ASML maintains campus recruitment pace in China, shows its unwillingness to lose market share
Published: Sep 26, 2023 09:25 PM



Dutch semiconductor equipment maker ASML started its 2024 campus recruitment program in China on Tuesday, with key positions related to scanners, e-beams and computational lithography.

The recruitment program this year, which is about the same size as that of last year, shows that the company is staying committed to the Chinese market, despite geopolitical headwinds that are affecting the global chip supply chain, a Chinese analyst said.

The company, which had net global sales revenue of 21.2 billion euros ($22.46 billion) in 2022, said it plans to hire some 200 professionals this year, roughly the same as last year, indicating steady growth in its Chinese business.

"The continuous hiring by ASML at this critical juncture implies the company's confidence in China's vast market and its unwillingness to lose market share here," Xiang Ligang, director-general of the Beijing-based Information Consumption Alliance, told the Global Times on Sunday.

"Even if sales for certain machines are blocked in the future, the company will still need employees to maintain its existing fleet of lithography machines in China and service customers," Xiang said. 

Under new Dutch export control regulations that took effect on September 1, the company is required to have licenses to continue shipments of chip tools to China. 

The company said it has the required licenses for China-bound shipments of the NXT:2000i and subsequent systems until the end of 2023.

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.

ASML sells about 80 Deep Ultraviolet Lithography machines to China each year, accounting for around 15 percent of the company's revenue, an analyst said.

Isolating China completely through export controls is not a viable approach, ASML CEO Peter Wennink emphasized during an interview.

China and the Netherlands have maintained communication on chip equipment export controls and China has urged the Netherlands not to abuse export control measures regarding semiconductor products, according to China's Ministry of Commerce.

In 2000, the Dutch giant that makes lithography machines established ASML China and built its first office in the country. After 23 years of development, the company now has more than 1,600 employees and 16 offices in China.