Chip machine maker ASML in Veldhoven is no longer allowed to export its older version of semiconductors to China. There will be a ban, the cabinet has decided. According to Minister Liesje Schreinemacher (Foreign Trade), this is necessary because of ‘international security.’
There has been international pressure on ASML for some time now. According to the United States, China can use the chip technology for the production of weapons. ASML’s most modern machines, the so-called extreme ultraviolet devices (EUV), were already not allowed to go to China. But there will now also be a ban on the older technology, the deep ultraviolet (DUV) lithography systems. Minister Schreinemacher has sent a letter to the House of Representatives about the measures.
Pressure from America
The measure is not unexpected. Prime Minister Mark Rutte spoke with US President Biden about exports and in January it was already leaked that the Netherlands, the United States and Japan had reached an agreement on the export restriction of chip technology to China.
“This is disastrous for ASML,” high-tech war expert Paul Verhagen of the Hague Center for Strategic Studies (HCSS) told Omroep Brabant at the time. China is an important sales market for ASML. The country accounts for about 15 percent of the chip machine manufacturer’s turnover.
Nevertheless, ASML saw no reason at the end of January to abandon its growth forecast for this year. CEO Peter Wennink expects his company to grow further this year.
It is unclear when the ban will take effect. ASML itself expects that it will be some time before the legislation and regulations will actually come into effect.
For Eindhoven News: Lila Mehrez