The Netherlands moves to ban some shipments in the US-China chip battle

Date:

The Netherlands moves to ban some shipments in the US-China chip battle.

  • News by AUN News correspondent
  • Thursday, March 09, 2023
  • AUN News – ISSN: 2949-8090

Summary:

  • To preserve national security, the Netherlands government is restricting the country’s “most advanced” microprocessor exports, adopting a similar action by the US. It will contain technology developed by ASML, a prominent player in the worldwide microprocessor supply chain.

  • China has filed a formal complaint in opposition to the move.

  • China has frequently called the United States a “tech hegemony” in response to Washington’s export prohibitions.

  • Alarm over the United States semiconductor strategy.

  • South Korea is home to several significant microprocessor manufacturers, notably Samsung, the world’s largest memory chip producer.

To preserve national security, the Netherlands government is restricting the country’s “most advanced” microprocessor exports, adopting a similar action by the US.

It will contain technology developed by ASML, a prominent player in the worldwide microprocessor supply chain.

China has filed a formal complaint in opposition to the move.

It added it hoped the Netherlands would not “follow the abuse of export control mechanisms by certain countries”.

China has frequently called the United States a “tech hegemony” in response to Washington’s export prohibitions.

Semiconductors, which power everything from mobile phones to military hardware, are at the heart of a dispute between the United States and China.

Mao Ning, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, claimed the Netherlands’ decision was intended to rob China of its right to grow.

Dexter Roberts, a senior member at the Washington-based Atlantic Council think tank, said the decision by the Netherlands was “a big stride forward, a great success for the US and also extremely terrible news for China”.

“Relations between the United States and China are already deteriorating. This will exacerbate the situation.”

The sanctions will affect “particular technology in the semiconductor production cycle,” according to Liesje Schreinemacher, the Netherlands trade minister.

“On national and international security grounds, the Netherlands feels it imperative that this technology be brought under control as soon as possible,” she wrote in a letter to MPs on Wednesday.

Ms Schreinemacher said that the Dutch government had examined “technical changes and geopolitical context,” although she did not name China or ASML.

Under the proposed laws, companies must seek licences to export technologies such as “the most advanced Deep Ultra Violet (DUV) immersion lithography and deposition”.

The limits are expected to apply to ASML’s “most advanced immersion DUV systems,” according to a release.

“Based on today’s news, our estimate of the Dutch government’s licencing policy, and the present market position,” the business noted, “we do not expect these actions to have a major effect on our financial forecast.”

Lithography machines employ lasers to create tiny patterns on silicon as part of the microchip manufacturing process.

The Dutch government has prohibited ASML from selling its most advanced lithography tools to China since 2019.

Washington stated in October that it would require licences for companies shipping chips to China that use American equipment or software, regardless of where they are manufactured.

The United States has been pressuring the Netherlands and Japan to impose similar limitations.

Similarly, earlier this week, South Korea’s trade ministry expressed alarm over the United States semiconductor strategy.

“The South Korean government will make it clear that the Chips Act’s stipulations may increase business uncertainty, infringe enterprises’ management and technological rights, and make the United States less appealing as an investment alternative,” the ministry stated.

South Korea is home to several significant microprocessor manufacturers, notably Samsung, the world’s largest memory chip producer.

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