News | Published April 14 2020

China-owned firm to be questioned by MPs surrounding security concerns

Following security concerns, a leading UK-based firm has been summoned by MPs today to answer questions regarding their practice.

Imagination Technologies, a Chinese owned company, has maintained its efforts to transfer ownership of sensitive security software to China-controlled companies.

Lawmakers have voiced concern that the current Covid-19 pandemic is preventing transfers such as these from receiving due diligence.

Networks in the UK, Europe and the US may be comprised by such transfers.

Tom Tugendhat, chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, said that: "The world has changed and companies - particularly tech companies - are on the frontline.

"Whoever writes the code, writes the rules for the world, more than any regulation passed by bureaucrats. There's no point in taking back control from Brussels, only to hand it over to Beijing.”

In September 2017, Imagination Technologies was acquired by a US-based company called Canyon Bridge which is owned by a Chinese state-owned, investment fund known as China Reform.

The acquisition was sanctioned under Theresa May’s government under the condition that Canyon Bridge was regulated by US law.

However, the move of the company’s headquarters to the Cayman Islands has meant that the company is no longer accountable to US legal bodies.

Ron Black, the chief executive of the company, resigned from his post, in addition to chief product officer Steve Evans and John Rayfield, the chief technical officer.

It is believed that in Evans’ resignation letter, he wrote: "I will not be part of a company that is effectively controlled by the Chinese government."

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Authored by

Alice Jaspars
Culture Editor
April 14 2020

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