“Apple is in talks with state-backed Yangtze Memory Technologies to buy NAND flash chips from it, a move that will mark the U.S. giant’s first purchase from a Chinese memory chipmaker and a huge boost to the local sector,” Cheng Ting-Fang reports for Nikkei.

“The deal will be a big coup for Yangtze Memory and China if it goes through. For Yangtze Memory, a little known technology company, securing a deal with a global entity such as Apple will be a big deal even if the initial orders are small,” Cheng reports. “For China, a deal with Apple will go some way toward its ambition to cut dependence on foreign chip supply, area in which Beijing has shown it is willing to invest heavily.”

“Whether Apple is under any pressure to buy from Chinese makers is unclear. Afterall [sic], China has been known to apply pressure on foreign technology companies that want to operate within the country,” Cheng reports. “One thing is for sure, Chinese deals will help Apple grow its business there, according to an industry executive.”

“The earliest that the deal could come into fruition will be 2019 but industry sources say it is more likely to be after 2020 before Yangtze Memory can produce enough of the components at a standard that Apple requires,” Cheng reports. “Apple will use these chips in new iPhone models and other products for sale in the Chinese domestic market specifically, according to two people familiar with the matter.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple’s tiptoeing along the endless China tightrope continues.

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