U.S. tech suppliers are stuck when it comes to helping China achieve its microchip ambitions, hamstrung by export restrictions from Washington designed to keep their wares out of Chinese hands.
But that’s not the case for Europeans, one of which is saying it doesn’t need a U.S. export license to sell some of its pricey chip-making equipment to Chinese buyers. Dutch company ASML gave its assessment as it and other tech firms increasingly get caught up in Washington’s ongoing battle to stymie China’s aspirations to become a world-class microchip maker.
The company’s CEO Peter Wennink told analysts ASML doesn’t need a U.S. export license to sell its chip-making equipment based on deep-ultraviolet technology (DUV) if it ships such products to China directly from its Netherlands headquarters. He didn’t comment on whether such sales would be allowed for the company’s most cutting-edge equipment using extreme ultraviolet (EUV) technology.
Wennink added that China accounted for about 21% of ASML’s revenue in its latest reporting quarter, and that it expected sales to “domestic Chinese customers” to grow to more than 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) this year.
Earlier this year, Reuters reported the U.S. had lobbied heavily to stop the sale of cutting-edge chip-making equipment to an unspecified Chinese buyer by ASML. That prompted China’s ambassador to the Netherlands to say he hoped the stalled sale of a Dutch firm’s cutting-edge chipmaking machinery to a Chinese buyer wasn’t due to political reasons.
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Contact reporter Yang Ge (firstname.lastname@example.org)