US shamelessly pushes ASML out of the biggest market


Dutch and US officials will meet in Washington on Friday to discuss possible new controls on the export of semiconductor manufacturing equipment to China. This was reported by Reuters news agency based on anonymous sources, who also said that a deal between the two countries may already be announced on Friday.

Washington wants fewer chips and equipment to make semiconductors to go to China. For example, the United States wants to prevent China from using the very latest technology to create ever smarter weapons. But it has not yet convinced the main allies, in particular the Netherlands and Japan, to introduce such restrictions. The Netherlands is home to ASML, which as a leading chip machine manufacturer is critical to Semiconductor Manufacturing.

So far, ASML has only fulfilled the American wishes by not supplying China with its EUV chip machines, the very latest and most advanced machines with which to manufacture the most modern chips. CEO Peter Wennink recently indicated that ASML does not experience any major consequences with large investments elsewhere.

But the US also wants the older DUV machines to no longer be allowed to China. That would have major consequences for ASML, which still gets a good part of its turnover from the Asian country. So far, the Dutch government does not want to go along with Washington’s plans, but a compromise is in the works – possibly already in Washington on Friday.