Founded in 2016, the Chinese company YMTC made significant progress in producing a hard memory chip within a short period of time, approaching market leaders for one or two generations in technology, and Apple has explored the possibility of using YMTC memory in its mobile devices since 2018, but the October US sanctions have made this impossible.
According to Nikkei Asian Review, with reference to its own sources, the 128-layer memory chips of 3D NAND manufacturing YMTC were even certified Apple for use in the iPhone, and the original plan was to start using them in the Chinese market this year. According to other data, Apple was going to use YMTC memory in 40% of iPhone released for the global market, as the Chinese supplier offered 20% lower prices than its name competitors.
Remember, on October 7, YMTC was listed by the U.S. authorities on the list of so-called "unsatisfied counterparties" who were defaultingly denied access to equipment and components of American origin, even if they were supplied from third countries. Members of the list are given 60 days to audit, which involves visits by American inspectors. If they refuse to participate in this procedure, the company automatically becomes on a different list, which permits the delivery of equipment only after receiving an export licence from the U.S., even in this situation, American regulators are based on a "presumption of guilt" and may refuse to obtain a licence for no apparent reason.
It is clear that Apple will no longer be able to cooperate with YMTC, and that the latter will face difficulties in expanding its production capacity and upgrading existing ones, as it depends heavily on the supply of equipment of American origin to China.