Chinese authorities have formally indicted two corporate investigators, an American and Briton, for allegedly illegally obtaining and selling private information.
The official Xinhua News Agency said Monday it is the first time foreigners have faced such charges in China.
It said that prosecutors in Shanghai filed charges against British investigator Peter Humphrey and his wife Yu Yingzeng, a U.S. citizen, at the city's No. 1 Intermediate People's Court.
The move paves the way for the couple to stand trial.
The couple's arrest last year coincided with a Chinese investigation of accusations British pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline paid bribes to doctors and officials to use its medications.
Glaxo said it hired Yu and Humphrey last year to investigate a security breach involving a top manager.