Netherlands to restrict semiconductor machine exports after U.S. pressure

An staff stands by cables inside of a ASML Twinscan XT1000 lithography device, through manufacture at the ASML factory in Veldhoven, Netherlands.

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“Given the technological developments and the geopolitical context, the governing administration has arrive to the summary that the existing export management framework for distinct tools utilised for the manufacture of semiconductors requirements to be expanded, in the pursuits of national and intercontinental stability,” the country’s International Trade Minister Liesje Schreinemacher stated in a letter to parliament Wednesday.

While the letter does not reference China, it comes soon after force from the White Home, which in 2022 imposed export controls that limit Beijing from accessing certain semiconductor chips. At the time, American officials recognized that if other nations around the world did not impose similar restrictions, the export controls would get rid of performance above time.

Considering that 2018, the U.S. has reportedly been asking the Dutch governing administration to stop ASML transport its extraordinary ultraviolet lithography equipment to China. ASML has not delivered the equipment to China so considerably.

In the wake of the Dutch government’s announcement, ASML explained in a assertion that, “it will just take time for these controls to be translated into legislation and take effect.”

“Primarily based on modern announcement, our expectation of the Dutch government’s licensing plan, and the current sector problem, we do not assume these measures to have a substance outcome on our money outlook,” the corporation said Wednesday, including that “the additional export controls do not pertain to all immersion lithography resources but only to what is named ‘most advanced’.”

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ASML said that it is not very clear what the Dutch federal government means by the “most state-of-the-art” machines.

On the other hand, it stated the laws mean that it will want to use for a license to export its so-identified as immersion deep ultraviolet (DUV) lithography machine, which is employed to manufacture memory chips. These chips are utilised in a myriad of units, from smartphones to laptops and servers, and could in the end be applied for artificial intelligence purposes. 

Final thirty day period, ASML claimed that a previous worker in China experienced misappropriated facts related to its proprietary technologies.

China has been functioning to bolster its domestic semiconductor industry, but it remains considerably driving the likes of Taiwan, South Korea and the U.S.

The Chinese Ministry for Overseas Affairs claimed on Thursday that it opposes the politicization of economic and trade cooperation and hopes that the Netherlands maintains an aim stance, according to Reuters.

Speaking to CNBC’s Road Indicators on Thursday, Anna Rosenberg, head of geopolitics at the Amundi Institute, said that the most current announcement from the Netherlands is “a massive offer” for President Joe Biden.

“The U.S. has been hoping to get the EU to side with its guidelines toward China for a though, and it has considerably much more leverage with the EU now than prior to the [Ukraine] war, merely because the EU is now pretty significantly completely dependent on its protection on the US,” she included.

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