China has criticized the Netherlands’ plan to limit exports of semiconductor equipment – a key part of high-tech supply chains.
this Netherlands‘ The government announced on Wednesday that it would take similar measures to ‘protect national security’ America brought last year.
For the U.S. restrictions to take effect, other major suppliers must join – and the Netherlands is home to major suppliers to semiconductor manufacturers.
ASML – Europe’s largest tech company, based in Feldhofen – has sold more than €8bn (£7.1bn) of advanced machinery to make semiconductors to Chinese customers since 2014.
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Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Mao Ning said it “resolutely opposes” the Netherlands’ decision to follow Washington, saying it would “intervene and restrict normal economic and trade exchanges”.
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“National Control List”
Earlier, the Dutch parliament announced the strict policy in a letter to MPs without mentioning China or ASML by name.
Trade Minister Liesje Schreinemacher wrote that the measures – titled a “national control list” for all semiconductor exports – would come into force this summer.
That means companies will have to apply for a license to export technology, such as equipment sold by ASML, which are “deep ultra-violent” lithography machines that use powerful lasers to create chips’ complex circuits.
ASML’s customers include South Korea’s Samsung, which manufactures most of its products in China, and world leader TSMC.
Taiwan manufactures about 90 percent of the world’s most advanced semiconductors, raising concerns about The Potential Impact of a Chinese Invasion on the Global Technology Supply Chain.
Already, some companies have been seen turning to new manufacturing plants in the United States.
Will Japan be next to impose tough rules?
The U.S. move in October required chip-making companies that use U.S. technology to make chips — even those not headquartered in the U.S. — to obtain special licenses to export to China.
Since then, the White House has been pushing the Netherlands and Japan to take a similar stance.
Japanese Trade Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said no decision had been made on whether to do so.
“We are constantly reviewing export rules for national security reasons,” he told MPs.