NEW REPORT: Silicon Sellout: How Apple’s Partnership with Chinese Military Chipmaker YMTC Threatens National Security
This report details five risks of the Apple-YMTC partnership, including the technological risks to national security, lost privacy to the Chinese government, lost US technology leadership, supply chain bottlenecks and lost jobs. It further details how the partnership between the world’s most profitable company and China’s national champion for memory chips will precipitate a collapse of profit margins and drive at least one make of memory chips from the free world out of business.
Barring that Apple walks away voluntarily from the ill-advised partnership, the report describes eight policy options to mitigate the threat, importantly to restrict technology exports to and imports from YMTC. Download the full report by China Tech Threat and the Coalition for a Prosperous America.
What’s at Stake?
Apple is the most valuable brand in the world, and the choices it makes send important signals. It was recently reported that Apple may use chips from Yangtze Memory Technologies Company (YMTC) in the next iPhone. This is cause for alarm as experts and policymakers have called out YMTC, a state-owned chip maker with close ties to the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), and called for it to be added to the Entity List. Apple moving forward with this controversial company would threaten Americans’ privacy and security, undermine semiconductor jobs in democratic countries, give YMTC undeserved credibility on the world stage, and help China advance its goal to upset and ultimately dominate the global chip market.
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio‘s wrote to Apple CEO Tim Cook, “America’s premier tech companies should recognize the tremendous risks – both to American national security and to their own ledgers, should any presidential administration update its export control listings in the near future – incurred by doing business with YMTC for its memory chips or any other products.”
U.S. Senator Bill Hagerty tweeted, “Outrageous that Apple may use YMTC chips in the iPhone. YMTC is China’s state-owned champion for memory chips & part of the CCP’s plan to control strategic dual-use supply chains. Last July, @RepMcCaul & I urged @SecRaimondo to add YMTC to the Entity List.”
Joint Venture Silicon Valley’s David Witkowski commented, “My technology has been Apple-free for 25 years and will remain so. AMAT, LAM, etc. should stop selling to YMTC, SMIC, others. The US should place leading-edge fabrication technology under ITAR controls.”
Dan DiMicco, Vice Chairman of the Coalition for a Prosperous America’s Board tweeted, “Why have a subsidized effort to on-shore chip production if major US companies are going to teach enemies how to upgrade their chip capabilities and buy off-shore. The madness must stop or the game is over.”
CTT Conversations: SemiAnalysis’ Dylan Patel, “Understanding the NAND Apocalypse“
CTT Quick Cut Event: AEI’s Derek Scissors, “Apple Should Not Use YMTC Chips”
Light Reading: Apple under fire over courting of Chinese chip firm
Asian Tech Press: Apple considers more memory chip suppliers, including Chinese firm
The Information: The U.S. Weighs a Broader Crackdown on Chinese Chipmakers
Financial Times: US to probe claims that top Chinese chipmaker violated ban on Huawei
Washington Examiner: Rubio blasts Apple for eyeing ‘unacceptable’ Chinese chip supplier deal
Tom’s Hardware: Apple Mulls Using 3D NAND from Chinese Supplier YMTC
DigiTimes Asia: YMTC 128-layer NAND memory gains Apple validation
Washington Times: China conducts two threatening aerial intercepts