Apple’s launch of its new iPhone 14 last week served as a moment for elevated scrutiny. As China Tech Threat warned in a blog, the use of chips from the Chinese military chipmaker YMTC in the smartphone “Signals Era Of Dangerous Partnership With Chinese Military Chip Maker.”
China Tech Threat wasn’t the only one sounding the alarm. Senator Marco Rubio told the Financial Times Apple is “playing with fire,” adding that “It knows the security risks posed by YMTC. If it moves forward, it will be subject to scrutiny like it has never seen from the federal government.” Sen. Rubio’s “rage,” as it is characterized by the New York Post, follows his April 2022 letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook expressing concern the company is considering purchasing the chips.
According to the Financial Times, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who recently signed a bipartisan letter to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo that called for YMTC to be added to the Entity List, has raised YMTC privately with her too.
Meanwhile, AEI Senior Fellow Klon Kitchen wrote of the news that Apple’s selection of YMTC as a supplier “introduces yet another supply chain security threat for all consumers and further binds the Silicon Valley leader to the United States’ chief global challenger.” Pointing out that YMTC is effectively owned and run by the Chinese government and has deep ties to the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), Kitchen questions why Apple would “hug the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) even tighter” with its selection of YMTC, which will help it price competitors out of the NAND market and further consolidate its position.