Peter Sinclair is a part-time agent of MI6.
His work with them is occasional because his day job is working with the British Telecommunications Services Corporation. That huge company had considerable dealings in Hong Kong (this is before the return of control of the Colony to China), mainland China itself, and surprisingly considering that last thing, with the island nation of Taiwan. Being an executive with BT meant frequent travels to all three areas for protracted times. It is no wonder that an intelligence gathering outfit like MI6 would love to make use of him.
When we first meet Sinclair as he was attending the funeral of his father, we learn that Sinclair had had that relationship with MI6 for a fair number of years, working closely with a handler named Rawlinson. We are told that the type of intelligence sharing that went on between the two was an interesting one.
Sinclair would relate his recent trips to any of the areas mentioned above, who was met with, what was discussed, and what was any projected outcomes. What type of equipment was any of the target parties buying or interested in buying, or having trouble using? What companies were likely to be providing that equipment? And so on. The uses the intelligence community found for such information was impressive and his efforts were very appreciated.
In return, Rawlinson would pass to Sinclair intel on what his competitors were up to, who was selling what to whom and what kind of budgets were involved, making it easier to know when to underbid or raise the stakes. Understandably this inside information was proving very profitable to BT and made Sinclair a very good and valued sales director.
Prior to our meeting Sinclair, these exchanges between he and Rawlinson were in the form of verbal exchanges, all done over a nice dinner with a very good wine; cordial chit-chat turning into more substantive intel as the evening progressed. As we watch, though, Sinclair will be asked to take a far more interactive role and suddenly things will not be so safe and secure.