I'd bet pretty strongly that Mallincam doesn't design the electronics. That would be a horrible waste of their time and money. The IMX294 is a SoC sensor and ToupTek already makes most of the support electronics. And then manufacturing the same stuff that ToupTek manufactures would be a way of simply inflating the price without added value.
Again we don't know. Mallincam must add something to the equation to make the agreement work for both sides. I can tell you one thing, and Rock would agree, his company doesn't add anything on the software side except suggestions for fixes and changes. He is a salesman only by necessity and sometimes not a very good one so that can't be the reason for the agreement - to sell cameras for ToupTek. Astronomer and electronics designer is his background so that is the obvious area for input. His passion is the hardware inside the camera so I really find it hard to believe he would not have some major influence (design) on this front. Remember, Rock has the Astronomical background. I doubt TourTek had that background at first. They probably were just making cameras for microscopes and had no idea what astronomers needed in a camera for both sensitivity and image control but this is conjecture on my part. And if what I say is true and we buy a camera directly from TourTek or a clone, I may be **** off a few people but I think we have Rock to thank for steering these Chinese companies in the right direction. Sorry, I am ducking my head.
I will stop now and absorb the great work and input Jim has provided to this thread.