Chinese Internet companies could have a tougher time listing on U.S. stock exchanges because of an expected Beijing clampdown on a favored corporate structure. It is unlikely to halt all new U.S. listings of Web companies that want to follow in the footsteps of heavyweights such as Baidu Inc and Renren Inc, but it could prevent some and slow the progress of others. Earlier this week, Reuters reported legal sources saying the China Securities Regulatory Commission has authored a request to the Chinese government’s equivalent of a cabinet, the State Council, asking it to take action against the structure, known as a Variable Interest Entity, or VIE. Web companies and others from sectors deemed important to China’s interests use the VIE structure, which usually involves an entity in the Cayman Islands or another offshore haven, to get around Chinese restrictions on direct foreign investments in strategic sectors.