US warns risk in deal between Apple and Chinese chipmaker

September 22, 2022 | 4:36 p.m.

United States Senators they asked the intelligence community to analyze the threat it poses to national security a possible deal between Apple and Chinese chipmaker Yangtze Memory Technologies Co (YMTC).

This call by the US legislature means increased political pressure on the iPhone maker before a potential agreement with the Asian firm.

Mark Warner, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and Republican Vice President Marco Rubio wrote to Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines requesting a review.

The request comes just a few days after it emerged that Apple evaluates the purchase of memory chips from YMTC for the new iPhone 14.

In the letter, both Lawmakers expressed concern about Apple’s plansbecause in his opinion, if it were a fact, it would trigger “significant privacy and security vulnerabilities in the global digital supply chain that Apple helps to shape,” they said.

This, they warned, derived from the “opaque ties of YMTC with the Chinese Communist Party.”

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Lawmakers see affront to security

According to reports from the Financial Times, YMTC has supplied Huawei with memory chips for at least two phonesincluding its flagship phone, the foldable Mate Xs 2.

This would be a possible violation of a US export control that effectively prohibits companies from providing products containing US technology to Huawei.

The US government and industry insiders assume all Chinese chipmakers use American technologyas American chip design software and manufacturing tools are present throughout the semiconductor supply chain.

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Apple declined to comment on the letter to Haines, which was also signed by Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Republican Senator John Cornyn from Texas.

The senators asked Haines to review the security risks that an agreement between Apple and the YMTC would pose economic and national.

In addition, they ask you to examine how the Chinese Communist Party uses the YMTC to bolster its domestic chip industry and displacing semiconductor manufacturers from the United States and allied countries.

They also asked him to review the role YMTC is supposed to play in helping Chinese companies, including Huawei, to circumvent US sanctions.

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YMTC, one of the many Chinese under the US scrutiny

YMTC is just one of many Chinese tech groups coming under increasing scrutiny in the United States.

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said last week that The US has to reassess its old premise of maintaining a “relative advantage” over competitorseven on chips.

“That is not the strategic environment that we find ourselves in today,” Sullivan told a think tank focused on improving US technology in critical fields.

The US Department of Commerce is working on a series of measures that would make it more difficult to export certain chip-related technologies to Chinain an effort to curb their efforts to build their national industry.

With information from the Financial Times

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