Apple Shelves Plan to Use YMTC Chips

U.S. tech giant Apple is set to freeze plans to use memory chips from China’s Yangtze Memory Technologies Co (YMTC) in its products after Washington imposed stricter export restrictions on Chinese technology companies, including YMTC. Apple had originally planned to start using state-backed YMTC’s NAND flash memory chips as early as this year. The chips were initially planned to be used only for iPhones sold in the Chinese market.

The U.S. tech company had been considering to eventually purchase up to 40% of its chips used in all iPhones from YMTC.

Washington last week added 31 Chinese entities, including the country’s top memory chipmaker YMTC, to a list of companies that U.S. officials have been unable to inspect, starting a 60 day-clock that could trigger much tougher penalties.

YMTC is also being investigated by the U.S. Commerce Department over whether it violated Washington’s export controls by selling chips to blacklisted Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei.

Biden administration’s sweeping set of export controls on China is aimed at hampering Beijing’s technological and military advances by cutting the country’s supplies off from certain semiconductor chips made anywhere in the world with U.S. equipment.

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Japan Asks Mitsui and Mitsubishi to Consider Joining Russia’s New Sakhalin-2 Entity

Japanese Industry Minister Hagiuda said on Friday the government has asked Mitsui and Mitsubishi to consider joining the new Russian entity that will take over the Sakhalin-2 LNG project. Hagiuda met with Mitsui President Hori on Friday to make the request and said he would meet with a Mitsubishi executive as well in the near future.

Germany Halts Imports of Russian Pipeline Oil

Germany stopped importing Russian pipeline crude oil from Jan. 1, following through an earlier pledge that it would halt buying Russian pipeline crude despite the EU’s embargo on Russian oil exempts pipeline flows. The EU sanctions on Russian seaborne oil exports have taken effect on Dec. 5 but pipeline oil flows to landlocked EU members are exempt from the ban. Still, Germany and Poland have announced earlier that they would halt imports of Russian crude via the Druzhba pipeline as of Jan. 1.  

Stellantis Signs Battery Material Supply Deal with Australia’s Element 25

Multinational automotive giant Stellantis has signed a deal with Australian miner Element 25 to supply manganese sulphate for electric vehicle (EV) batteries. The agreement underlines another step in Stellantis’ efforts to secure long term supply of raw materials for EVs. Carmakers have been scrambling to find additional suppliers for raw materials as demand for EVs are expected to surge in the coming years. 

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