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British lawmakers to probe advisers who help China target British businesses

British lawmakers to probe advisers who help China target British businesses

| @indiablooms | 21 Apr 2020, 12:55 pm

London/IBNS: British lawmakers have called for a probe against the political figures and advisers who profit by helping the Chinese government to target British businesses.

The move is assumed to be significant as it is made at a time when the world is combating COVID-19 which is believed to have originated from China.

The move comes after one Chinese-backed company attempted to take over a UK firm that designs graphic chips for Apple, Daily Express reported.

Tory chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Tom Tugendhat,  wrote in his article posted on The Daily Mail: "It’s our own suited svengalis – those members of the governing and business class who are happy to do our rivals’ bidding – whose actions are truly shameful."

"Too frequently, we’ve seen those who once wrote the rules and negotiated agreements to protect us, and some who still sit in our Parliament, selling the tricks they learned in Government," he said.

Imagination Technologies:

British MPs had earlier summoned a leading UK-based firm, which has a Chinese connection, to answer questions related to security concerns.

Imagination Technologies was acquired by a US-based but Chinese state-owned investment firm called Canyon Bridge in September 2017, which is in turn owned by a Chinese state-owned investment fund called China Reform, BBC reported.

There are concerns that the Chinese owner of Imagination Technologies has renewed efforts to transfer ownership of sensitive security software to companies controlled by China, BBC reported.

Lawmakers have expressed their concern that the COVID-19 crisis is an attempt to divert attention from controversial technology transfers.

The fear is that networks in the UK, Europe and the US could be compromised, BBC reported. 

Meanwhile, British chip designer Imagination Technologies is planning to bolster its board with non-executive directors in a bid to quell growing concerns about Beijing's influence over its operations, reported The Telegraph newspaper of the UK.

The Telegraph understands that Imagination's owner Canyon Bridge laid out the plans to make the new board appointments to Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden late last week. Canyon Bridge's largest investor is state-backed China Reform.

COVID-19 origin:

The UK has also joined the US and France, looking into the mysterious origin of the outbreak, including the theory that COVID-19 started in a secretive Wuhan virus lab. The international community has been critical of China’s cover-up of the scale of the virus at its outbreak, reported Daily Express.

Alongside US intelligence officials, the UK is now investigating the secretive Wuhan Institute of Virology and its history of bat virus experiments, it said.

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