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Apple Suspended Adoption of Chinese Flash Memory Chips

Well-known Chinese news site NetEase (NASDAQ: NTES) recently reported that Apple appears to have suspended plans to use YMTC (Yangtze Memory Technologies Co., Ltd.) flash memory chips in its products. Apple had previously confirmed that it was testing NAND Flash chips imported from China’s YMTC in iPhones. Apple’s decision came after the U.S. government imposed a new round of export controls on Mainland China’s tech industry on October 7. Multiple sources said Apple had completed a months-long certification for longevity before the U.S. government announced it would impose stricter export restrictions. Earlier, Apple noted that it did not consider the use of Yangtze memory chips in phones sold outside of China, and said all user data stored on the flash memory chips used by the company was “fully encrypted.” At present, YMTC is the largest domestic NAND Flash supplier in China, and its mass-produced 128-layer NAND Flash chips are also China’s most advanced NAND Flash chips. Apple initially planned to use YMTC NAND Flash chips starting this year because its chips are at least 20 percent cheaper than those from other major rivals, A source from a top supply chain executive said that the reason for Apple’s suspension of the plan to adopt YMTC chips this time was that YMTC actively proposed to Apple to “exit Apple’s supply chain.” It is because it does not want to continue to stimulate the sensitive nerves of the United States at this sensitive time.

Source: NetEase, October 17, 2022