Apple Freezes Plan to use 3D NAND Flash Memory Chips for iPhones aimed at the Chinese Market due to Political Pressure
In 2018 Patently Apple posted a report titled "Apple in Talks with China's Yangtze Memory Technologies about 3D NAND Flash Memory. Last month Patently Apple provided a follow-up report titled "China's Yangtze Memory Technologies has reportedly entered Apple's iPhone 14 Supply Chain." That news rang alarm bells in Washington D.C.
According to a new Nikkei Asia report this morning, Apple Inc has put its plans on hold to use memory chips from China's Yangtze Memory Technologies Co (YMTC) in its products, after Washington imposed tighter export controls against Chinese technology companies.
Apple had originally planned to start using state-funded YMTC's NAND flash memory chips as early as this year. The chips were initially planned to be used only for iPhones sold in the Chinese market.
It was considering eventually purchasing up to 40% of the chips needed for all iPhones from YMTC.
The United States last week added China's top memory chipmaker YMTC and 30 other Chinese entities to a list of companies that U.S. officials have been unable to inspect, ratcheting up tensions with Beijing, starting a 60 day-clock that could trigger much tougher penalties.
Reuters added that YMTC is also being investigated by the U.S. Commerce Department over whether it violated Washington's export controls by selling chips to blacklisted Chinese telecommunications company Huawei Technologies Co Ltd.
Biden administration's sweeping set of export controls on China is a bid to slow Beijing's technological and military advances by cutting the country's supplies off from certain semiconductor chips made anywhere in the world with U.S. equipment.