ASML expects more business with Chinese partners despite pressure from US

By Yin Yeping Source:Global Times Published: 2020/1/6 21:28:40

A domestically developed artificial intelligence chip is displayed during the 2019 World Artificial Intelligence Conference held in Shanghai. Photo: VCG

Dutch semiconductor equipment company ASML told the Global Times on Monday that its exports to China are likely to see a further increase, after a Reuters report said that the Trump administration is mounting an extensive campaign to block the sale of Dutch chip manufacturing technology to China.

The effort culminated in the White House in July 2019 when Deputy National Security Advisor Charles Kupperman raised the issue with Dutch officials during the visit of Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte, who was given an intelligence report on the potential repercussions of China acquiring ASML's technology, according to the report.

The Dutch government decided not to renew ASML's export license, following Rutte's visit, Reuters said.

An industry insider told the Global Times the current chip production line at Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC), one of ASML's Chinese clients, is running at full capacity and the Chinese chip-maker is in urgent need of more chip-making machines from ASML.

Vivian Zhou, a ASML company staff, told the Global Times on Monday that the company is still awaiting the approval of a new license that it requested from the Dutch government.

SMIC told the Global Times on Tuesday that they are still doing paperwork on the extreme ultraviolet license and no action has been done with it. "The research and development (R&D) of our advanced technology process is going well. So far the connection of production and R&D is on the right track. We are working smoothly with our clients and all equipment moving-in function well," the company said.

Products from ASML sent to China have seen a rising trend in recent years. The 2019 figure will not be released until late January, Zhou said. 

"There is a growing tendency in recent years and there is the possibility that the export volume to China for 2020 should also show an increase," she said, adding that there has been a long period of cooperation with the company's Chinese clients, which are very good clients.

ASML's Chinese clients include Yangtze Memory Technologies Co, ChangXin Memory Technologies and SMIC, according to the Dutch company.


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