The US Senators protest Apple’s decision to purchase memory chips from Chinese chipmaker Yangtze Memory Technologies Corporation (YMTC) and has ordered an investigation into the threat that the deal poses to national security, media reports said.
Among those who requested the review of the controversial deal were the Democratic Chair of the Senate intelligence committee, Mark Warner, and the Republican Vice Chair, Marco Rubio.
The US lawmakers wrote to the director of national intelligence, Avril Haines and called for an investigation.
YMTC has ambiguous ties to the Chinese Communist party and this new deal which the chipmaker has reportedly brokered with iPhone carries “serious privacy and security risks in the global digital supply chain that Apple helps to develop,” said a report.
Furthermore, there have been reports that Beijing’s significant subsidies have helped the chipmaker grow quickly. The media portal while citing a UK-based research firm Omdia provided the data as to how the share of the chipmaker grew from 2020 to 2021.
“YMTC’s share of the global NAND flash memory market increased from 0.6 percent in 2020 to 2.3 percent in 2021,” reported the outlet quoting the research.
Apple reportedly said that it was “considering” sourcing certain iPhones in China from YMTC. However, Apple on Thursday declined to comment on the letter by US director of national intelligence, Avril Haines which was also signed by Texas Republican John Cornyn and Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
The senators exhorted that the dangers of the deal to the economy and national security must be assessed. They requested that she investigate the ways in which the Chinese Communist Party uses YMTC to support its native chip industry and oust semiconductor producers from the US and allies.
They also asked for a review of YMTC’s suspected assistance in Huawei and other Chinese firms evading US sanctions. Many Chinese technology companies have come under increased scrutiny in Washington, including YMTC, reported Financial Post.