Two Republican lawmakers in the U.S. have expressed major concerns following reports that Apple’s new flagship iPhone, the iPhone 14, contains memory components supplied by Chinese company YMTC.
In the run-up to the event, a media report emerged that Apple had employed the services of Yangtze Memory Technologies Co alongside usual suppliers like Samsung for memory chips featured in the new iPhone. Two top Republican lawmakers say this is cause for alarm because of YMTC’s links to the Chinese Communist party.
As reported by Financial Times (opens in new tab), Marco Rubio, Republican vice-chair of the Senate intelligence committee, and Michael McCaul of the House foreign affairs committee “said they were alarmed” in response to this week’s media report.
Rubio told the Times Apple was playing with fire and “knows the security risks posed by YMTC,” promising “scrutiny like it has never seen from the federal government” if it moved forward.
McCaul claims that YMTC “has extensive ties to the Chinese Communist party and military” and has broken export laws by selling to Huawei.” He accused Apple of “effectively… transferring knowledge and knowhow to YMTC that will supercharge its capabilities and help the CCP achieve its national goals.”
In response, Apple told FT that “it did not use YMTC chips in any products” but was considering YMTC as a source for Nand chips to be used “in some iPhones sold in China,” adding that it was not considering using these chips beyond China and that all user data stored on Nand chips was “fully encrypted.” It is unclear from this response whether Apple is considering chips for the iPhone 14 or future iPhone models.
Apple’s iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro will be available for pre-order from today and are set to be released next week. apple also unveiled its new Apple Watch Series 8, SE, and Apple Watch Ultra this week, along with AirPods.