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Apple’s sometimes-partner, Imagination Technologies, could be taken over by a Chinese investor

Sky News reports that a state-controlled Chinese investor is trying to seize control of Imagination Technologies Group, the British chip designer that (sometimes) works with Apple. 

The article says that Imagination, which was taken over in 2017 in a £550m deal, has scheduled an emergency board meeting next week to discuss the appointment of four representatives of China Reform Holdings as directors

In January Imagination announced that it had replaced the multi-year, multi-use license agreement with Apple, first announced on February 6, 2014, with a new multi-year license agreement under which Apple has access to a wider range of Imagination’s intellectual property in exchange for license fees.

Imagination is a UK-based company that creates silicon and software intellectual property designed to give its customers an edge in a competitive global technology market. The company was acquired in 2017 by Canyon Bridge, a global private equity investment fund.

The January announcement was pretty much a detente between Apple and Imagination. In 2017 Apple announced that it planned to stop using Imagination Technologies intellectual property within two years, ending its royalty payments. The tech giant is working on its own custom graphics architecture to control more of the core technology, in the same way that it already architects custom CPU silicon design.  

However, the two companies have apparently worked out their licensing issues. What happens next if Imagination comes under the control of a state-controlled Chins investor remains to be seen.

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.