Raid on Mintz Group office comes as China prepares to hold its annual economic forum.
Chinese authorities raided the Beijing office of US-based due diligence firm Mintz Group and arrested five employees.
“We can confirm that the Chinese authorities have detained the five employees in the Mintz Group’s Beijing office, all Chinese nationals, and have closed our operations there,” the company said in a statement Friday, the Reuters news agency reported.
“Mintz Group has not received any prior notice of the actions taken this week in Beijing, nor has the company received any official legal notice regarding any suit against the company. We are convinced that we and our employees have done nothing wrong.”
Reuters, citing an anonymous company source, had previously reported that the office was raided on March 20 and detained staff were held incommunicado at a location outside Beijing.
Criminal suspects in China can be held for months or even years without being charged or having access to legal representation.
The raid comes as Beijing prepares to host the annual China Development Forum billed as Davos in China starting tomorrow for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic in person.
Apple CEO Tim Cook, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourlaother and Mercedes-Benz Chairman Ola Kallenius are among the top executives expected to attend the event.