US lawmakers have stepped up pressure on Chinese chip maker YMTC

Top US lawmakers are urging the White House to blacklist Chinese semiconductor company Yangtze Memory Technologies Co. for allegedly violating export controls by supplying Huawei.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer told the Financial Times he was concerned about a report obtained by the Financial Times that showed YMTC provided Nand memory chips for the Mate Xs 2, the new foldable flagship phone from Huawei, the Chinese telecom equipment giant. .

Schumer said, referring to the Commerce Department’s blacklist that effectively bars US companies from selling technology to groups on the list.

YMTC is one of several Chinese technology companies that have come under scrutiny in the United States due to security concerns. Washington is also implementing a raft of measures to boost the US chip industry while making it more difficult for China to access technology, especially for high-end chips.

According to a report by IP Research Group, a consultancy that analyzes electronic devices, YMTC is supplying chips to Huawei, indicating a possible violation of the US foreign direct product rule.

The rule, introduced by the Trump administration in 2020, prevents companies from supplying Huawei with American-made technology.

Senator Mark Warner and Senator Marco Rubio — the Democratic chair and Republican vice chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, respectively — also supported adding the YMTC to the entity list. Joining their call to action was Michael McCaul, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

“It has been clear for some time now that the YMTC is a bad actor – and a key part of the CCP’s goal to shift control of global microelectronics to the PRC. [People’s Republic of China]Warner said. “It’s been a long time since work.”

The White House described YMTC as a Chinese “national hero”. US lawmakers and officials are also concerned that as YMTC produces more advanced chips, it will dump them at below-market prices, putting pressure on other US, European and Asian manufacturers.

“Make no mistake: when it comes to enriching the CCP, what Huawei does for phones, YMTC does for memory chips,” Rubio told the Financial Times. “It is not surprising that the two Chinese companies continue to break US law by partnering together.”

“The more President Biden drags his feet in realizing this, the more it signals to greedy companies that it’s okay to do business with them and with other companies run by Beijing,” Rubio added.

FT reported in April that the Commerce Department was studying allegations that YMTC had supplied memory chips to Huawei for another phone.

“This report closes any question that YMTC is not in violation of US export controls,” McCaul said on Tuesday. This is a problem that can be solved with the stroke of a pen. Why [commerce secretary Gina] Raimondo ignores this problem? “

A Commerce Department official declined to comment on the YMTC, but said the Bureau of Industry and Security was “conducting a review of current policies regarding China and likely will seek to use a variety of legal, regulatory and, where appropriate, law enforcement tools to keep advanced technologies out of the wrong hands.” “.

US lawmakers have also put pressure on Apple in connection with the YMTC, after the iPhone maker told FT that it was considering buying memory chips from the Wuhan-based company.

To prove that YMTC violated the FDPR, the US would have to prove that it knew its chips were for Huawei, which may not be the case if they were sold through an intermediary.

But a person familiar with the analysis of the Mate Xs 2 said that it contains components produced by Huawei that require the phone manufacturer to deal directly with YMTC in order to customize the chips for the foldable smartphone.

Huawei declined to comment. YMTC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Follow Demetrius Sevastopol on Twitter

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.