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.  @media all and (min-width: 768px){#kt-layout-id_5a0900-00 .kt-row-column-wrap .inner-column-1{flex:0 1 60%;-webkit-flex:0 1 60%;}#kt-layout-id_5a0900-00 .kt-row-column-wrap .inner-column-2{flex:0 1 40%;-webkit-flex:0 1 40%;}}#kt-layout-id_5a0900-00 .kt-row-column-wrap{padding-top:0px;padding-bottom:0px;} China Tech Threat raised the concern about Apple’s deal with YMTC in its report “Silicon Sellout: How Apple’s… Read More

The Most Dangerous Chinese Company You Haven’t Heard Of

While Chinese companies like Huawei and TikTok have grabbed headlines for threatening American national security and data privacy, the Chinese chipmaker CXMT is less well-known. That doesn’t make it any less dangerous. Founded in 2016, Changxin Memory Technologies (CXMT) was created as a “pilot demonstration” of the Made in China 2025 initiative – the Chinese government’s effort to make China the world leader in high-tech manufacturing. Like fellow would-be state champion chipmakers SMIC and YMTC, CXMT is awash in Chinese subsidies. The company’s strategy relies on IP theft to close ground against competitors.  It also has multiple business leaders also serving in important Communist Party roles and connections to the PLA. As China’s largest maker of DRAM (dynamic random-access memory)… 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

YMTC Increases Technical Capabilities While Commerce Department Dithers

A new report from Dylan Patel of SemiAnalysis paints a picture of a NAND chip market over which Chinese chipmakers like YMTC are poised to grab massive market share. Over the past few years, the NAND chip market has enjoyed explosive growth, with Patel writing that “the number of bits of NAND manufactured and shipped has grown at a pace of 30% to 35% every year.” Earlier this month, YMTC announced the ability to develop 232-layer chips, a major technological breakthrough that puts it on par with rival global leaders. Writes Patel, “YMTC is not just a copycat with trailing edge technology like many erroneously perceive Chinese semiconductor companies on the leading edge. They are building their own innovative and… Read More

New Forbes Column: Commerce Department Inaction on YMTC Harms Americans, Shames Sec. Raimondo

For months China Tech Threat and other national security leaders have pressed the Commerce Department to put Chinese military-linked chipmaker YMTC on the Entity list. That move would prohibit U.S. firms from selling high-tech tools to YMTC – a much-needed step to protect Americans’ privacy and national security. Unfortunately, YMTC this week announced the ability to develop 232-layer chips, a major technological breakthrough. Any new Commerce Department export controls targeting YTMC will now be too little, too late. Forbes columnist and China Tech Threat co-founder Roslyn Layton’s new column elaborates on the problem: The Commerce Department is clearly failing on its mission to promote and protect US technologies from China. Many of its existing restrictions are not enforced, and bad… Read More

Bipartisan Group of Senators Pushes Commerce Department to Restrict China’s YMTC

As Chinese military-backed chipmaker YMTC continues to depend on American technology to gain market share in the semiconductor sector, seven U.S. Senators have sent a letter to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo characterizing the company as an “immediate threat” and urging it to be placed on the Commerce Department’s Entity List – meaning American firms would be banned from selling key technologies to YMTC. While senators including Bill Hagerty, Marco Rubio, and Mark Warner have long raised the dangers of YMTC and called for placement on the Entity List, this letter represents the most definitive and bipartisan statement from Congress to date on the issue, with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senators John Cornyn, James Risch, and Mike Crapo joining Hagerty,… Read More

Commerce Department Reportedly Focused on SMIC, But What About YMTC and CXMT?

Reuters reports that the Commerce Department is considering banning exports of chipmaking tools to Chinese factories that make advanced semiconductors at the 14 nanometer node and smaller. This would significantly impact the ability of Chinese military-linked chipmaker SMIC from making the most advanced chips. The threat of SMIC is already clear. In a widely covered report provided to federal officials, James Mulvenon and his SOSI colleagues determined that SMIC – the largest and most sophisticated Chinese government-owned semiconductor maker – has multiple close ties to the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). Specifically, PLA researchers use SMIC chips and processes, indicating it is tailored for their purposes. For example, radiation hardening – which is used for military and space purposes – employ… Read More

Estevez Senate Hearing: Mixed Messages on YMTC Continue

Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) Under Secretary Alan Estevez testified to the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday about issues related to U.S. Export Controls. There is still no clarity what the U.S. government’s stance is on Chinese military-linked chipmaker YMTC. Senator Mark Warner of Virginia told Estevez that American memory chip manufacturers have complained to him about YMTC’s activities, which he said are “typical of a lot of the new Chinese memory and chip-related firms.” That is to say, they are tied to the Chinese military and benefit from massive subsidies designed to kill off foreign competitors. Sen. Warner also noted a recent Financial Times story detailing YMTC’s ties to Huawei, the Chinese telecommunications firm on the Commerce Department’s… Read More

A U.S. National Semiconductor Strategy Must Include Export Controls

Between the chip shortages that have plagued countries around the world during the pandemic, China’s designs on conquering Taiwan (where 90% of the world’s most advanced chips are produced), and the CHIPS Act being developed in the U.S. Congress, both policymakers and ordinary citizens alike are putting a new focus on ensuring a stable supply of semiconductors. Two new think tank papers raise the idea of national semiconductor strategies. The first, from the UK’s Policy Exchange, is ambivalent on the need for a UK national strategy, noting that “the UK semiconductor industry is part of a globally interdependent production system in which no country, even one as large as the US, can hope to be self-sufficient.” Nonetheless, the Policy Exchange… Read More