His friends said the case had been transferred to the Beijing Second Intermediate People's Court with a judge to be appointed within the next fortnight.
Feng Chongyi, a friend of Dr Yang’s and professor at the University of Technology Sydney, told Reuters that a judge will within weeks be appointed to hear the case in the Beijing Second Intermediate People’s Court.
The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in a statement said they had recently visited Dr Yang while in detention and continued to provide consular assistance.
“Australia has been informed that the Chinese authorities have decided to prosecute Australian citizen Dr Yang Hengjun on charges yet to be announced,” a DFAT spokesperson said.
When asked about the matter on Saturday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters he didn’t think it would be “helpful” to provide extensive commentary on the issue.
“There should be transparency, there should be a fair and just process,” Mr Morrison said in Queensland. "There is no reason why we shouldn't expect the same for any Australian wherever they are in the world, including in the PRC.
"We'll continue to provide that support there and work with the process that's been established. The system there is very different to the system here in Australia and that can cause some anxiety."
Dr Yang has always maintained his innocence and in September he sent a defiant message to friends and family saying he wanted his day in court and that he would not confess to any crimes he had not committed.
"I did not confess to anything criminal. Being held for 19 months is unfair. I am innocent. They can abuse me. This is political persecution,” he said.
Professor Caitlin Byrne, Director of the Griffith Asia Institute, told SBS News deteriorating diplomatic relations further complicated negotiations.
"When diplomatic relations are not great, those channels of communicating - those operations for leverage - are constrained," she said.
Diplomatic relations between China and Australia have deteriorated this year, with Beijing imposing trade reprisals after Canberra led calls for an international inquiry into the source of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last month China's foreign ministry confirmed another Australian, Chinese state television host Cheng Lei, had been detained in Beijing and was being investigated on suspicion of endangering national security.
The Chinese foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment on Saturday.