China urges the Netherlands to not apply export restrictions on ASML chip machines
China has urged the Netherlands not to employ export restrictions on products from the chip industry, according to a statement from the Chinese Ministry of Commerce. The statement appears to be the country’s response to the export restrictions on the Dutch microchip machinery manufacturer ASML.
Minister Liesje Schreinemacher (Foreign Trade) announced on Friday that ASML would no longer be allowed to export certain chip-making machines to China from September. It was already known in March that this export restriction was coming. At that time, it was revealed that certain ASML machines, including the advanced DUV machines, would be subject to national licensing requirements.
“We’ve given careful consideration to this decision and drafted the ministerial order as precisely as possible. That way, we can address the most important vulnerabilities without causing unnecessary disruption to the global manufacture of chips,” the minister said in her statement.
ASML is a world leader in the development of chip-making machines. The Veldhoven-based company does not expect the restrictions to have a major impact on its financial results. In addition, ASML's exports have been restricted for some time. For instance, modern EUV machines have not been allowed to be exported to China for several years.
The export restriction came about as a result of pressure from the US government. The U.S. had already announced last year that it would export less chip technology to China, fearing that it could be used for military purposes. China also voiced its displeasure in March, but so far has not taken any action against the Netherlands. However, the issue has been discussed "frequently and at various levels," according to the statement.
The Chinese embassy in The Hague already said on Friday that it sees the restriction as "a misuse of export control mechanisms" that "seriously disrupt free trade rules".
Reporting by ANP and NL Times