Chinese authorities have detained a foreign national, who was the head of an overseas consulting firm, on allegations of spying for the UK’s MI6 intelligence agency. The Ministry of State Security (MSS) in China stated that Huang had been working with MI6 since 2015, gathering intelligence and identifying potential assets in China. The MSS alleges that Huang was provided with training and espionage equipment by MI6 and ultimately supplied Britain with 17 pieces of intelligence, including several classified as “national secrets.”
The case of Huang has not been fully detailed by the MSS, including Huang’s full name, gender, nationality, or the company for which they worked. The British Embassy in Beijing, when approached for comment, directed inquiries to the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, which has not yet responded.
This detention occurs amidst a broader crackdown by China on international consulting firms, viewed as potential sources of leaks of sensitive information. In recent months, Chinese authorities have raided and scrutinized several consulting firms, including Capvision and the local branch of Bain & Co., as part of efforts to increase oversight of information deemed critical to national security. The MSS, known for its typically low-profile operations, has recently increased public engagement, including using its WeChat account to encourage public participation in counter-espionage efforts, especially following the enactment of a new counter-espionage law last year