A husband and wife corporate investigation team that have reportedly worked for GlaxoSmithKline have been arrested in China.

UK man Peter Humphreys and his US citizen wife Yu Ying - who run a troubleshooting consultancy based in Shanghai - were detained by police on July 10 and formally arrested by Chinese police earlier this week.

The pair has reportedly been arrested on suspicion of breaking laws related to purchasing personal information, but it is not known whether they are being linked to the ongoing allegations of bribery of doctors by GSK and other drugmakers.

Humphrey and Yu jointly run Chinawhys, a firm which specialises in helping overseas companies do business in China, but also offers investigative services related to fraud and wrongdoing by employees or associates.

The British Embassy in Beijing has confirmed the arrests, but would not comment further on the cases other than to say it was providing "consular assistance." Meanwhile, a statement issued by the couple's family has suggested the reasons for the arrest are still not clear, but that Humphrey and Yu had carrying out "investigative work on corruption within foreign companies".

"As corruption is high on the schedule of China's government, the incarceration of Ying and Peter seems to be contradictory to China's policy in itself," they continue in the statement, which was reported in the Wall Street Journal.

The development comes after four GSK executives were put under investigation last month for allegedly paying up to £320 million to doctors and health officials in a bid to increase market share for its products.

Other drugmakers caught up in the investigation over the last few weeks include Sanofi and Novartis - which have both been accused of specific transgressions - along with AstraZeneca, Eli Lilly, Lundbeck, Novo Nordisk, and UCB.