China’s access to advanced semiconductor technology is being further restricted.
The Netherlands plans to join U.S. export controls on semiconductors, citing national security concerns. The package of measures is intended to restrict China’s access to advanced chips, which can also be used for military applications and to advance artificial intelligence. Restrictions would be introduced before the summer, Dutch Trade Minister Liesje Schreinemacher said in a letter to parliament. The goal, she added, is to prevent the proliferation of semiconductor technology for “undesirable end use,” as well as to avoid dependencies and maintain the Netherlands’ technological leadership.
Although not named, the measure targets ASML, a company based there and the world’s only manufacturer of highly specialized lithography systems essential to the production of advanced chips. The government had banned the sale of ASML’s most advanced systems (so-called extreme ultraviolet or EUV lithography) years ago, the NL Times reports. Now the export of older technology (deep ultraviolet or DUV lithography) is also to be controlled. It is still unclear, for example, whether ASML will be able to service the DUV machines it has been selling to customers in China since 2014, Reuters reports. In a brief statement, ASML said it does not expect the latest restrictions to affect its 2023 financial guidance.
China strongly rejected the Netherlands’ decision and called for “objective and fair” treatment, Reuters quoted a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman as saying.
Photo: iStock/Mykola Pokhodzhay