Apple is reportedly seeking to use chips from a controversial Chinese government-linked company in its recent iPhone 14 — and a number of other US lawmakers are up in arms.
Following a report in South Korean media that Apple planned to make use of chips from Yangtze Memory Technologies Co. in its recent lineup of iPhones, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) blasted the corporate for “fidgeting with fire.”
“If [Apple] moves forward, it would be subject to scrutiny prefer it has never seen from the federal government,” Rubio raged to the Financial Times. “We cannot allow Chinese corporations beholden to the Communist party into our telecommunications networks and hundreds of thousands of Americans’ iPhones.”
Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) likewise told the paper that “YMTC has extensive ties to the Chinese Communist party and military.”
“Apple will effectively be transferring knowledge and knowhow to YMTC that may supercharge its capabilities and help the CCP achieve its national goals,” McCaul added.
Critics on each side of the aisle have painted YMTC as being a national security risk, arguing that the corporate is affiliated and subsidized by the Chinese government. In addition they say the corporate could have violated a US technology export ban by selling chips to sanctioned phone-maker Huawei.
“We cannot allow Chinese corporations beholden to the Communist party into our telecommunications networks and hundreds of thousands of Americans’ iPhones,” Sen. Marco Rubio said. Getty Images
“YMTC has extensive ties to the Chinese Communist party and military,” Rep. Michael McCaul said. REUTERS
In July, a bipartisan group of senators including Rubio, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) described YMTC and other Chinese chipmakers as a “growing threat” to American national security in a letter to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo. They urged Raimondo so as to add the corporate to a trade blacklist.
“By failing so as to add YMTC to the Entity List, the US Department of Commerce is allowing the PRC to use our technological sector and provide sanctioned parties in China,” the senators wrote, in line with a replica of the letter seen by The Post.
Schumer has also raised concerns about YMTC in recent private conversations with Raimondo, an individual accustomed to the matter said.
Apple said that it’s considering using chips from Yangtze Memory Technologies Co. in iPhones. AP
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has also raised concerns about YMTC. AP
Spokespeople for Apple, McCaul and Schumer didn’t immediately reply to requests for comment.
Rubio’s press secretary Ansley Bradwell told The Post: “We try to get more information from Apple.”
Apple told the Financial Times that it didn’t use YMTC chips in any products but that it was “evaluating sourcing from YMTC for Nand chips to be utilized in some iPhones sold in China.” It also said that each one user data stored on all of its chips is “fully encrypted.”
The spat over YMTC underscores Apple’s cozy relationship with China, which has manufactured the majority of its devices for years and has also reportedly began playing a greater part of their design.
Apple CEO Tim Cook revealed Apple’s recent slate of iPhones on Wednesday. Getty Images for Vox Media
Whilst Apple has shifted some production to India and Vietnam, Chinese employees and suppliers have played an increasingly large role within the design of the brand new iPhone, the Latest York Times reported.
Chinese engineers “contributed complex work and complex components” including “features of producing design, speakers and batteries,” the newspaper reported.
Meanwhile, the US has looked to scale back its dependance on Chinese and Taiwanese chip manufacturers through laws including the “Chips and Science” act, which President Joe Biden signed into law in August. The measure seeks to subsidize pricey chip manufacturing facilities within the US.