse United States federal income tax consequences.

A non-U.S. corporation such as ourselves will be classified as a passive foreign investment company, which is known as a PFIC, for any taxable year if, for such year, either:

At least 75% of our gross income for the year is passive income; or

The average percentage of our assets (determined at the end of each quarter) during the taxable year which produce passive income or which are held for the production of passive income is at least 50%.

Passive income generally includes dividends, interest, rents and royalties (other than rents or royalties derived from the active conduct of a trade or business), and gains from the disposition of passive assets.

If we are determined to be a PFIC for any taxable year (or portion thereof) that is included in the holding period of a U.S. taxpayer who holds our Ordinary Shares, the U.S. taxpayer may be subject to increased U.S. federal income tax liability and may be subject to additional reporting requirements.

Depending on our assets held for the production of passive income, it is possible that, for our 2022 taxable year or for any subsequent year, more than 50% of our assets may be assets which produce passive income, in which case we would be deemed a PFIC, which could have adverse US federal income tax consequences for US taxpayers who are shareholders. We will make this determination following the end of any particular tax year.

Although the law in this regard is unclear, we treat our consolidated affiliated entities as being owned by us for United States federal income tax purposes, not only because we exercise certain level of control over the operation of such entities but also because we are entitled to substantially all of their economic benefits, and, as a result, we consolidate their operating results in our consolidated financial statements. For purposes of the PFIC analysis, in general, a non-U.S. corporation is deemed to own its pro rata share of the gross income and assets of any entity in which it is considered to own at least 25% of the equity by value. See “Item 10. Additional Information—E. Taxation—United States Federal Income Tax Considerations—PFIC.”

40

Risks Related to the WFOE and the VIE and its Subsidiaries’ Business

The WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries face significant competition in industries experiencing rapid technological change, and there is a possibility that their competitors may achieve regulatory approval and develop new product candidates before the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries, which may harm our financial condition and the ability of the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries to successfully market or commercialize any of their product candidates.

The pharmaceutical and chemical industries currently are characterized by rapidly changing technologies, significant competition and a strong emphasis on intellectual property. The WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries will face competition with respect to their current and future pharmaceutical and fertilizer product candidates from major pharmaceutical and chemical companies in China. Potential competitors also include academic institutions, government agencies and other public and private research organizations that conduct research, seek patent protection and establish collaborative arrangements for research, development, manufacturing and commercialization of pharmaceutical and fertilizer products. For example, competition for improving oxytetracycline strains comes from conventional and advanced breeding techniques. Other potentially competitive sources of improvement in oxytetracycline yields include improvements in specific biotechnology areas and information management.

The WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries have competitors in China that manufacture products similar to theirs. These companies sell similar products as ours and some of them may have more assets, resources and a larger market share. We believe the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries are able to compete with these competitors because of their geographical location in Western China, unique combination of products and lower prices of products.

Some of the current or potential competitors of the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries may have significantly greater financial resources and expertise in research and development, manufacturing, product testing, obtaining regulatory approvals and marketing approved products than they do. Mergers and acquisitions in the pharmaceutical, chemical and agricultural industries may result in even more resources being concentrated among a smaller number of competitors. Smaller or early-stage companies may also prove to be significant competitors, particularly through collaborative arrangements with large and established companies. These competitors also compete with the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries in recruiting and retaining qualified scientific and management personnel, as well as in acquiring technologies complementary to, or necessary for, the research and development (“R&D”) projects of the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries. The commercial opportunity of the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries could be reduced or eliminated if their competitors develop and commercialize products that are more effective, more convenient or are less expensive than any products the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries develop alone or with collaborators or that would render any such products obsolete or non-competitive. The competitors of the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries also may obtain regulatory approval for their products more rapidly than the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries may obtain approval for any that they develop, which could result in the competitors of the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries establishing a strong market position before any new products of the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries are able to enter the market. Additionally, technologies developed by the competitors of the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries may render the product candidates of the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries uneconomical or obsolete, and the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries or their collaborators may not be successful in marketing any product candidates they may develop against competitors. The availability of the competitors’ products could limit the demand, and the price the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries are able to charge, for any products that they develop alone or with collaborators.

41

The pharmaceutical business of the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries is subject to inherent risks relating to product liability and personal injury claims.

We, the VIE, and the VIE’s subsidiaries, as a pharmaceutical group, are exposed to risks inherent in the manufacturing and distribution of pharmaceutical products, such as with respect to improper filling of prescriptions, labeling of prescriptions, adequacy of warnings, and unintentional distribution of counterfeit drugs. In addition, product liability claims may be asserted against us, the VIE, or the VIE’s subsidiaries with respect to any of the products the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries sell and as a distributor, and we, the VIE, and the VIE’s subsidiaries will be required to pay for damages for any successful product liability claim against them, although we, the VIE, and the VIE’s subsidiaries may have the right under applicable PRC laws, rules and regulations to recover from the relevant manufacturer or distributors for compensation they paid to their customers in connection with a product liability claim. The WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries may also be obligated to recall affected products. If we, the VIE, or the VIE’s subsidiaries are found liable for product liability claims, they could be required to pay substantial monetary damages. Furthermore, even if we, the VIE, or its subsidiaries successfully defend themselves against this type of claim, they could be required to spend significant management, financial and other resources, which could disrupt their business, their reputation and their brand name. The WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries, like many other similar companies in China, do not carry product liability insurance. As a result, any imposition of product liability could materially harm the business, financial condition and results of operations of our Company, the VIE, and the VIE’s subsidiaries. In addition, the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries do not have any business interruption insurance due to the limited coverage of any available business interruption insurance in China, and as a result, any business disruption or natural disaster could severely disrupt the business operations of the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries, and significantly decrease our revenue and profitability.

We and our affiliated entities have limited sources of working capital and will need substantial additional financing.

The working capital required to implement the business plan and build new facilities to expand the production capacity of the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries will most likely be provided by funds obtained through offerings of our equity, debt, debt-linked securities, and/or equity-linked securities, and revenues generated by us. No assurance can be given that we and our affiliated entities will have revenues sufficient to sustain the operations of the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries or that we would be able to obtain equity/debt financing in the current economic environment. If we do not have sufficient working capital and the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries are unable to generate sufficient revenues or raise additional funds, the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries may delay the completion of or significantly reduce the scope of their current business plan; delay some of their development and clinical or marketing efforts; postpone the hiring of new personnel; or, under certain dire financial circumstances, substantially curtail or cease their operations.

The WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries need sufficient financing to implement their business plan, which includes expanding the marketing efforts for Gan Di Xin® and increasing the manufacturing capacities for their oxytetracycline products, fertilizer products and Heparin Sodium Preparations. The WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries will also need sufficient financing to materialize their future plan of acquiring traditional Chinese medicine enterprises. We estimate that carrying out these business projects will require at least $22.26 million in the next 3 years. Our inability to obtain sufficient additional financing would have a material adverse effect on the ability of the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries to implement their business plans. As of September 30, 2023, we had cash and cash equivalents of approximately $7.5 million, total current assets of $34.5 million, and total current liabilities of $6.7 million. We will need to engage in capital-raising transactions in the near future. Such financing transactions may well cause substantial dilution to our shareholders and could involve the issuance of securities with rights senior to the outstanding shares. Our ability to complete additional financings depends on, among other things, the state of the capital markets at the time of any proposed offering, market reception of the Company and the likelihood of the success of its business model and offering terms. There is no assurance that we will be able to obtain any such additional capital through asset sales, equity or debt financing, or any combination thereof, on satisfactory terms or at all. Additionally, no assurance can be given that any such financing, if obtained, will be adequate to meet our capital needs and to support the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries’ operations. If we do not obtain adequate capital on a timely basis and on satisfactory terms, our revenues and operations and the value of our Ordinary Shares and Ordinary Share equivalents would be materially negatively impacted and the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries’ operations may cease.

42

We, the VIE, and the VIE’s subsidiaries depend on certain key personnel, and loss of these key personnel could have a material adverse effect on the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries’ business, financial condition and results of operations.

The success of our Company, the VIE, and the VIE’s subsidiaries is, to a certain extent, attributable to the management, sales and marketing, and research and development expertise of key personnel. We depend upon the services of Mr. Zhanchang Xin, our chief executive officer and chairman of the board of directors, for the continued growth and operation of our Company, due to his industry experience, technical expertise, as well as his personal and business contacts in the PRC. Additionally, Mr. Zhanchang Xin, performs key functions in the operation of the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries’ business as our chief scientific officer and chief operations officer. We may not be able to retain Mr. Zhanchang Xin for any given period of time. Although we have no reason to believe that Mr. Zhanchang Xin will discontinue his services with us or the VIE, the interruption or loss of his services would adversely affect the ability of us, the WFOE, the VIE, and the VIE’s subsidiaries to effectively run their business and pursue their business strategy as well as our results of operations. We, the VIE and the VIE’s subsidiaries do not carry key man life insurance for any of the key personnel, nor do we foresee purchasing such insurance to protect against the loss of key personnel.

Qilian International and its affiliated entities’ may not be able to hire and retain qualified personnel to support their growth and if Qilian International and its affiliated entities’ are unable to retain or hire these personnel in the future, their ability to improve their products and implement their business objectives could be adversely affected.

Qilian International and its affiliated entities must attract, recruit and retain a sizeable workforce of technically competent employees. Competition for senior management and personnel in the PRC is intense and the pool of qualified candidates in the PRC is limited. Qilian International and its affiliated entities’ may not be able to retain the services of their senior executives or personnel, or attract and retain high-quality senior executives or personnel in the future. This failure could materially and adversely affect Qilian International and its affiliated entities’ future growth and financial condition.

A significant portion of our revenue is concentrated on a few large customers, and the WFOE, the VIE and its subsidiaries do not have long-term agreements with their key customers and rely upon their longstanding relationship with these customers. If the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries lose one or more of their customers, Qilian International and its affiliated entities’ results of operations may be adversely and materially impacted.

