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ASML Will Not Service Some China Equipment, Outgoing CEO Hints

Washington has been lobbying the Dutch to prevent ASML from servicing some of the billions of euros worth of tools it has already sold to Chinese customers

ASML assembly engineers work on a Twinscan DUV lithography system at their base in Veldhoven
ASML assembly engineers work on a Twinscan DUV lithography system at their base in Veldhoven. Photo: Reuters


ASML will stop servicing some equipment previously sold to Chinese customers, Peter Wennink, the outgoing chief executive of the world’s largest chip tools maker, has indicated.

Wennink said the US government will prevent the company from servicing Chinese lithography machines in some cases.

The US has, since last year, been pushing its allies, including the Dutch government, to tighten chip-related curbs targeting China and its military.


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As part of that push, Washington has been lobbying Mark Rutte-government to prevent ASML from servicing some of the billions of euros worth of tools it has already sold to Chinese customers.

In some cases that would include equipment whose export was approved or that had been sold before new restrictions were introduced in 2023.

While the Netherlands oversees its own export policies, national security interests and geopolitical concerns may push the Dutch government to give in to US pressure.

ASML has said it expects to be able to continue to service “most” Chinese customers through the end of this year, but Wennink said that was not true in all cases.

“We can service them, but not with US content, with spare parts that come out of the US that are under export control,” Wennink said.

US export curbs cover the segment of ASML’s product range known as “immersion” deep ultraviolet (DUV) lithography tools.

“But that’s for a limited number of systems. But we can install them. Anything else that we have sold, we can install and we can service,” Wennink said.



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‘Limited number of Chinese plants to be affected’

Wennink was speaking at the company’s annual general meeting, where he is due to retire and be replaced by veteran manager Christophe Fouquet, pending shareholder approval.

ASML is the largest maker of lithography equipment that are crucial to manufacture computer chips.

The company has faced a series of restrictions and licensing requirements from the US and Dutch governments in selling its more advanced equipment lines to Chinese customers.

Yet, China was ASML’s second-largest market by sales in 2023. About 20% of ASML’s global revenues come from servicing its installed base of tools.

Wennink says, however, that servicing restrictions “will not have a significant effect on the 2025 to 2030 financials, because it will be a limited number” of Chinese plants that are affected.

Last year, Wennink had warned against increasing chip export curbs targeting China, saying they would “force” the country “to become very innovative.”

China, to its credit, has been pouring billions of dollars into its semiconductor ecosystem to gain self-sufficiency in all variables of the chip supply chain.

Beijing is now pushing for the development of homegrown lithography systems for advanced chipmaking, but experts warn that such a breakthrough may be quite far, given China remains cut-off from the global tech ecosystem.

Even so, in its latest annual report, ASML warned of risks to its business from tightening chip export curbs. It also noted potential competition from “new competitors with substantial financial resources, as well as from competitors driven by the ambition of self-sufficiency in the geopolitical context.”


  • Reuters, with additional editing by Vishakha Saxena


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Vishakha Saxena

Vishakha Saxena is the Multimedia and Social Media Editor at Asia Financial. She has worked as a digital journalist since 2013, and is an experienced writer and multimedia producer. As a trader and investor, she is keenly interested in new economy, emerging markets and the intersections of finance and society. You can write to her at [email protected]


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