January 30, 2023
Japan and the Netherlands reportedly have agreed to limit sales of advanced chip-making equipment to China, at the urging of the U.S.
The goal is to curb China’s ability to develop its own advanced semiconductor manufacturing capability, which could be used to military purposes, according to several news reports.
The U.S., Japan and the Netherlands are home to the most important companies that make chip-manufacturing equipment, according to Bloomberg News. They are Applied Materials Inc. in the U.S., Tokyo Electron Ltd., in Japan, and ASML in the Netherlands.
Last October, the Biden administration banned the sale of certain advanced chips and chipmaking tools to China, citing national security and foreign policy concerns. Companies affected by the restrictions include Nvidia, AMD, KLA Corporation and Lam Research.
Back then, China had responded angrily to the curbs, reportedly accusing the U.S. of abusing export control measures to “maliciously block and suppress Chinese companies” to maintain its “sci-tech hegemony.”
In December, China challenged the U.S. ban before the World Trade Organization, saying that restrictions on these products − those that could have dual commercial-military uses – were 55% more than what is limited by other international agreements including the U.N. Security Council Resolution 1540, Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and others.
AMSL CEO Peter Wennink said these export controls could finally push China into developing its own advanced chip-making equipment. “If they cannot get those machines, they will develop them themselves,” he told Bloomberg. “That will take time, but ultimately, they will get there.”
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