Officials from both the US and Dutch sides have frequently commented on joint talks on consolidating restrictive measures against China in recent days, and it has now been revealed that they are reaching an agreement and delivery of some as early as next month can ban chip manufacturing facilities in China.
The Netherlands is known to be the largest supplier of lithography scanners to the semiconductor industry as ASML’s factories and headquarters are located in the country. Dutch authorities have taken the initiative to restrict Chinese customers’ ability to manufacture advanced chips before banning the supply of devices designed to work with ultra-hard ultraviolet (EUV) radiation to China since 2019. Well, as reported Bloomberg, let’s talk about more prosaic constraints. As expected, the Dutch authorities will now ban the supply to China of devices suitable for manufacturing chips with 14nm technology and higher.
This limit more or less coincides with the requirements of the American side, since in early October the US authorities banned controlled companies from supplying devices to China that enable the production of 16 nm logic chips with the FinFET transistor structure. If Dutch authorities show solidarity with the United States, only Japanese suppliers of lithography equipment will remain exempt from the restrictions, who will still be able to work with Chinese customers.
It cannot be said that consolidating export restrictions with the United States will be easy for the Dutch authorities. For the same ASML, the proceeds from the sale of equipment in China reach 15-16% of the total, and for them the loss of the Chinese market is a less desirable event than the refusal to cooperate with the United States. However, overseas partners have an impact on the Netherlands, since ASML devices partly use American technology. According to some estimates, the new ban will effectively remove ASML’s ability to supply China with scanners for immersion lithography work. At the end of November, a delegation of American officials visited the Netherlands to have discussions with local colleagues and to evaluate their findings positively.