The customers of the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries consist of qualified distributors, dealers and corporate customers. The WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries have several large customers with whom we generated substantial revenue each year, and the composition of largest customers has changed from year to year. For the fiscal year ended September 30, 2023, two customers represented approximately 15% and 14% of the sales of the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries, respectively. For the fiscal year ended September 30, 2022, two customers represented approximately 11% and 11% of the sales of the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries, respectively. For the fiscal year ended September 30, 2021, three customers represented approximately 11%, 11% and 10% of the sales of the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries, respectively. Since the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries do not have long-term customer supply agreements with such large customers and rely primarily upon their goodwill and reputation to sustain the business relationship, Qilian International and its affiliated entities’ results of operations may be adversely and materially impacted if one or more of these customers stop purchasing from the VIE or its subsidiaries.

The WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries source raw materials used for manufacturing from a limited number of suppliers. If the VIE and its subsidiaries lose one or more of the suppliers, their operation may be disrupted, and Qilian International and its affiliated entities’ results of operations may be adversely and materially impacted.

For the fiscal year ended September 30, 2023, one vendor of the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries accounted for 11% of the total purchases. For the fiscal year ended September 30, 2022, one vendor accounted for 14% of total purchase. For the fiscal year ended September 30, 2021, one of the suppliers of the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries accounted for 13% of the total purchases. If the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries lose suppliers and are unable to swiftly engage new suppliers, their operations may be disrupted or suspended, and they may not be able to deliver hardware products to their customers on time. The WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries may also have to pay a higher price to source from a different supplier on short notice. While the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries are actively searching for and negotiating with new suppliers, there is no guarantee that they will be able to locate appropriate new suppliers or supplier merger targets in their desired timeline. As such, Qilian International and its affiliated entities’ results of operations may be adversely and materially impacted.

43

If the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries fail to increase their brand name recognition, they may face difficulty in obtaining new customers.

Although the brand name of the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries is well-respected in the Chinese pharmaceutical and chemical industry, they still believe that maintaining and enhancing the brand name recognition in a cost-effective manner is critical to achieving widespread acceptance of the current and future products and services of the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries, and is an important element in the effort of the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries to increase their customer base. Successful promotion of the brand name of the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries will depend largely on their marketing efforts and ability to provide reliable and quality products at competitive prices. Brand promotion activities may not necessarily yield increased revenue, and even if they do, any increased revenue may not offset the expenses the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries will incur in marketing activities. If the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries fail to successfully promote and maintain their brand, or if they incur substantial expenses in an unsuccessful attempt to promote and maintain their brand, the VIE and its subsidiaries may fail to attract new customers or retain their existing customers, in which case Qilian International and its affiliated entities’ business, operating results and financial condition, would be materially adversely affected.

Any disruption in the supply chain of raw materials and the products of the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries could adversely impact their ability to produce and deliver products.

Some products manufactured by the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries are resource-based products. Thus, the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries must manage their supply chain for raw materials and delivery of their products competently. Even though Chengdu QLS enjoys considerable advantages resulting from its access to high quality, low cost, and abundant local resources, supply chain fragmentation and local protectionism within China may cause disruption risks for the WFOE and the VIE its other subsidiaries. Local administrative bodies and physical infrastructure built to protect local interests pose transportation challenges for raw material transportation, as well as product delivery throughout China. In addition, profitability and volume could be negatively impacted by limitations inherent within the supply chain, including competitive, governmental, legal, natural disasters, and other events that could affect both supply and price. Any of these occurrences could cause significant disruptions to the supply chain of the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries, manufacturing capability and distribution system that could adversely affect the ability of the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries to produce and deliver some of their products.

Additionally, some of the raw materials the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries use are procured from farmers, who are usually subject to environmental risks outside of their control. Thus, these farmers may not have the ability to supply continuously and stably if environmental and climate change adversely affect their business.

The success of the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries depends on their ability to protect their intellectual property.

The success of the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries depends on their ability to obtain and maintain patent protection for products developed utilizing their technologies, in the PRC and in other countries, and to enforce these patents. There is no assurance that any of the existing and future patents of the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries will be held valid and enforceable against third-party infringement, or that the products of the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries will not infringe any third-party patent or intellectual property. Although the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries own 31 valid patents and have filed two additional patent applications with the Patent Administration Department of the PRC, there is no assurance that they will be granted.

Any patents relating to the technologies of the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries may not be sufficiently broad to protect their products. In addition, the patents of the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries may be challenged, potentially invalidated or potentially circumvented. The patents of the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries may not afford them protection against competitors with similar technology or permit the commercialization of their products without infringing third-party patents or other intellectual property rights.

The WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries also rely on or intend to rely on their trademarks, trade names and brand names to distinguish their products from the products of their competitors, and have registered or will apply to register a number of these trademarks. However, third parties may oppose our trademark applications or otherwise challenge our use of the trademarks. In the event that the trademarks of the WFOE and the VIE or its subsidiaries are successfully challenged, the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries could be forced to rebrand their products, which could result in loss of brand recognition and could require them to devote resources to advertising and marketing these new brands. Further, the competitors of the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries may infringe their trademarks, or they may not have adequate resources to enforce their trademarks.

44

In addition, the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries also have trade secrets, non-patented proprietary expertise and continuing technological innovation that they shall seek to protect, in part, by entering into confidentiality agreements with licensees, suppliers, employees and consultants. These agreements may be breached and there may not be adequate remedies in the event of a breach. Disputes may arise concerning the ownership of intellectual property or the applicability of confidentiality agreements. Moreover, the trade secrets and proprietary technology of the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries may otherwise become known or be independently developed by their competitors. If patents are not issued with respect to products arising from research, the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries may not be able to maintain the confidentiality of information relating to these products.

Implementation and enforcement of PRC laws relating to intellectual property have historically been deficient and ineffective. Accordingly, protection of intellectual property rights in China may not be as effective as in the United States or other developed countries. Furthermore, policing unauthorized use of proprietary technology is difficult and expensive. The WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries rely on a combination of patent, copyright, trademark, and trade secret laws and restrictions on disclosure to protect their intellectual property rights. Despite the efforts of the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries to protect their proprietary rights, third parties may attempt to copy or otherwise obtain and use such intellectual property or seek court declarations that they do not infringe upon the intellectual property rights of the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries. Monitoring unauthorized use of the intellectual property of the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries is difficult and costly, and we cannot assure you that the steps the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries have taken or will take will prevent misappropriation of their intellectual property. From time to time, the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries may have to resort to litigation to enforce their intellectual property rights, which could result in substantial costs and diversion of their resources and a favorable outcome, in such event, is not assured.

The WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries face risks related to research and the ability to develop new pharmaceutical and chemical products.

Our growth and survival depend on the ability of the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries to consistently discover, develop and commercialize new products and find new and improved technology. As such, if the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries fail to make sufficient investments in research, be attentive to unmet consumer needs or focus on advancing pharmaceutical and chemical product technology, their current and future products could be surpassed by more effective or advanced products of other companies.

The business operations of the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries require a number of permits and licenses. We cannot assure you that the VIE and its subsidiaries can maintain all required licenses, permits and certifications to carry on their business at all times.

Pharmaceutical companies in China are required to obtain certain permits and licenses from various PRC governmental authorities, including Pharmaceutical Product Permits.

The VIE and its subsidiaries have obtained certificates, permits, and licenses required for the operation of a pharmaceutical enterprise and the manufacturing of pharmaceutical products in the PRC. The latest amended Drug Administration Law took effect on December 1, 2019 and has vacated the GMP certificate requirements for pharmaceutical companies. As such, the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries do not need to renew their current GMP certificates. However, we cannot assure you that the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries can maintain all the other required licenses, permits and certifications to carry on their business at all times. Moreover, these licenses, permits and certifications are subject to periodic renewal and/or reassessment by the relevant PRC governmental authorities and the standards of such renewal or reassessment may change from time to time. The WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries intend to apply for the renewal of these licenses, permits and certifications when required by then applicable laws and regulations. Any failure by the WFOE or the VIE or the VIE’s subsidiaries to obtain and maintain all licenses, permits and certifications necessary to carry on their business at any time could have a material adverse effect on the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries’ business, financial condition and results of operations. In addition, any inability to renew these licenses, permits and certifications could severely disrupt the business of the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries, and prevent them from continuing to carry on their business. Any changes in the standards used by governmental authorities in considering whether to renew or reassess the business licenses, permits and certifications of the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries, as well as any enactment of new regulations that may restrict the conduct of their business, may also decrease our revenue and/or increase our costs and materially reduce our profitability and prospects. Furthermore, if the interpretation or implementation of existing laws and regulations changes or if new regulations come into effect requiring us or our affiliated entities to obtain any additional licenses, permits or certifications that were previously not required for the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries to operate their existing businesses, we cannot assure you that the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries will successfully obtain such licenses, permits or certifications.

45

Gan Di Xin®, exclusively produced by Gansu QLS, is subject to continuing regulation by the National Medical Products Administration (the “NMPA”) in China. The innovative product, Ahan® Antibacterial Paste, is subject to continuing regulation by the National Health and Family Planning Commission. If the labeling or manufacturing process of an approved pharmaceutical product is significantly modified, the NMPA may require that the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries obtain a new pre-market approval.

Adverse publicity associated with the products of the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries, ingredients or network marketing program, or those of similar companies, could harm our financial condition and operating results.

The results of the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries’ operations may be significantly affected by the public’s perception of the WFOE and the products of the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries and similar companies. This perception depends upon opinions concerning:

the safety and quality of the products and product ingredients of the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries;

the safety and quality of similar products and ingredients distributed by other companies; and

the downstream distributors and sales forces of the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries.

Adverse publicity concerning any actual or purported failure to comply with applicable laws and regulations regarding product claims and advertising, good manufacturing practices, or other aspects of the business of the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries, whether or not resulting in enforcement actions or the imposition of penalties, could have an adverse effect on the goodwill of the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries, and could negatively affect their sales and ability to generate revenue. In addition, the consumers’ perception of the safety and quality of products and ingredients of the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries, as well as similar products and ingredients distributed by other companies, can be significantly influenced by media attention, publicized scientific research or findings, widespread product liability claims and other publicity concerning the products or ingredients of the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries or similar products and ingredients distributed by other companies. Adverse publicity, whether or not accurate or resulting from consumers’ use or misuse of the products, that associates consumption of the products or product ingredients of the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries or any similar products or ingredients with illness or other adverse effects, questions the benefits of their or similar products or claims that any such products are ineffective, inappropriately labeled or have inaccurate instructions as to the products’ use, could negatively impact the reputation of the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries or the market demand for their products.

The WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries face risks related to natural disasters, extreme weather conditions, health epidemics and other catastrophic incidents, which could significantly disrupt their operations and negatively affect our results of operations and financial condition.

In the past, China has experienced significant natural disasters, including earthquakes, extreme weather conditions, as well as health scares related to epidemics, and any similar event could materially impact the business of the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries in the future. If a disaster or other disruption were to occur in the future that affects the regions where the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries operate their business, the business operations of the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries could be materially and adversely affected due to loss of personnel, damages to their manufacturing facilities and volatile Chinese markets. Even if the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries are not directly affected, such a disaster or disruption could affect the operations or financial condition of the ecosystem participants such as suppliers and distributors, which could harm our results of operations.

In general, the business of the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries could be affected by public health epidemics. If any of the employees or staff members of the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries who operates manufacturing facilities or conduct R&D activities is suspected of having contracted a contagious disease, the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries may be required to apply quarantines to their facilities or suspend manufacturing operations entirely. Furthermore, any future outbreak may restrict economic activities in affected regions and beyond, resulting in reduced business volume, temporary closure of factories or other disruptions of the business operations of the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries, and adversely affect Qilian International and its affiliated entities’ results of operations.

46

The COVID-19 pandemic significantly affected business and manufacturing activities within China for the most part of 2020, including travel restrictions, widespread mandatory quarantines, and suspension of business activities within China. These measures caused severe business disruptions to the customers and suppliers of the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries, and led to postponement of payment from these parties. Accordingly, Qilian International and its affiliated entities’ business, results of operations and financial condition were adversely affected.

For the fiscal year ended September 30, 2023 and 2022, the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries’ business operations. Specifically, the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries’ production costs materially increased due to an increase in raw material prices. In addition, the market demand for some of the products of the WFOE and the VIE and VIE’s subsidiaries decreased, resulting in a decrease in market prices of these products. These two factors combined led to a decrease in our profit margin and a decrease in our net income for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2023 and 2022.

Even though China has made significant achievements in the control and prevention of the COVID-19 pandemic, we cannot assure you that there will not be an outbreak in China again, and there is significant uncertainty relating to the severity of the near-term or long-term impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic on the demand of the products of the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries. The extent to which this pandemic continues to impact the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries’ business and financial performance will depend on future developments, which are highly uncertain and cannot be predicted, including new information which may emerge concerning the duration and severity of this pandemic and the actions taken by authorities and other entities to contain it or treat its impact, among others, all of which are beyond our control. Furthermore, during the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic, the capital markets are experiencing pronounced volatility, which may adversely affect investor’s confidence and, in turn may affect, the market price of our Ordinary Shares.

Risks Related to Our Ordinary Shares

The trading price of our Ordinary Shares is likely to be volatile, which could result in substantial losses to our investors.

The trading price of our Ordinary Shares has been volatile and is likely to continue to be volatile and could fluctuate widely due to factors beyond our control. This may happen because of broad market and industry factors, including the performance and fluctuation of the market prices of other companies with business operations located mainly in China that have listed their securities in the United States. The securities of some of these companies have experienced significant volatility since their initial public offerings, including, in some cases, substantial price declines in their trading prices. The trading performances of other Chinese companies’ securities after their offerings may affect the attitudes of investors toward Chinese companies listed in the United States in general and consequently may impact the trading performance of our Ordinary Shares, regardless of our actual operating performance.

In addition to market and industry factors, the price and trading volume for our Ordinary Shares may be highly volatile for factors specific to our own operations, including the following:

our operating and financial performance;

quarterly variations in the rate of growth of our financial indicators, such as net income per share, net income and revenues;

the public reaction to our press releases, our other public announcements and our filings with the SEC;

strategic actions by our competitors;

changes in revenue or earnings estimates, or changes in recommendations or withdrawal of research coverage, by equity research analysts;

speculation in the press or investment community;

the failure of research analysts to cover our Ordinary Shares;

sales of our Ordinary Shares by us or other shareholders, or the perception that such sales may occur;

47

changes in accounting principles, policies, guidance, interpretations or standards;

additions or departures of key management personnel;

actions by our shareholders;

domestic and international economic, legal and regulatory factors unrelated to our performance; and

the realization of any risks described under this “Risk Factors” section.

Any of these factors may result in large and sudden changes in the volume and price at which our Ordinary Shares will trade.

In the past, shareholders of public companies have often brought securities class action suits against those companies following periods of instability in the market price of their securities. If we were involved in a class action suit, it could divert a significant amount of our management’s attention and other resources from the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries’ business and operations and require us to incur significant expenses to defend the suit, which could harm our results of operations. Any such class action suit, whether or not successful, could harm our reputation and restrict our ability to raise capital in the future. In addition, if a claim is successfully made against us, we may be required to pay significant damages, which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

Since our directors and executive officers hold 77.45% of our Ordinary Shares, they have the ability to elect directors and approve matters requiring shareholder approval by way of resolution of members.

Mr. Zhanchang Xin, our chairman of the board of directors and chief executive officer, is currently the beneficial owner of 13,839,000, or 38.71% of our outstanding Ordinary Shares, of which 5.14% are directly held by Ahanzhai Development Limited, an entity 100% owned by Mr. Xin. Ms. Haiping Shi, our chief financial officer, is currently the beneficial owner of 7,131,000, or 19.95% of our outstanding Ordinary Shares through Zhijiu Holdings Limited, an entity 100% owned by Ms. Shi. Mr. Dingqian Liu, our director, is currently the beneficial owner of 6,717,000 Ordinary Shares, or 18.79% of our outstanding Ordinary Shares. Mr. Liu indirectly holds these shares through GandiKang Holdings Limited, an entity 100% owned by Mr. Dingqian Liu. They have the power to elect all directors and approve all matters requiring shareholder approval without the votes of any other shareholder. They are expected to have significant influence over a decision to enter into any corporate transaction and have the ability to prevent any transaction that requires the approval of shareholders, regardless of whether or not our other shareholders believe that such transaction is in our best interests. Such concentration of voting power could have the effect of delaying, deterring, or preventing a change of control or other business combination, which could, in turn, have an adverse effect on the market price of our Ordinary Shares, or prevent our shareholders from realizing a premium over the then-prevailing market price for their Ordinary Shares.

For as long as we are an emerging growth company, we will not be required to comply with certain reporting requirements, including those relating to accounting standards and disclosure about our executive compensation, that apply to other public companies.

In April 2012, President Obama signed into law the JOBS Act. We are classified as an “emerging growth company” under the JOBS Act. For as long as we are an emerging growth company, which may be up to five full fiscal years, unlike other public companies, we will not be required to, among other things, (i) provide an auditor’s attestation report on management’s assessment of the effectiveness of our system of internal control over financial reporting pursuant to Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, (ii) comply with any new requirements adopted by the PCAOB requiring mandatory audit firm rotation or a supplement to the auditor’s report in which the auditor would be required to provide additional information about the audit and the financial statements of the issuer, (iii) provide certain disclosure regarding executive compensation required of larger public companies or (iv) hold nonbinding advisory votes on executive compensation. We will remain an emerging growth company for up to five years, although we will lose that status sooner if we have more than $1.07 billion of revenues in a fiscal year, have more than $700 million in market value of our Ordinary Shares held by non-affiliates, or issue more than $1.0 billion of non-convertible debt over a three-year period.

To the extent that we rely on any of the exemptions available to emerging growth companies, you will receive less information about our executive compensation and internal control over financial reporting than issuers that are not emerging growth companies. If some investors find our Ordinary Shares to be less attractive as a result, there may be a less active trading market for our Ordinary Shares and our stock price may be more volatile.

48

If we fail to establish and maintain proper internal financial reporting controls, our ability to produce accurate financial statements or comply with applicable regulations could be impaired.

Pursuant to Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, we are required to file a report by our management on our internal control over financial reporting, including an attestation report on internal control over financial reporting issued by our independent registered public accounting firm. However, while we remain an emerging growth company, we will not be required to include an attestation report on internal control over financial reporting issued by our independent registered public accounting firm. The presence of material weaknesses in internal control over financial reporting could result in financial statement errors which, in turn, could lead to errors in our financial reports and/or delays in our financial reporting, which could require us to restate our operating results. We might not identify one or more material weaknesses in our internal controls in connection with evaluating our compliance with Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. In order to maintain and improve the effectiveness of our disclosure controls and procedures and internal controls over financial reporting, we need to expend significant resources and provide significant management oversight. Implementing any appropriate changes to our internal controls may require specific compliance training of our directors and employees, entail substantial costs in order to modify our existing accounting systems, take a significant period of time to complete and divert management’s attention from other business concerns. These changes may not, however, be effective in maintaining the adequacy of our internal control.

If we are unable to conclude that we have effective internal controls over financial reporting, investors may lose confidence in our operating results, the price of the Ordinary Shares could decline and we may be subject to litigation or regulatory enforcement actions. In addition, if we are unable to meet the requirements of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the Ordinary Shares may not be able to remain listed on Nasdaq Global Market.

As a foreign private issuer, we are not subject to certain U.S. securities law disclosure requirements that apply to a domestic U.S. issuer, which may limit the information publicly available to our shareholders.

Because we qualify as a foreign private issuer under the Exchange Act, we are exempt from certain provisions of the securities rules and regulations in the United States that are applicable to U.S. domestic issuers, including:

the rules under the Exchange Act requiring the filing with the SEC of quarterly reports on Form 10-Q or current reports on Form 8-K;

the sections of the Exchange Act regulating the solicitation of proxies, consents, or authorizations in respect of a security registered under the Exchange Act;

the sections of the Exchange Act requiring insiders to file public reports of their stock ownership and trading activities and liability for insiders who profit from trades made in a short period of time;

the selective disclosure rules by issuers of material nonpublic information under Regulation FD; and

certain audit committee independence requirements in Rule 10A-3 of the Exchange Act.

We are required to file an annual report on Form 20-F within four months of the end of each fiscal year. However, the information we are required to file with or furnish to the SEC will be less extensive and less timely compared to that required to be filed with the SEC by U.S. domestic issuers. As a result, you may not be afforded the same protections or information that would be made available to you were you investing in a U.S. domestic issuer.

49

Because we are a foreign private issuer and are exempt from certain Nasdaq corporate governance standards applicable to U.S. issuers, you will have less protection than you would have if we were a domestic issuer.

