UK must stop China’s bid to remove Imagination Technologies’ tech, British lawmaker says

UK must stop China's bid to remove Imagination Technologies' tech, British lawmaker says

FILE PHOTO: The headquarters of technology company Imagination Technologies is seen on the outskirts of London, Britain, June 22, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

LONDON (Reuters) – The British government should seek every mechanism to prevent the removal of Imagination Technologies’ technology base to China, including seeking a Western purchaser for the company, British lawmaker David Davis said on Tuesday.

“What we think is going on is the Chinese are trying to export the technology base from here to China and that’s inappropriate,” Davis, a lawmaker from Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party, told Reuters.

Davis said Imagination Technologies, a supplier of semiconductor intellectual property to groups like Apple, was a strategic asset and that the government should make it absolutely plain that it does not view the export of such important British technology with equanimity.

“It should probably try to bring about a purchase of it by somebody else in a Western country,” Davis said. “The government should be seeking every mechanism available to them to prevent this removal of our technology – full stop.”

The British-based company was bought by China-backed private equity firm Canyon Bridge in 2017. One of Canyon Bridge’s main investors is the state-backed China Reform Holdings.

Imagination Technologies said on April 10 its chief executive Ron Black was stepping down and would be replaced by Ray Bingham, executive chairman and partner at Canyon Bridge.

Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; editing by Kate Holton

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