China probes consulting firm in anti-spying crackdown

China's counterintelligence authorities have reportedly launched an investigation into an international consulting firm for allegedly acquiring state data illegally.

Chinese media reported that security authorities in Suzhou City in Jiangsu Province are investigating a company based in the United States and China.

The authorities claim the firm's acquisition of state data threatens China's national security.

Security officials have also reportedly raided the firm's Beijing and Shanghai offices and questioned employees.

State-run China Central Television said that the firm had contacted experts including defense sector employees, obtained state secrets, and offered them to foreign clients.

The broadcaster said the firm's clients include companies with close ties to foreign governments and militaries, as well as intelligence agencies.

Last month, China revised its counterespionage law to expand the scope of activities that amount to spying. The revised law, which will take effect in July, bans the transfer of any information including documents and data related to the country's national security and interests.

At least 17 Japanese nationals have been detained in China for alleged espionage since the law went into effect in 2014.