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ASML: Mainland China is an important player in the semiconductor industry, stopping supply will disrupt the supply chain

Semiconductor equipment major ASML of the Netherlands warned that the global semiconductor chain would face disruption if it stopped supplying semiconductor equipment to mainland China. Two weeks ago, Bloomberg reported that the U.S. government wanted to restrict the company’s equipment sales to mainland China.

I think it’s important to realize that mainland China is an important player in the semiconductor industry, whether it’s a mature process, whether it’s a mainstream semiconductor process, mainland China is a very important supplier to the global market, so one has to be careful about what one is doing,” said Peter Wennink, ASML’s chief executive officer. From time to time, politicians have proposed plans to restrict exports of DUVs from mainland China, although the world cannot ignore the fact that mainland China has the chip manufacturing capacity to meet the needs of the global electronics market.”

Mainland China is ASML’s third largest market after Taiwan and South Korea, accounting for about 16 percent of its sales in 2021, or about €2.1 billion.

Since 2019, the Dutch government has reached an agreement with the United States not to grant ASML a license to sell state-of-the-art EUV lithography machines to mainland Chinese chipmakers. However, ASML can continue to sell DUV lithography to mainland customers. The majority of chips worldwide are made with DUV lithography.

In the context of the growing trade war between the U.S. and China, there are still discussions in the U.S. to pressure ASML not to sell other equipment such as DUVs to mainland China. 2021, the U.S. National Commission on Artificial Intelligence Security, led by former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, recommended that the State Department and Commerce Department should push allies to deny China access to top-tier DUVs, EUVs and related tools. The Dutch foreign minister also confirmed that the U.S. and the Netherlands are discussing the matter.




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