The Nasdaq Listing Rules requires listed companies to have, among other things, a majority of its board members be independent. As a foreign private issuer, however, we are permitted to, and we may follow home country practice in lieu of the above requirements, or we may choose to comply with the above requirement within one year of listing. The corporate governance practice in our home country, the Cayman Islands, does not require a majority of our board to consist of independent directors. Thus, although a director must act in the best interests of the Company, it is possible that fewer board members will be exercising independent judgment and the level of board oversight on the management of our company may decrease as a result. In addition, the Nasdaq Listing Rules also requires U.S. domestic issuers to have a compensation committee, a nominating/corporate governance committee composed entirely of independent directors, and an audit committee with a minimum of three members. We, as a foreign private issuer, may not be subject to all these requirements. The Nasdaq Listing Rules may require shareholder approval for certain corporate matters, such as requiring that shareholders be given the opportunity to vote on all equity compensation plans and material revisions to those plans, certain ordinary share issuances. We intend to follow home country practice in lieu of the requirements under the Nasdaq Listing Rules with respect to certain corporate governance standards which may afford less protection to investors.

We may lose our foreign private issuer status in the future, which could result in significant additional costs and expenses.

As discussed above, we are a foreign private issuer, and therefore, we are not required to comply with all of the periodic disclosure and current reporting requirements of the Exchange Act. The determination of foreign private issuer status is made annually on the last business day of an issuer’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter, and, accordingly, the next determination with respect to our status will be made on March 31, 2024. We would lose our foreign private issuer status if, for example, more than 50% of our Ordinary Shares are directly or indirectly held by residents of the U.S. and we fail to meet additional requirements necessary to maintain our foreign private issuer status. If we lose our foreign private issuer status on this date, we will be required to file with the SEC periodic reports and registration statements on U.S. domestic issuer forms beginning on March 31, 2024, which are more detailed and extensive than the forms available to a foreign private issuer. We will also have to mandatorily comply with U.S. federal proxy requirements, and our officers, directors and principal shareholders will become subject to the short-swing profit disclosure and recovery provisions of Section 16 of the Exchange Act. In addition, we will lose our ability to rely upon exemptions from certain corporate governance requirements under the Nasdaq Listing Rules. As a U.S. listed public company that is not a foreign private issuer, we would incur significant additional legal, accounting and other expenses that we would not incur as a foreign private issuer, and accounting, reporting and other expenses in order to maintain a listing on a U.S. securities exchange.

The requirements of being a public company may strain our resources and divert management’s attention.

As a public company, we are subject to the reporting requirements of the Exchange Act, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the listing requirements of Nasdaq, and other applicable securities rules and regulations. Despite recent reforms made possible by the JOBS Act, compliance with these rules and regulations will nonetheless increase our legal, accounting, and financial compliance costs and investor relations and public relations costs, make some activities more difficult, time-consuming or costly and increase demand on our systems and resources, particularly after we are no longer an “emerging growth company.” The Exchange Act requires, among other things, that we file annual, quarterly, and current reports with respect to our and the VIE and its subsidiaries’ business and operating results as well as proxy statements.

As a result of disclosure of information in this Form 20-F and in filings required of a public company, our and the VIE and its subsidiaries’ business and financial condition are more visible, which we believe may result in threatened or actual litigation, including by competitors and other third parties. If such claims are successful, our and the VIE and its subsidiaries’ business and operating results could be harmed, and even if the claims do not result in litigation or are resolved in Qilian International and its affiliated entities’ favor, these claims, and the time and resources necessary to resolve them, could divert the resources of Qilian International and its affiliated entities’ management and adversely affect Qilian International and its affiliated entities’ business, brand and reputation and results of operations.

Being a public company and being subject to these new rules and regulations will make it more expensive for us to obtain director and officer liability insurance, and we may be required to accept reduced coverage or incur substantially higher costs to obtain coverage. These factors could also make it more difficult for us to attract and retain qualified members for our board of directors, particularly to serve on our audit committee and compensation committee, and to serve as qualified executive officers, generally.

50

We do not intend to pay dividends for the foreseeable future.

We currently intend to retain any future earnings to finance the operation and expansion of the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries’ business. We do not expect to declare or pay any dividends in the foreseeable future. As a result, you may only receive a return on your investment in our Ordinary Shares if the market price of our Ordinary Shares increases.

A sale or perceived sale of a substantial number of our Ordinary Shares may cause the price of our Ordinary Shares to decline.

Sales of our Ordinary Shares in the public market, or the perception that these sales could occur, could cause the market price of our Ordinary Shares to decline. Our Ordinary Shares outstanding are also available for sale subject to volume and other restrictions as applicable under Rules 144 and 701 under the Securities Act. To the extent these shares are sold into the market, the market price of our Ordinary Shares could decline.

Certain holders of our Ordinary Shares may cause us to register under the Securities Act the sale of their shares. Registration of these shares under the Securities Act would result in Ordinary Shares representing these shares becoming freely tradable without restriction under the Securities Act immediately upon the effectiveness of the registration. Sales of these registered shares in the public market could cause the price of our Ordinary Shares to decline.

The laws of the Cayman Islands may not provide our shareholders with benefits comparable to those provided to shareholders of corporations incorporated in the United States. For instance, you may face difficulties in protecting your interests, and your ability to protect your rights through U.S. courts may be limited, because we are incorporated under Cayman Islands law.

Our corporate affairs are governed by our amended and restated memorandum and articles of association, by the Companies Act (2021 Revision) of the Cayman Islands and by the common law of the Cayman Islands. The rights of shareholders to take action against our directors, actions by minority shareholders and the fiduciary responsibilities of our directors to us under Cayman Islands law are to a large extent governed by the common law of the Cayman Islands. The common law in the Cayman Islands is derived in part from comparatively limited judicial precedent in the Cayman Islands and from English common law. Decisions of the Privy Council (which is the final Court of Appeal for British Overseas Territories such as the Cayman Islands) are binding on a court in the Cayman Islands. Decisions of the English courts, and particularly the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal are generally of persuasive authority but are not binding in the courts of the Cayman Islands. Decisions of courts in other Commonwealth jurisdictions are similarly of persuasive but not binding authority. The rights of our shareholders and the fiduciary responsibilities of our directors under Cayman Islands law are not as clearly established as they would be under statutes or judicial precedents in the United States. In particular, the Cayman Islands has a less developed body of securities laws relative to the United States. Some U.S. states, such as Delaware, have more fully developed and judicially interpreted bodies of corporate law than the Cayman Islands. In addition, Cayman Islands companies may not have standing to initiate a shareholder derivative action in a federal court of the United States.

Shareholders of Cayman Islands exempted companies like us have no general rights under Cayman Islands law to inspect corporate records (other than copies of the memorandum and articles of association, the register of mortgages and charges, and any special resolutions passed by the shareholders) or to obtain copies of lists of shareholders of these companies. Our directors have discretion under our articles of association to determine whether or not, and under what conditions, our corporate records may be inspected by our shareholders, but are not obliged to make them available to our shareholders. This may make it more difficult for you to obtain the information needed to establish any facts necessary for a shareholder motion or to solicit proxies from other shareholders in connection with a proxy contest.

Certain corporate governance practices in the Cayman Islands, which is our home country, differ significantly from requirements for companies incorporated in other jurisdictions such as the United States. If we choose to follow home country practice in the future, our shareholders may be afforded less protection than they otherwise would under rules and regulations applicable to U.S. domestic issuers.

As a result of all of the above, our public shareholders may have more difficulty in protecting their interests in the face of actions taken by management, members of the board of directors or controlling shareholders than they would as public shareholders of a company incorporated in the United States.

51

The recent joint statement by the SEC and PCAOB, proposed rule changes submitted by Nasdaq, and the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act all call for additional and more stringent criteria to be applied to emerging market companies upon assessing the qualification of their auditors, especially the non-U.S. auditors who are not inspected by the PCAOB. These developments could add uncertainties to Qilian International and its affiliated entities’ performance.

On April 21, 2020, SEC Chairman Jay Clayton and PCAOB Chairman William D. Duhnke III, along with other senior SEC staff, released a joint statement highlighting the risks associated with investing in companies based in or have substantial operations in emerging markets including China. The joint statement emphasized the risks associated with lack of access for the PCAOB to inspect auditors and audit work papers in China and higher risks of fraud in emerging markets.

On May 18, 2020, Nasdaq filed three proposals with the SEC to (i) apply minimum offering size requirement for companies primarily operating in “Restrictive Market”, (ii) adopt a new requirement relating to the qualification of management or board of director for Restrictive Market companies, and (iii) apply additional and more stringent criteria to an applicant or listed company based on the qualifications of the company’s auditors.

On May 20, 2020, the U.S. Senate passed the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act requiring a foreign company to certify it is not owned or controlled by a foreign government if the PCAOB is unable to audit specified reports because the company uses a foreign auditor not subject to PCAOB inspection. If the PCAOB is unable to inspect the company’s auditors for three consecutive years, the issuer’s securities are prohibited to trade on a national securities exchange or in the over the counter trading market in the U.S. On December 2, 2020, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act. On December 18, 2020, the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act was signed into law. In June 2021, the Senate passed the Accelerating Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act, which, if signed into law, would reduce the time period for the delisting under the HFCA Act to two years, instead of three years.

On March 24, 2021, the SEC adopted interim final rules relating to the implementation of certain disclosure and documentation requirements in the HFCA Act. On December 2, 2021, the SEC adopted amendments to finalize rules implementing the submission and disclosure requirements in the HFCA Act. The rules apply to registrants that the SEC identifies as having filed an annual report with an audit report issued by a registered public accounting firm that is located in a foreign jurisdiction and that PCAOB is unable to inspect or investigate. We will be required to comply with these rules if the SEC identifies us as having a “non-inspection” year under a process to be subsequently established by the SEC. The final amendments require any identified registrant to submit documentation to the SEC establishing that the registrant is not owned or controlled by a government entity in the public accounting firm’s foreign jurisdiction, and also require, among other things, disclosure in the registrant’s annual report regarding the audit arrangements of, and government influence on, such registrants. Under the HFCA Act, Qilian International’s securities may be prohibited from trading on the Nasdaq or other U.S. stock exchanges if our auditor is not inspected by the PCAOB for three consecutive years, and this ultimately could result in our Ordinary Shares being delisted.

