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Apple’s Chinese Chip Deal Prompts National Security Concerns

Apple is facing additional scrutiny from US Senators who are examining whether a deal between the Californian giant and Chinese memory chip maker Yangtze Memory Technologies is cause for national security concerns.

Senator Mark Warner, who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, and Senator Marco Rubio, the committee’s vice-chair have asked the Director of National Intelligence, for a “public analysis and review” of Yangtze Memory Technologies and the risks it poses to American security.

“We write to convey that any decision to partner with YMTC, no matter the intended market of the product offerings developed by such a partnership, would affirm and reward the PRC’s distortive and unfair trade practices, which undermine U.S. companies globally by creating significant advantages to Chinese firms at the expense of foreign competitors,” the lawmakers wrote.

The senators note how, last year, the Biden Administration referred to Yangtze Memory Technologies as China’s “national champion memory chip producer” and any deal between the company and Apple could risk “nullifying efforts to support it, jeopardizing the health of chipmakers in the U.S. and allied countries and advancing Beijing’s goal of controlling the global semiconductor market.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senator John Cornyn also signed the letter.

Apple told the Financial Times it currently doesn’t use chips from Yangtze in any product, but confirmed it was “evaluating sourcing from Yangtze Memory Technologies for NAND chips to be used in some iPhones sold in China.”

 



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