Recently, Chinese authorities have reportedly questioned staff members at Bain & Company, a US-based consulting firm, at their Shanghai office. According to a spokesperson for the company, they are cooperating with the Chinese authorities “as appropriate” and have no further comment at this time. This incident follows a similar one last month, where another US firm, Mintz, was raided in Beijing and five local employees were detained.
It is worth noting that tensions between the US and China have been deteriorating in recent months, and US businesses have become increasingly concerned about their prospects in China. Michael Hart, president of the American Chamber of Commerce in China, expressed concern about recent actions taken against US enterprises in China, stating that “our business community is spooked, and our members are asking, ‘Who’s next?'”
This tension has been brewing since former President Donald Trump initiated a trade war between the US and China in 2018. Relations between the two countries were further strained in February 2023 after the US allegedly shot down a Chinese spy balloon, which Beijing claimed was a weather monitoring device. Additionally, last month, TikTok’s chief executive was grilled by US lawmakers for nearly five hours regarding the app’s data security and privacy practices and its alleged ties to Beijing.