If any such policies or deliberations were to materialize, the resulting legislation, if it were to apply to us, would likely have a material adverse impact on our and the VIE and its subsidiaries’ business and the price of our ordinary shares. Should the PCAOB determine that it cannot inspect or fully investigate our auditor for three consecutive years, an exchange may determine to delist Qilian International’s securities.

On December 16, 2021, the PCAOB issued a report on its determinations that it was unable to inspect or investigate completely PCAOB-registered public accounting firms headquartered in Mainland China and in Hong Kong, because of positions taken by PRC authorities in those jurisdictions. The PCAOB made its determinations pursuant to PCAOB Rule 6100, which provides a framework for how the PCAOB fulfills its responsibilities under the HFCA Act. The report further listed in its Appendix A and Appendix B, Registered Public Accounting Firms Subject to the Mainland China Determination and Registered Public Accounting Firms Subject to the Hong Kong Determination, respectively. Our auditors, ZH CPA, LL and Friedman LLP, as auditors of companies that are traded publicly in the United States and firms registered with the PCAOB, are subject to laws in the United States pursuant to which the PCAOB conducts regular inspections to assess our auditors’ compliance with the applicable professional standards. Our auditors did not appear as part of the determination and were not listed under its appendix A or appendix B.

52

On June 22, 2021, the U.S. Senate passed the Accelerating Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act, and on December 29, 2022, the Consolidated Appropriations Act was signed into law by President Biden, which contained, among other things, an identical provision to the Accelerating Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act and amended the HFCA Act by requiring the SEC to prohibit an issuer’s securities from trading on any U.S. stock exchanges if its auditor is not subject to PCAOB inspections for two consecutive years instead of three, thus reducing the time period for triggering the prohibition on trading.

On August 26, 2022, the CSRC, the MOF, and the PCAOB signed the Protocol governing inspections and investigations of audit firms based in mainland China and Hong Kong, taking the first step toward opening access for the PCAOB to inspect and investigate registered public accounting firms headquartered in mainland China and Hong Kong. Pursuant to the fact sheet with respect to the Protocol disclosed by the SEC, the PCAOB shall have independent discretion to select any issuer audits for inspection or investigation and has the unfettered ability to transfer information to the SEC. On December 15, 2022, the PCAOB Board determined that the PCAOB was able to secure complete access to inspect and investigate registered public accounting firms headquartered in mainland China and Hong Kong and voted to vacate its previous determinations to the contrary. However, should PRC authorities obstruct or otherwise fail to facilitate the PCAOB’s access in the future, the PCAOB Board will consider the need to issue a new determination.

However, the recent developments would add uncertainties to our and the VIE and its subsidiaries’ operations and we cannot assure you whether Nasdaq or regulatory authorities would apply additional and more stringent criteria to us after considering the effectiveness of our auditor’s audit procedures and quality control procedures, adequacy of personnel and training, or sufficiency of resources, geographic reach or experience as it relates to the audit of our financial statements. In addition, any additional actions, proceedings, or new rules resulting from these efforts to increase U.S. regulatory access to audit information could create some uncertainty for investors, the market price of our ordinary shares could be adversely affected, and we could be delisted if we and our auditor are unable to meet the PCAOB inspection requirement or being required to engage a new audit firm, which would require significant expense and management time.

ITEM 4. INFORMATION ON THE COMPANY

A. History and Development of the Company

Our Holding Company Structure and Contractual Arrangements

Qilian International Holding Group Limited is not a Chinese operating company but a Cayman Islands holding company with its business operations conducted by Gansu Qilianshan Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (the “VIE”, “Gansu QLS”) and its subsidiaries established in the PRC. Qilian International Holding Group Limited is a Cayman Islands exempted company with limited liability incorporated on February 7, 2019. Qilian International (Hong Kong) Holdings Limited., which we refer to as “Qilian HK”, our wholly-owned subsidiary, was incorporated in Hong Kong on January 30, 2019. Qilian HK’s wholly owned subsidiary, Chengdu Qilian Trading Co., Ltd., formerly known as Qilian International Trade (Chengdu) Co., LTD, which we refer to as “WFOE”, was organized pursuant to PRC laws on May 15, 2019. Gansu Qilianshan Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., which we refer to as Gansu QLS, the VIE, was established in August 30, 2006, as a result of restructuring from Gansu State-operated Qilianshan Pharmaceutical Factory, which was incorporated in July 1969 in Jiuquan, Gansu Province, PRC pursuant to PRC laws. Gansu QLS’ shareholders include certain PRC residents and corporate entities controlled by PRC residents.

Pursuant to PRC laws, each entity formed under PRC law shall have certain business scope approved by the Administration of Industry and Commerce or its local counterpart. As such, WFOE’s business scope is to primarily engage in business development, technology service, technology consulting, intellectual property service and business management consulting. Since the sole business of WFOE is to provide Gansu QLS with technical support, consulting services and other management services relating to its day-to-day business operations and management in exchange for a consulting fee, which is at WFOE’s discretion and can be the net income of Gansu QLS, such business scope is necessary and appropriate under the PRC laws. Gansu QLS, on the other hand, has been granted a business scope different from WFOE to enable it to develop, manufacture, market and sell its products.

Since we intend to acquire upstream and downstream companies manufacturing traditional Chinese medicine pieces, which is prohibited to be invested in by foreign investors, our WFOE cannot hold equity of Gansu QLS. We control Gansu QLS through contractual arrangements. Qilian International is a holding company with no business operation other than holding the shares in Qilian HK and Qilian HK is a pass-through entity with no business operation. WFOE is exclusively engaged in the business of managing the operation of Gansu QLS and its subsidiaries.

53

Gansu QLS, the VIE, was established in August 30, 2006, by restructuring from Gansu State-operated Qilianshan Pharmaceutical Factory, which was incorporated in July 1969 in Jiuquan, Gansu Province, PRC pursuant to PRC laws.

On April 17, 2020, Rugao was incorporated under the laws of the People’s Republic of China. Rugao is the 100% owned subsidiary of Chengdu QLS. It was intended to be used as procurement and manufacturing assistance entity for Chengdu QLS and as a point of expansion for the VIE and its subsidiaries’ sausage casings business in Jiangsu Province.

On January 12, 2021, our Ordinary Shares commenced trading on the Nasdaq Global Market under the symbol “QLI.” We raised approximately US$23,865,085 in net proceeds from our initial public offering after deducting underwriting commissions and the offering expenses payable by us. As part of Qilian International Holding Group Limited’s (the “Company”) efforts to optimize its corporate structure, Qilian International Trade (Chengdu) Co. Ltd (“Chengdu Trade”) and Gansu Qilianshan Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (“Gansu QLS”) executed certain exclusive service termination agreement (the “Service Termination Agreement”) to terminate certain contractual service arrangements between Chengdu Trade and Gansu QLS. As a result of the aforementioned termination, Chengdu Trade will no longer have contractual control over, nor receive the economic benefits of Gansu QLS. In connection with such termination, Hainan Trade, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Qilian International (Hong Kong) Holdings Limited, entered into a certain exclusive service agreement with Gansu QLS (the “Hainan Exclusive Service Agreement”), through which Hainan Trade obtained contractual control over Gansu QLS. The Service Termination Agreement became effective on December 1, 2022. The Hainan Exclusive Service Agreement was signed on December 1, 2022. Pursuant to the Hainan Exclusive Service Agreement between Gansu QLS and Hainan Trade, Hainan Trade provides Gansu QLS with technical support, consulting services and other management services relating to its day-to-day business operations and management, on an exclusive basis, utilizing its advantages in technology, business management and information. For services rendered to Gansu QLS by Hainan Trade under this agreement, Hainan Trade is entitled to collect a service fee that shall be equal to 99.214% of the net profits of Gansu QLS. The Hainan Exclusive Service Agreement shall remain in effect for ten years unless earlier terminated upon written confirmation from both Hainan Trade and Gansu QLS before expiration. Otherwise, this agreement shall be extended by another ten years automatically. The Hainan Exclusive Service Agreement does not prohibit related party transactions. Hainan Trade enjoys a favorable income tax rate and individual income tax rate for its employees of 15%. The Company expects change of the structure described above will save income tax expense and attracting talent in long term.

In the opinion of Gansu Quanyi Law Firm, the Company’s PRC legal counsel, the contractual arrangements between Gansu Qilianshan Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. and Qilian Shan International Trade (Hainan) Co., Ltd are valid, binding and enforceable under current PRC law. However, these contractual arrangements may not be as effective in providing control as direct ownership. There are substantial uncertainties regarding the interpretation and application of current or future PRC laws and regulation regarding such contractual arrangements and their effectiveness.

On August 11, 2023, Zhongqiao was established as a limited liability company organized under the laws of the PRC. Hainan Trade owns 51% equity interests of Zhongqiao. The remaining 49% equity interests are owned by Sichuan Shihua Investment Management Co., Ltd., a PRC company controlled by Yuchang Xin, the brother of Zhanchang Xin, our Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board.

On November 27, 2023, we applied to transfer our Ordinary Shares to The Nasdaq Capital Market (the “Capital Market”), as allowed under the Nasdaq Listing Rules. On December 13, 2023, the transfer from The Nasdaq Global Market to the Capital Market was approved. Effective at the opening of business on December 15, 2023, our Ordinary Shares were transferred to the Capital Market and continued to trade under the symbol “QLI”.

Our principal executive offices are located at at Jiuquan Economic and Technological Development Zone (formerly named No. 2 Dadeli Road, Nanjiao Industrial Park), Jiuquan City, Gansu, China. The VIE and its subsidiaries’ telephone at this address is +86-0937-2689523. We maintain a corporate website at http://www.qlsyy.net/. The information contained in our website is not a part of this annual report.

The SEC maintains a website at www.sec.gov that contains reports, proxy and information statements, and other information regarding issuers that file electronically with the SEC using its EDGAR system.

See “Item 5. Operating and Financial Review and Prospects—B. Liquidity and Capital Resources—Capital Expenditures” for a discussion of our capital expenditures.

54

Our Corporate Structure

The following diagram illustrates our current corporate structure, which includes our significant subsidiaries as of the date of this annual report:

Graphic

*48.718% equity interests of Zhongqiao Youguan (Chengdu) E-Commerce Service Co., Ltd. are owned by Sichuan Shihua Investment Management Co., Ltd., a PRC entity that is controlled by Yuchang Xin, the brother of Zhanchang Xin, our Chief Executive Officer and chairman of the Board.

20.19% equity interests of Chengdu QLS are collectively owned by 49 individual shareholders, none of whom is an affiliate of the Company.

55

The Company is incorporated in the Cayman Islands. As a holding company with no material operations, the Company conducts its operations in China through the variable interest entities, Gansu QLS and its subsidiaries. The Company receives the economic benefits of Gansu QLS and its subsidiaries’ business operation through a series of contractual arrangements, or the VIE Agreements. As a result of the VIE Agreements, we are the primary beneficiary of Gansu QLS for accounting purposes and treat it as a PRC consolidated entity under U.S. GAAP. We consolidate the financial results of Gansu QLS and its subsidiaries in our consolidated financial statements in accordance with U.S. GAAP. Neither we nor our investors own any equity ownership in, direct foreign investment in, or control through such ownership/investment of Gansu QLS. These VIE Agreements have not been tested in a court of law in the PRC. As a result, investors in our ordinary shares thus are not purchasing equity interest in our operating entities in China but instead are purchasing equity interest in a Cayman Islands holding company. As used in this annual report, (i) “Gansu QLS,” “variable interest entity” or “ VIE” refers to Gansu Qilianshan Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., a company incorporated in the People’s Republic of China; (ii) “WFOE” or “Chengdu Trading” are to Qilian International Trade (Chengdu) Co., LTD, formerly known as Chengdu Qilian Trading Co., Ltd., a limited liability company organized under the laws of the PRC, which is wholly-owned by Qilian International (Hong Kong) Holdings Limited, a limited liability company organized under the laws of Hong Kong; and (iii) “Qilian International”, “the Company” are to Qilian International Holding Group Limited, an exempted company with limited liability incorporated under the laws of the Cayman Islands.

Our corporate structure is subject to risks associated with our contractual arrangements with the VIE. The Company that investors will own may never have a direct ownership interest in the businesses that are conducted by the VIE. If the PRC government finds that the agreements that establish the structure for operating the VIE and its subsidiaries’ business in China do not comply with PRC laws and regulations, or if these regulations or the interpretation of existing regulations change or are interpreted differently in the future, we could be subject to severe penalties or be forced to relinquish our interests in the operations of the VIE. This would result in the VIE being deconsolidated. The majority of our assets, including the necessary licenses to conduct business in China, are held by the VIE and its subsidiaries. A significant part of our revenue is generated by the VIE. An event that results in the deconsolidation of the VIE would have a material effect on the VIE and its subsidiaries’ operations and result in the Ordinary Shares diminish substantially in value or even become worthless. The Company, our Hong Kong entity, the VIE and its subsidiaries, and our investors face uncertainty about potential future actions by the PRC government that could affect the enforceability of the contractual arrangements with the VIE and, consequently, significantly affect the financial performance of the VIE and our company as a whole. For a detailed description of the risks associated with our corporate structure, please refer to risks disclosed under “Item 3. Key Information-D. Risk Factors-Risks Related to Our Corporate Structure” in this annual report on Form 20-F.

In addition, while we will take every precaution available to enforce the contractual and corporate relationship of the VIE agreements, these contractual arrangements are less effective than direct ownership and we may incur substantial costs to enforce the terms of the arrangements. For example, the VIE, its subsidiaries, and their shareholders could breach their contractual arrangements with us by, among other things, failing to conduct their operations in an acceptable manner or taking other actions that are detrimental to our interests. If we had direct ownership of the VIE and its subsidiaries (which we do not), we would be able to exercise our rights as a shareholder to effect changes in the board of directors of the VIE, which in turn could implement changes, subject to any applicable fiduciary obligations, at the management and operational level. However, under VIE Agreements, we will only rely on the performance by the VIE and its shareholders of their obligations under the contracts to direct the operation of the VIE and its subsidiaries. As such, the shareholders of VIE and its subsidiaries may not act in the best interests of our company or may not perform their obligations under these contracts. In addition, failure of the VIE shareholders to perform certain obligations could compel us to rely on legal remedies available under PRC laws, including seeking specific performance or injunctive relief, and claiming damages, which may not be effective. Further, it is uncertain whether any new PRC laws or regulations relating to variable interest entity structures will be adopted or if adopted, what they would provide. PRC regulatory authorities could disallow this structure, which would materially adversely affect the value of Qilian International’s ordinary shares, and could cause the value of such securities to significantly decline or become worthless. Qilian International faces numerous challenges in enforcing these contractual agreements due to uncertainties under Chinese law as well as jurisdictional limits. For a description of the risks related to these contractual arrangements and our corporate structure, see “Risk Factors - Risks Related to Our Corporate Structure.” For detailed descriptions of each of the VIE Agreement, please refer to disclosures under “Item 4. Information on the Company-A. History and Development of the Company- Our Holding Company Structure and Contractual Arrangements” in this annual report on Form 20-F.

56

Contractual Arrangements between WFOE and Gansu QLS

Due to PRC legal restrictions on foreign ownership in the pharmaceutical sector, neither we nor our subsidiaries own any equity interest in Gansu QLS. Instead, we only control (not as effective as direct ownership) and receive the economic benefits of Gansu QLS’s business operation through a series of contractual arrangements. WFOE, Gansu QLS and its shareholders entered into a series of contractual arrangements, also known as VIE Agreements, on May 20, 2019.

As a result of these contractual arrangements, we have the power to direct activities of the VIE that most significantly impact its economic performance. We are also entitled to receive substantially all of the economic benefits generated by the VIE as primary beneficiary and we bear the obligation to absorb any and all economic losses it incurs. In addition, we have an exclusive option to purchase all or part of the equity interests in the VIE when and to the extent permitted by PRC law. For the reasons above, we are able to consolidate the financial results of the VIE into our financial statements in accordance with U.S. GAAP.

Each of the VIE Agreements is described in detail below:

Exclusive Service Agreement

Pursuant to the original Exclusive Service Agreement between Gansu QLS and WFOE, WFOE provides Gansu QLS with technical support, consulting services and other management services relating to its day-to-day business operations and management, on an exclusive basis, utilizing its advantages in technology, business management and information. For services rendered to Gansu QLS by WFOE under this agreement, WFOE is entitled to collect a service fee that shall be equal to 99.214% of the net profits of Gansu QLS, with such percentage determined in accordance with “ARTICLE 3 - SERVICE FEES” of the Amended Exclusive Service Agreement executed on August 27, 2019, as amended on February 25, 2021. This percentage represents the number of shares of Gansu QLS held by shareholders having signed the VIE Agreements over the total number of issued and outstanding shares of Gansu QLS.

On December 1, 2022, Chengdu Trade and Gansu Qilianshan Pharmaceutical Co.,Ltd. executed certain exclusive service termination agreement (the “Service Termination Agreement”) to terminate the previously signed Exclusive Service Agreement, as amended on August 27, 2019. As a result of the aforementioned termination, Chengdu Trade will no longer have contractual control over, nor receive the economic benefits of Gansu QLS. In connection with such termination, Hainan Trade, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Qilian International (Hong Kong) Holdings Limited, entered into a certain exclusive service agreement with Gansu QLS (the “Hainan Exclusive Service Agreement”) on December 1, 2022, through which Hainan Trade obtained contractual control over Gansu QLS. Pursuant to the Hainan Exclusive Service Agreement, Hainan Trade provides Gansu QLS with technical support, consulting services and other management services relating to its day-to-day business operations and management, on an exclusive basis, utilizing its advantages in technology, business management and information. For services rendered to Gansu QLS by Hainan Trade under this agreement, Hainan Trade is entitled to collect a service fee that shall be equal to 99.214% of the net profits of Gansu QLS. The Hainan Exclusive Service Agreement shall remain in effect for ten years unless earlier terminated upon written confirmation from both Hainan Trade and Gansu QLS before expiration. Otherwise, this agreement shall be extended by another ten years automatically. The Hainan Exclusive Service Agreement does not prohibit related party transactions.

In the opinion of Gansu Quanyi Law Firm, the Company’s PRC legal counsel, the Hainan Exclusive Service Agreement is valid, binding and enforceable under current PRC law. However, such agreement may not be as effective in providing control as direct ownership. There are substantial uncertainties regarding the interpretation and application of current or future PRC laws and regulation regarding such contractual arrangements and their effectiveness.

WFOE is currently managing Gansu QLS pursuant to the terms of the Exclusive Service Agreement. WFOE has absolute authority relating to the management of Gansu QLS, including but not limited to decisions with regard to expenses, salary raises and bonuses, hiring, firing and other operational functions. The Exclusive Service Agreement does not prohibit related party transactions. The audit committee of the registrant is required to review and approve in advance any related party transactions, including transactions involving WFOE or Gansu QLS.

57

Equity Pledge Agreement

Under the Equity Pledge Agreement between WFOE and certain shareholders of Gansu QLS together holding 76,196,640 shares, or 99.214% of the total issued and outstanding shares, of Gansu QLS (“Gansu QLS Shareholders”), the Gansu QLS Shareholders pledged all of their equity interests in Gansu QLS to WFOE to guarantee the performance of Gansu QLS’ obligations under the Exclusive Service Agreement. Under the terms of the Equity Pledge Agreement, in the event that Gansu QLS breaches its contractual obligations under the Exclusive Service Agreement, WFOE, as pledgee, will be entitled to certain rights, including, but not limited to, the right to collect dividends generated by the pledged equity interests. The Gansu QLS Shareholders also agreed that upon occurrence of any event of default, as set forth in the Equity Pledge Agreement, WFOE is entitled to dispose of the pledged equity interest in accordance with applicable PRC laws. The Gansu QLS Shareholders further agree not to dispose of the pledged equity interests or take any actions that would prejudice WFOE’s interest.

The Equity Pledge Agreement shall be effective until the latest date of the following: (1) the secured debt in the scope of pledge is satisfied (or otherwise discharged); (2) WFOE exercises its pledge rights pursuant to provisions and conditions of the Equity Pledge Agreement; and (3) the Gansu QL Shareholders transfer all the pledged equity interests to WFOE according to the Call Option Agreement, or other entity or individual designated by it.

