US tech giant Apple Inc has put on hold plans 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, the Nikkei reported on Monday.
Apple had originally planned to start using state-funded YMTC’s NAND flash memory chips as early as this year, Nikkei said, citing people familiar with the matter. 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 newspaper said.
The United States last week added China’s top memory chipmaker YMTC and 30 other Chinese entities to a list of companies that US officials have been unable to inspect, ratcheting up tensions with Beijing, starting a 60 day-clock that could trigger much tougher penalties.
YMTC is also being investigated by the US 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 US equipment.
Apple did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment, while YMTC declined to comment.