The verdict will test a strained relationship between the Canadian and Chinese governments. It comes as an extradition battle involving Meng Wanzhou, a senior executive at Chinese tech giant Huawei, takes place in Canada. Critics have accused China of treating both Spavor and Kovrig as political bargaining chips, held as part of what is known as "hostage diplomacy".
In a statement published on Wednesday, the Dandong court said: "For the crime of spying and illegal provision of state secrets abroad [Spavor] has been sentenced to 11 years in jail, confiscation of 50,000 yuan ($7,715: £5,578) worth of personal property and deportation." The statement did not explicitly state when the deportation would take place but China typically deports convicted foreigners only after they have completed their prison sentence.