Apple is in talks with China-backed Yangtze Memory Technologies to buy NAND flash chips, reports the Nikkei Asian Review (https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Companies/Apple-in-talks-for-first-order-from-a-Chinese-chipmaker) It would be Apple’s first-ever purchase from a Chinese memory chipmaker.
It’s not clear if Apple is under pressure from Beijing, but one industry insider tells Nikkei Asian Review that Chinese deals like this are sure to help the company boost its business in that country. Currently, no China-baed company is producing memory chips. Yangtze’s first lines aren’t set to begin until sometime this year.
The earliest an Apple deal might happen would be 2019. However, 2020 would be a more likely scenario, according to the report. Apple will use these chips in new iPhone models and other products for sale in the Chinese domestic market specifically, says Nikkei Asian Review, quoting two unnamed “people familiar with the matter.”