The purposes of the Equity Pledge Agreement are to (1) guarantee the performance of Gansu QLS’s obligations under the Exclusive Service Agreement, (2) ensure the Gansu QLS Shareholders do not transfer or assign the pledged equity interests, or create or allow any encumbrance that would prejudice WFOE’s interests without WFOE’s prior written consent and (3) provide WFOE control over Gansu QLS. Under the Call Option Agreement, WFOE may be able to acquire the equity interests or the assets in Gansu QLS any time to the extent permitted by the PRC Law. In the event Gansu QLS breaches its contractual obligations under the Exclusive Service Agreement, WFOE will be entitled to foreclose on the Gansu QLS Shareholders’ equity interests in Gansu QLS and may (1) exercise its option to purchase or designate third parties to purchase part or all of their equity interests or the assets in Gansu QLS and in this situation, WFOE may terminate the Exclusive Service Agreement, Equity Pledge Agreement and Call Option Agreement after acquisition of all equity interests or assets in Gansu QLS or form new VIE structure with the third parties designated by WFOE; or (2) dispose the pledged equity interests or assets and be paid in priority out of proceed from the disposal in which case the VIE structure will be terminated.

Call Option Agreement

Under the Call Option Agreement, the Gansu QLS Shareholders irrevocably granted WFOE (or its designee) an exclusive right to purchase, to the extent permitted under PRC law, once or at multiple times, at any time, a portion or whole of the equity interests or assets in Gansu QLS held by the Gansu QLS Shareholders. The purchase price should be no more than $1.00 subject to any appraisal or restrictions required by applicable PRC laws and regulations.

The agreement remains effective until all the transferred equity or transferred asset of Gansu QLS is legally transferred under the name of WFOE and/or other entity or individual designated by it.

Shareholders’ Voting Rights Proxy Agreement and Powers of Attorney

Under the Shareholders’ Voting Rights Proxy Agreement and each Power of Attorney, each Gansu QLS Shareholder authorizes WFOE to act on their behalf as their exclusive agent and attorney with respect to all rights as shareholders, including but not limited to: (a) the attendance of the shareholder’s meeting and the execution of relative Shareholder Resolution(s) of Gansu QLS; (b) exercising all the shareholder’s rights, including voting, that shareholders are entitled to under the laws of China and the Articles of Association, including but not limited to the sale or transfer or pledge or disposition of shares in part or in whole; and (c) designating and appointing on behalf of shareholders the legal representative, the executive director, supervisor, the chief executive officer and other senior management members of Gansu QLS.

Each Power of Attorney is coupled with an interest and shall be irrevocable and continuously valid from the date of its execution, so long as the relevant Gansu QLS Shareholder is a shareholder of Gansu QLS.

Spousal Consent

The spouses of the Gansu QLS Shareholders agreed, via a spousal consent, to the execution of the “Transaction Documents” including: (a) the Call Option Agreement entered into with WFOE and Gansu QLS; (b) the Shareholders’ Voting Rights Proxy Agreement entered into with WFOE and Gansu QLS; (c) the Equity Pledge Agreement entered into with WFOE; and (d) the Power of Attorney executed by each Gansu QLS Shareholder, and the disposal of the equity interests of Gansu QLS held by each Gansu QLS Shareholder and registered in his/her name.

58

The spouses further undertake not to make any assertions in connection with the equity interests of Gansu QLS which are held by the Gansu QLS Shareholders. They confirm that the Gansu QLS Shareholders can perform, amend, or terminate the Transaction Documents without their authorization or consent. They undertake to execute all necessary documents and take all necessary actions to ensure appropriate performance of the agreements.

B. Business Overview

Overview of our Company

Qilian International Holding Group Limited (“Qilian International”) is not an operating company but a Cayman Islands holding company. Qilian International’s operations are conducted through contractual arrangements with the VIE based in China. PRC laws, regulations, and rules restrict and impose conditions on direct foreign investment in certain types of businesses, and we therefore rely on the VIE to operate these businesses in China. Qilian International Holding Group Limited does not own equity interest in the VIE or its subsidiaries. For a summary of these contractual arrangements, see “Item 4. Information on the Company — A. History and Development of the Company — Our Holding Company Structure and Contractual Arrangements — Contractual Arrangements between WFOE and Gansu QLS.” Investors in our Ordinary Shares thus are not acquiring equity interest in our operating entities in China but instead are acquiring interest in a Cayman Islands holding company.

The WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries face legal and operational risks associated with having the majority of their operations in China. The Chinese government has significant authority to exert influence on the ability of a China-based company, such as us, to conduct its business. Therefore, investors of Qilian International and its business conducted by the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries face potential uncertainty from the PRC government. Changes in China’s economic, political or social conditions or government policies could materially adversely affect Qilian International and its affiliated entities’ business and results of operations. For example, we and our affiliated entities face risks associated with PRC governmental authorities’ significant oversight and discretion over the businesses and financing activities of the VIE, the requirement of regulatory approvals for offerings conducted overseas by and foreign investment in China-based issuers, the use of variable interest entities, the enforcement of anti-monopoly regime, the regulatory oversight on cybersecurity and data privacy as well as the risk of delisting due to if the PCAOB is unable to conduct inspection on our auditors, which may impact our ability to conduct certain businesses, accept foreign investments, or list on a United States or other foreign exchange. These risks could result in a material adverse change in the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries’ operations and the value of Qilian International’s ordinary shares, significantly limit or completely hinder Qilian International’s ability and the ability of any holder of its Ordinary Shares or other securities of Qilian International to offer or continue to offer such securities to investors, or cause the value of such securities to significantly decline. In particular, recent statements and regulatory actions by China’s government, such as those related to data security or anti-monopoly concerns, as well as the PCAOB’s ability to inspect our auditors, may impact Qilian International’s ability to conduct its business through the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries, accept foreign investments, or be listed on a U.S. or other foreign stock exchange. See “Item 3. Key Information - D. Risk Factors - Risks Related to Doing Business in China - The PRC government has significant authority to intervene or influence the China operations of an offshore holding company, such as ours, at any time. The PRC government may exert more control over offerings conducted overseas and/or foreign investment in China-based issuers. If the PRC government exerts more oversight and control over offerings that are conducted overseas and/or foreign investment in China-based issuers and we and our affiliated entities were to be subject to such oversight and control, it may result in a material adverse change to the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries’ business operations, significantly limit or completely hinder Qilian International’s ability to offer or continue to offer securities to investors, and cause its ordinary shares to significantly decline in value or become worthless” and “Item 3. Key Information - D. Risk Factors - Risks Related to Doing Business in China - Uncertainties with respect to the PRC legal system and the interpretation and enforcement of PRC laws and regulations could limit the legal protections available to you and us, hinder Qilian International’s ability and the ability of any holder of Qilian International’s securities to offer or continue to offer such securities, result in a material adverse change to the WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries’ business operations, and damage Qilian International and its subsidiaries’ reputation, which would materially and adversely affect Qilian International and its affiliates’ financial condition and results of operations and cause the Ordinary Shares to significantly decline in value or become worthless.”

59

Qilian International has been advised by Gansu Quanyi Law Firm, our PRC counsel, as of the date of this Annual Report, our listing in the U.S. is not subject to the review, permission or prior approval of any PRC authorities including the Cyberspace Administration of China (“CAC”) or the China Securities Regulatory Commission (“CSRC”) because (i) the CSRC currently has not issued any definitive rule or interpretation concerning whether our listing is subject to this regulation; and (ii) our operating entities affiliated to us were established and operate in PRC are not included in the categories of industries and companies whose foreign securities offerings are subject to review by the CSRC or the CAC. Uncertainties still exist, however, due to the possibility that laws, regulations, or policies in the PRC could change rapidly in the future. In the event that the PRC government expanded the categories of industries and companies whose foreign securities offerings are subject to review by the CSRC or the CAC, and we or our affiliated entities inadvertently concluded that relevant permissions or approvals were not required or that we or our affiliated entities did not receive or failed to maintain relevant permissions or approvals required and such permissions were subsequently rescinded, any action by the PRC government could significantly limit or completely hinder Qilian International’s ability to offer or continue to offer securities to investors and could cause the value of such securities to significantly decline or be worthless.

Our corporate structure is subject to risks associated with our contractual arrangements with the VIE. Investors may never directly hold equity interests in the VIE. If the PRC government finds that the contractual arrangements which establish the structure of the VIE and its subsidiaries’ business operations do not comply with PRC laws and regulations, or if these regulations or their interpretations change in the future, we or our affiliated entities could be subject to severe penalties or be forced to relinquish our interests in those operations, which would result in our variable interest entities, being deconsolidated. Substantial all of the VIE and its subsidiaries’ assets, including the necessary licenses to conduct business are held by the VIE and its subsidiaries. Substantial all of our revenue is generated by the VIE and its subsidiaries. The deconsolidation of the VIE would have a material adverse effect on the VIE and its subsidiaries’ operations and substantially diminish the value of our Ordinary Shares. There are uncertainties about potential future actions by the PRC government that could affect the enforceability of our contractual arrangements with our variable interest entities and, consequently, significantly affect our financial performance. The value of the Ordinary Shares may significantly decline or become worthless as a result. For a detailed description of the risks associated with our corporate structure, please refer to risks disclosed under “Risk Factors — Risks Related to Our Corporate Structure.”

60

In addition, trading in Qilian International’s securities may be prohibited under the HFCA Act if the PCAOB determines that it cannot inspect the workpapers prepared by our auditor, and that as a result an exchange may determine to delist Qilian International’s securities. On December 16, 2021, the PCAOB issued a report on its determination that it is unable to inspect or investigate completely PCAOB-registered public accounting firms headquartered in China and in Hong Kong because of positions taken by PRC and Hong Kong authorities in those jurisdictions. Our auditors, independent registered public accounting firms that issue the audit reports included elsewhere in this annual report, as auditors of companies that are traded publicly in the U.S. and firms registered with the PCAOB, are subject to laws in the U.S., pursuant to which the PCAOB conducts regular inspections to assess their compliance with the applicable professional standards. Our auditors are located in Denver, Colorado and Manhattan, New York, and have been inspected by the PCAOB on a regular basis. Our auditors are not subject to the determination issued by the PCAOB on December 16, 2021. On June 22, 2021, the U.S. Senate passed the Accelerating Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act, and on December 29, 2022, the Consolidated Appropriations Act was signed into law by President Biden, which contained, among other things, an identical provision to the Accelerating Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act and amended the HFCA Act by requiring the SEC to prohibit an issuer’s securities from trading on any U.S. stock exchanges if its auditor is not subject to PCAOB inspections for two consecutive years instead of three, thus reducing the time period for triggering the prohibition on trading. On August 26, 2022, the CSRC, the MOF and the PCAOB signed the Protocol governing inspections and investigations of audit firms based in mainland China and Hong Kong, taking the first step toward opening access for the PCAOB to inspect and investigate registered public accounting firms headquartered in mainland China and Hong Kong. Pursuant to the fact sheet with respect to the Protocol disclosed by the SEC, the PCAOB shall have independent discretion to select any issuer audits for inspection or investigation and has the unfettered ability to transfer information to the SEC. On December 15, 2022, the PCAOB Board determined that the PCAOB was able to secure complete access to inspect and investigate registered public accounting firms headquartered in mainland China and Hong Kong and voted to vacate its previous determinations to the contrary. However, should PRC authorities obstruct or otherwise fail to facilitate the PCAOB’s access in the future, the PCAOB Board will consider the need to issue a new determination. See “Item 3. Key Information — D. Risk Factors — Risks Related to Doing Business in China — Our Ordinary Shares may be delisted and prohibited from being traded under the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act if the PCAOB is unable to inspect auditors who are located in China. The delisting and the cessation of trading of our Ordinary Shares, or the threat of their being delisted and prohibited from being traded, may materially and adversely affect the value of your investment. Additionally, the inability of the PCAOB to conduct inspections deprives our investors with the benefits of such inspections.”

