BIS is on the Clock: Experts Assess Export Controls, Effectiveness with Regard to China

We have 7 DAYS left in the BIS Countdown that started on October 7 when the Bureau issued long-awaited export controls targeting Chinese chipmakers. Will YMTC, a national champion chipmaker, and others on the Unverified List (UVL) allow for and pass end-use checks, or will they get put on the Entity List? That’s one of our big questions. Earlier this month, Roslyn Layton hosted a virtual event to dive into the new export controls and related issues with Nazak Nikakhtar (Partner and National Security Co-Chair, Wiley; former Department of Commerce Lead on CFIUS) and Dustin Carmack (Research Fellow, Heritage Foundation). They discussed the impact of the controls on China’s semiconductor capabilities, the Apple-YMTC relationship, and how the new Congress should… Read More

CTT Quick Cut Wrap Up: Experts Assess Implications of Export Controls for YMTC, Apple

The U.S. is at a key moment with its China-focused export control policy. On October 7, the Commerce Department issued a slew of new regulations targeting China’s semiconductor industry, triggering a crucial 60-day period when Commerce Department will decide whether to add firms like YMTC and CXMT to the Entity List. Meanwhile, a new Congress looks poised to exert pressure on Commerce to maintain a tough stance, with the potential new chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Michael McCaul, saying he will be “focused like a laser on export control issues.” And the New York Times wants to know if Apple will permanently step back from a dangerous Apple-YMTC deal, but Apple hasn’t yet commented. On November 15, CTT’s… Read More

“He and His Company Should Clearly Commit Not to Proceed” – the New York Times Spotlights Apple’s Dangerous Dance with YMTC

Ever since reporting on an Apple-YMTC deal first emerged earlier this year, national security-focused experts and legislators alike have sounded the alarm on the grave damage such a partnership would hold (see CTT’s extensive report on how the Chinese government was poised to infiltrate iPhones with YMTC chips). Now the New York Times is paying attention, too. On November 8th, the Times’ Apple beat reporter, Tripp Mickle, published an article detailing cracks in Apple’s foundation in China. Besides China’s COVID-related lockdowns that have snagged supply chains hurting its business, Apple is now under fire from lawmakers who see the YMTC threat for what it is. That’s in large part due to the work of James Mulvenon. As the Times reports:… Read More

Apple Halts Plan to Use YMTC Chips in Wake of New Export Controls; More Trouble Coming

Tech companies connected to China’s semiconductor industry have been re-evaluating operations in China ever since the U.S. Commerce Department imposed a new round of export controls targeting Chinese chipmakers. Now Nikkei reports that Apple – which had a dangerous deal in the works to buy flash memory chips from YMTC – is hitting pause on that plan due to the new regulations. The news comes not a moment too soon. Apple had already certified YMTC’s chips and planned to start using them as early as this year for the iPhone, at least in China to start. But as Tom’s Hardware pointed out last month, Apple could eventually use YMTC chips for other products too. Other markets, such as the U.S.,… Read More

Bipartisan Group of Senators Urges U.S. Intelligence Community to Investigate YMTC’s Risks to National Security

Last week Senators John Cornyn, Marco Rubio, Charles Schumer, and Mark Warner sent a letter to Director of Intelligence Avril Hanes warning about the national security threat of Chinese memory chip maker YMTC and its impending partnership with Apple. Seizing on the growing awareness that Apple is preparing to put YMTC chips in the iPhone 14, the Senators noted that, “Such a decision would introduce significant privacy and security vulnerabilities to the global digital supply chain that Apple helps shape given YMTC’s extensive, but often opaque, ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and concerning PRC-backed entities.” This letter is especially timely in light of recent congressional efforts to support the American semiconductor industry through the CHIPS Act. Spending billions… Read More

More Scrutiny of Apple Hugging the Chinese Communist Party

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… Read More

Apple’s iPhone 14 Release Signals Era Of Dangerous Partnership With Chinese Military Chip Maker

As Apple prepares to unveil its iPhone 14 smartphone at its “Far Out” event today, BusinessKorea add new scrutiny to earlier reports that Apple is compromising American security by shipping devices with chips from the Chinese military chipmaker YMTC. The new reporting suggests that the partnership is laying the foundation for further Apple devices to be outfitted with the suspect circuits. “The move represents a strong win for YMTC and will ensure steady supply of flash memory for Apple’s next-generation products,” reports Tom’s Hardware.  #kt-layout-id_5a0900-00 .kt-row-column-wrap{align-content:start;}:where(#kt-layout-id_5a0900-00 .kt-row-column-wrap) .wp-block-kadence-column{justify-content:start;}#kt-layout-id_5a0900-00 .kt-row-column-wrap{column-gap:var(--global-kb-gap-md, 2rem);row-gap:var(--global-kb-gap-md, 2rem);padding-top:var( --global-kb-row-default-top, 25px );padding-bottom:var( --global-kb-row-default-bottom, 25px );padding-top:0px;padding-bottom:0px;grid-template-columns:minmax(0, calc(60% - ((var(--global-kb-gap-md, 2rem) * 1 )/2))) minmax(0, calc(40% - ((var(--global-kb-gap-md, 2rem) * 1 )/2)));}#kt-layout-id_5a0900-00 .kt-row-layout-overlay{opacity:0.30;}@media all and (max-width: 1024px){#kt-layout-id_5a0900-00 .kt-row-column-wrap{grid-template-columns:repeat(2, minmax(0, 1fr));}}@media… Read More

Chips Act Is the Carrot, Where’s The Stick?

Josh Rogin’s recent column on the Chips Act, “Designed to compete with China, the Chips bill falls short,” calls needed attention to multi-front battle the US must be waging to halt China’s quest to dominate global high-tech manufacturing, and help us compete and win against America’s leading adversary. While the long overdue Chips Act will strengthen America’s position in the semiconductor market, create American jobs and bolster our national security, the bill will only be effective over the long-term when complemented with other strategies, like export controls and adding more companies linked to the Chinese government on the Entity List. CTT Co-Founder Dr. Roslyn Layton underscored these concerning omissions from the bill in a recent interview with the UK Telegraph… Read More

Time for a New Export Control Regime

Emily Weinstein and Kevin Wolf, both fellows at Georgetown University’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology (CSET), held a discussion last month entitled “A New Export Control Regime for the 21st Century.” Multilateral export controls have been around for decades. But according to Weinstein, “the current system no longer meets more complex needs.” The world’s democracies, according to Weinstein, “need to rethink export controls multilaterally.” Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) Under Secretary Alan Estevez shares this view, calling the creation of a new multilateral export regime one of his priorities and affirming, “We need to work with our partners on that.” What prompts this assertion? The four multilateral export regimes concentrate on controlling technologies used in conventional weapons and… Read More

8 Solutions for Mitigating the Threat of an Apple-YMTC Deal

Last week China Tech Threat and the Coalition for a Prosperous America released the report Silicon Sellout: How Apple’s Partnership with Chinese Military Chip Maker YMTC Threatens American National Security. In our first blog post, we detailed Apple’s motivations for doing business with YMTC. Our second post outlined the risks of this partnership. Policymakers inside the U.S. government have multiple options to mitigate the damage from a YMTC-Apple deal. Three of them are most important: 1) Restrict technology exports to and imports from YMTC (Best option) The best, most effective protection of national security restricts U.S. technology exports to and imports from YMTC. This requires three steps: (a) adding YMTC to the Entity List; (b) creating a Foreign Direct Product… Read More