China, Netherlands maintain communications on chip tool export control: MOFCOM
Published: Aug 31, 2023 06:00 PM
A chip manufacture machine Photo: VCG

A chip manufacture machine Photo: VCG

China and the Netherlands maintain communications on chip equipment export controls. It is hoped all parties including the Netherlands will ensure the legitimate rights and interests of enterprises by holding an objective and fair standing, respecting market principles, respecting contracts, and following international rules and free and open international trade, Shu Jueting, a spokesperson of China's Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM), said on Thursday.

The comment came as new Dutch export control regulations set to come into effect on September 1.

On June 30, the Dutch government announced a ministerial order restricting exports of certain advanced semiconductor equipment, a move widely believed to target China due to pressure from the US.

As a result, the Netherlands' chipmaking equipment giant ASML said that due to these export control regulations, ASML will need to apply for export licenses with the government for all shipments of its most advanced immersion deep ultraviolet (DUV) lithography systems.

DUV is less advanced than extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUV) machines but is indispensable in the production of many types of semiconductors. Sales of ASML's EUV tools to China have been restricted since 2019.

China has voiced strong opposition to the Netherlands' new rules restricting exports of the equipment, and urged the Netherlands not to abuse export control measures regarding semiconductor products.

The Dutch side should proceed from safeguarding international economic and trade rules and the overall situation of China-Netherlands economic and trade cooperation. They should respect market principles and the spirit of the contract and avoid relevant measures hindering the regular cooperation and development of the semiconductor industry of the two countries, a spokesperson from MOFCOM said on July 1, according to a statement on the ministry's website.

Analysts said the Netherlands' move may deal a deadly blow to its semiconductor machinery sector and harm China-Netherlands trade and economic relations.

"The Netherlands' decision is catastrophic to both ASML and the European country's semiconductor industry, while the US will not make up for their losses," said Xiang Ligang, director-general of the Beijing-based Information Consumption Alliance, noting that ASML sells about 80 DUVs to China per year, accounting for around 15 percent of its revenue.

Global Times