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Netherlands plans curbs on exporting chipmaking tech to China under U.S. pressure

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Dutch authorities are reportedly planning to implement new controls on the export of chip-making equipment to China, according to Bloomberg.

An agreement on the proposed Dutch controls on exports of chip-making equipment to China could be reached as early as next month. These individuals also indicated that negotiations are ongoing and no final decision has been made.

The news follows Dutch Trade Minister Liesje Schreinemacher's announcement last month that the Netherlands is in discussions with the U.S. government about new export restrictions for semiconductor equipment to China. After Germany, China is the Netherlands' second-largest trading partner, according to CBS.

The Dutch government, under pressure from the United States, has not granted licenses to ASML Holdings NV, the Netherlands' largest company and a major maker of semiconductor equipment, to ship its most advanced machines to China since 2018. This is because these machines are considered "dual-use" equipment with potential military applications. In 2021 alone, ASML had over €2 billion in sales to customers in China.

Earlier this year, the United States restricted the export of advanced chip-making equipment to China. In September, the Biden administration broadened the curbs stopping the export of semiconductors used for artificial intelligence as well.

After SMIC, China's largest contract chipmaker, was added to the trade blacklist in 2020 and prohibited from accessing U.S. manufacturing equipment and advanced technologies for producing chips with 10nm-class (and sub-10nm-class) nodes, it shifted its focus to developing sophisticated multi-chip designs using 14nm and thicker tiles.

The move to stop equipment exports from the Netherlands could further derail the chip-making capabilities of Chinese semiconductor firms.

Source: Bloomberg (via Reuters/CBS)

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