Cash Transfers and Dividend Distribution

Qilian International conducts its business operations in China through the WFOE and the VIE and the VIE’s subsidiaries. If needed, Qilian International can transfer cash to our PRC Subsidiary through loans and/or capital contributions, and our PRC subsidiary can transfer cash to Qilian International through issuing dividends or other distributions. Our PRC Subsidiary can transfer cash to the VIE through intercompany loans and capital contributions, and the VIE can transfer cash to our PRC Subsidiary as service fees under the VIE contractual arrangements.

Current PRC regulations permit our PRC Subsidiary to pay dividends to its shareholders only out of its accumulated profits, if any, determined in accordance with PRC accounting standards and regulations. For details, see “Item 3. Key Information—D. Risk Factors — Risks Related to Doing Business in China — Qilian International is a holding company and it relies for funding on dividend payments from its affiliated entities by contracts, which are subject to restrictions under PRC laws. Any limitation on the ability of Qilian’s affiliated entities to make payments to it could have a material adverse effect on Qilian International’s ability to maintain its business.” In addition, cash transfers from our holding company are subject to applicable PRC laws and regulations on loans and direct investment. For details, see “Item 3. Key Information—D. Risk Factors — Risks Related to Doing Business in China — PRC regulation of loans to, and direct investments in PRC entities by offshore holding companies may delay or prevent us from using proceeds from future financing activities to make loans or additional capital contributions to the PRC Subsidiary.”

For the year ended September 30, 2023, cash flow from VIE to WFOE includes payment of $39,508 for net payments for products sales and purchase. For the year ended September 30, 2022, cash flow from WFOE to VIE includes net proceeds used for product sales and purchase of $272,527. For the year ended September 30, 2021, cash flow from WFOE o VIE includes proceeds from repayment of loan of $768,108 and net proceeds from product sales and purchase of $1,263,906, and $117,656 for interest payment.

On February 16, 2023, we issued a press release to announce that its board of directors had declared a one-time special cash dividend of $0.05 per each ordinary share. The dividend was paid on or about March 6, 2023 to shareholders of record as of February 28, 2023.

61

Except for the aforementioned dividend distribution in 2023, we have not declared or paid dividends in the past, nor any dividends or distributions were made by a subsidiary or VIE to our holding company. We do not have a fixed dividend policy. Our board of directors have complete discretion on whether to distribute dividends, subject to applicable laws. See “Item 3. Key Information—D. Risk Factors — Risks Related to Our Ordinary Shares — We do not intend to pay dividends for the foreseeable future.”

Recent Regulatory Developments

On July 10, 2021, the CAC published the Measures for Cybersecurity Review (Revised Draft for Comments), which will replace the current Measures for Cybersecurity Review after it is adopted and becomes effective. The draft measures, among others, stipulate that if an operator has personal information of over one million users and intends to be listed in a foreign country, it must be subject to the cybersecurity review. On November 14, 2021, the CAC released the Regulations on the Network Data Security (Draft for Comments) and accepted public comments until December 13, 2021. The draft Regulations provided that data processors refer to individuals or organizations that autonomously determine the purpose and the manner of processing data. If a data processor that processes personal data of more than one million users would like to list overseas, it shall apply for a cybersecurity review according to the draft Regulations. Besides, data processors that are listed overseas shall carry out an annual data security assessment.

As advised by our PRC legal counsel, the draft measures and regulations were released for public comment only, and its provisions and anticipated adoption or effective date may be subject to change and thus its interpretation and implementation remain substantially uncertain. We cannot predict the impact of the draft measures and regulations, if any, at this stage, and we and our affiliated entities will closely monitor and assess the statutory developments in this regard. See “Item 3. Key Information—D. Risk Factors —Risks Related to Doing Business in China— The approval and/or other requirements of the CSRC or other PRC governmental authorities may be required in connection with an offering under PRC rules, regulations or policies, and, if required, we and our affiliated entities cannot predict whether or how soon we will be able to obtain such approval.”

On July 6, 2021, the relevant PRC governmental authorities made public the Opinions on Strictly Cracking Down Illegal Securities Activities in Accordance with the Law. These opinions emphasized the need to strengthen the administration over illegal securities activities and the supervision on overseas listings by China-based companies and proposed to take effective measures, such as promoting the construction of relevant regulatory systems to deal with the risks and incidents faced by China-based overseas-listed companies. As these opinions are recently issued, official guidance and related implementation rules have not been issued yet and the interpretation of these opinions remains unclear at this stage. See “Item 3. Key Information—D. Risk Factors—Risks Related to Doing Business in China—The approval and/or other requirements of the CSRC or other PRC governmental authorities may be required in connection with an offering under PRC rules, regulations or policies, and, if required, we and our affiliated entities cannot predict whether or how soon we will be able to obtain such approval.” As of the date of this annual report, we have not received any inquiry, notice, warning, or sanctions regarding offshore offering from the CSRC or any other PRC governmental authorities.

We have been advised by our PRC legal counsel, Gansu Quanyi Law Firm, that in the event that we conduct a follow-on offering of securities, we are required to file with the CSRC in accordance with the Provisions of the State Council on the Administration of Overseas Securities Offering and Listing by Domestic Companies (Draft for Comments) and Administrative Measures for the Filing of Overseas Securities Offering and Listing by Domestic Companies (Draft for Comments), released by the CSRC on December 24, 2021. In the absence of such offering plan, we and our affiliated entities believe that we are currently not required to obtain any permission or approval from the CSRC and the CAC in the PRC to issue securities to foreign investors. However, there is no guarantee that this will continue to be the case in the future in relation to Qilian International’s future offerings or the continued listing of Qilian International’s securities on a U.S. securities exchange, or even in the event such permission or approval is required and obtained, it will not be subsequently revoked or rescinded. If we and our affiliated entities do not receive or maintain the approvals, or we or our affiliated entities inadvertently conclude that such approvals are not required, or applicable laws, regulations, or interpretations change such that we and our affiliated entities are required to obtain approval in the future, we and our affiliated entities may be subject to an investigation by competent regulators, fines or penalties, or an order prohibiting us from conducting an offering, and these risks could result in a material adverse change in our and the VIE and its subsidiaries’ operations and the value of Qilian International’s securities, significantly limit or completely hinder Qilian International’s ability to offer or continue to offer securities to investors, or cause such securities to significantly decline in value or become worthless.

62

Business Overview

The WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries operate a pharmaceutical and chemical company based in China that focuses on the development, manufacture, marketing, and sale of oxytetracycline products, licorice products, traditional Chinese medicine derivatives (“TCMD”) product, heparin product, sausage casings, and fertilizers. The VIE and its subsidiaries independently developed Gan Di Xin® and Ahan® Antibacterial Paste within their research and development department. The products of the VIE and its subsidiaries are sold in more than 20 provinces in China.

Licorice products include Gan Di Xin®, Qilian Shan® Licorice Extract, and Qilian Shan® Licorice Liquid Extract. The VIE and its subsidiaries’ Gan Di Xin® is an innovative antitussive and expectorant medicine made from raw licorice materials. The VIE and its subsidiaries’ Qilian Shan® Licorice Extract is a primary ingredient for pharmaceutical companies to manufacture traditional licorice tablets. The VIE and its subsidiaries’ Qilian Shan® Licorice Liquid Extract is the primary ingredient for medical preparation companies to produce compound licorice oral solutions.
Oxytetracycline products include Qilian Shan® Oxytetracycline Tablets and Qilian Shan® Oxytetracycline Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (“API”). The VIE and its subsidiaries’ Qilian Shan® Oxytetracycline Tablets are used to prevent and treat a wide range of diseases in chickens, turkeys, cattle, swine, and human. The VIE and its subsidiaries’ Qilian Shan® Oxytetracycline APIs are used by pharmaceutical companies in the manufacturing of medications that use oxytetracycline as an active ingredient.
TCMD product includes Ahan® antibacterial paste, which is made from a mixture of 11 traditional Chinese herbal ingredients. It is used to treat refractory chronic skin diseases.
Heparin product includes Heparin Sodium Preparation. It is a primary ingredient for pharmaceutical companies to produce medications used in treating cardiovascular diseases, cerebrovascular diseases, and hemodialysis.
Sausage casings include Zhu Xiaochang® Sausage Casings, which are all-natural food products used for culinary purposes.
Fertilizer products include Xiongguan® Organic Fertilizer and Xiongguan® Organic-Inorganic Compound Fertilizer. The VIE and its subsidiaries’ Xiongguan® Organic Fertilizer is designed to improve crop yield, increase soil’s chemical properties, and reduce soil compaction. The VIE and its subsidiaries’ Xiongguan® Organic-Inorganic Compound Fertilizer is made from both organic materials and traditional chemical fertilizer, and is designed to increased plant growth.

63

Products

The WFOE and the VIE and its subsidiaries currently manufacture ten products. The VIE and its subsidiaries independently developed Gan Di Xin® and Ahan® Antibacterial Paste within the VIE and its subsidiaries’ research and development department. The products of the VIE and its subsidiaries are sold in more than 20 provinces in China. The following list outlines the current products of the VIE and its subsidiaries under six categories— oxytetracycline products, licorice products, TCMD product, heparin product, sausage casings, and fertilizers.

Product

   

Product

   

   

Category

Name

Intended Use