A conference of Chinese manufacturers of chip-making equipment was held in China last week, where many industry representatives were able to discuss the current state of affairs, taking into account US sanctions. One of the Chinese manufacturers said the US authorities have made it their mission to lag China in the field of lithography by at least five generations.
Such comments as explained South China tomorrow post, came from the mouth of the CEO and Chairman of AMEC, one of the Chinese manufacturers of lithography equipment. Gerald Yin Zhiyao said the following verbatim: “The export restrictions in October revealed the true intentions of the US, which wants to keep lithography in China at 28nm, at least five generations behind the world’s leading 14nm to 3nm range.”. According to him, the Chinese device manufacturers have no intention of putting up with it.
In 2019, the United States began imposing sanctions on certain Chinese companies, but it’s export control restrictions affecting the interests of Chinese contract chipmakers that are most destructive to local industry, AMEC chief believes . The executive order recently signed by the US President limiting investments in three sectors of the Chinese economy is the 16th restrictive step by the American side.
According to the AMEC chief, Chinese companies rely on domestic equipment for only 15% of chip manufacturing, with the remaining 85% of equipment coming from the US, Japan and the Netherlands. That’s why, after the sanctions were imposed in October, US authorities began convincing their allies in Japan and the Netherlands to synchronize their efforts. Already in 2021, AMEC itself was included in the list of Chinese companies suspected by the US of collaborating with the Chinese defense complex. Four months of intense negotiations eventually resulted in the charges being dropped.
In general, according to the AMEC boss, specialists with experience in foreign companies that returned to China after the sanctions were imposed would help Chinese industry to make progress in the field of import substitution. The West will not stem China’s semiconductor progress by blocking equipment shipments, this industry official believes.