Chinese police question staff of US consulting firm Bain

Incident comes after police last month raided Beijing office of US due diligence firm Mintz Group and detained staff.

Bain & Company's office in Shanghai was recently visited by Chinese police [File: Getty Images]

Chinese law enforcement officials have questioned staff of Bain & Company at the United States consulting giant’s Shanghai office.

“We can confirm that the Chinese authorities have questioned staff in our Shanghai office,” a company spokesperson said on Thursday.

“We are cooperating as appropriate with the Chinese authorities. At this time, we have no further comment.”

The roles and identities of the staff who were questioned or the reason for the police operation are not clear.

Criminal investigations are typically shrouded in secrecy in China and the outcome of proceedings can often take years to become known.

The Financial Times first reported on Wednesday that police had made a surprise visit to the office two weeks ago and taken away phones and computers, without detaining any staff.

The incident is likely to heighten foreign firms’ concerns about the safety of operating in China after authorities last month raided the Beijing office of US due diligence firm Mintz Group and detained five staff.

Chinese authorities later said the firm was being probed for “illegal” activities.

China’s cybersecurity watchdog last month announced a probe into the security of products made by US memory chipmaker Micron Technology.

China’s new Premier Li Qiang has sought to reassure businesses that China is open for business after nearly three years of strict pandemic clubs and repeated crackdowns on private industry.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, who is widely viewed to prioritise political control over the economy, last month told a gathering of the ruling Communist Party that security is “the bedrock of development” and stability is “a prerequisite for prosperity”.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies