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US consultancy giant Bain & Company has confirmed that Chinese police have visited its office in Shanghai and questioned some staff.

“We are cooperating as appropriate with the Chinese authorities,” a spokesperson for the firm told the BBC.

It comes as relations between Washington and Beijing have deteriorated in recent months.

Last month, another US firm Mintz was raided in Beijing and five local employees were detained.

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“We can confirm that the Chinese authorities have questioned staff in our Shanghai office,” Bain said.

“At this time, we have no further comment,” it added.

The company’s statement came after a media report that police made an unannounced visit to Bain’s office in the Chinese financial hub two week ago.

Officers took away computers and phones, according to the Financial Times, which cited people briefed on the matter.

According to the company’s website, Bain’s Shanghai office was opened in the city’s central business district in 2004. It also has offices in Beijing and Hong Kong.

The global firm, which has its headquarters in Boston, provides advice to public, private, and non-profit organisations.

As tensions have grown in recent months between the world’s two largest economies, US businesses have become concerned about their prospects in China.

“The Chinese government has continuously said it welcomes foreign investment. However, a flurry of recent actions taken against US enterprises in China has sent the opposite message,” Michael Hart, president of American Chamber of Commerce in China told the BBC.

“Our business community is spooked, and our members are asking, ‘Who’s next?’ Irrespective of the government’s intention, that’s the message being received,” he added.

Tensions have been heightened since former President Donald Trump triggered a trade war between the US and China in 2018.

In February, relations between the two countries were further frayed after the US shot down an alleged Chinese spy balloon, which Beijing insisted was a weather monitoring device.

Last month, TikTok chief executive Shou Zi Chew was grilled by US lawmakers for almost five hours about the app’s data security and privacy practices, and its alleged ties to Beijing.

Earlier this month, Taiwan’s president Tsai Ing-wen’s meeting with US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy also angered the Chinese government which staged military drills around Taiwan.

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