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China Raises Dutch Chip Curbs, Sanctions on Call With Raimondo

“We are deeply concerned by the direct involvement of the United States in interferring with the export of lithography machines by Dutch companies to China,” a commerce ministry spokesperson said

China commerce minister Wang Wentao is due to meet his US counterpart in Washington on Thursday May 24.
Commerce minister Wang Wentao. Photo: Reuters.


Beijing has expressed concern and opposition to US “interference” in Dutch chip tool exports and sanctions targeting Chinese companies, in a phone call with US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo.

China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao focussed on the United States’ restrictions on third-party exports of lithography machines to China, a (US) investigation into the legacy chip supply chain, and sanctions that suppress Chinese enterprises,” his ministry said in a statement on Thursday.

Netherlands, home to the world’s leading chip equipment maker ASML, has cut off shipments of key chipmaking machines to China on the back of lobbying by the United States.


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Washington has used export controls to cut off China’s access to advanced chips and chip-making tools that could fuel breakthroughs in AI and sophisticated computers for its military.

Its allies the Netherlands and Japan have implemented those restrictions as well.

“We are deeply concerned by the direct involvement of the United States in interferring with the export of lithography machines by Dutch companies to China,” Shu Jueting, a commerce ministry spokesperson, said at a press conference on Thursday.

The statement follows a decision by the Netherlands to revoke ASML’s licences to export some of its equipment to China on January 1.

The company’s most sophisticated machines – extreme ultraviolet “EUV” lithography machines – are already restricted and have never been shipped to China.

New US export bans in October then stopped ASML from even sending older models of its DUV semiconductor equipment to China.

China was ASML’s biggest market in the third quarter of 2023, and responsible for 46% of the company’s sales.

“China firmly opposes the US instrumentalising and weaponising export control issues, and even wantonly interferring in normal trade… we urge the Dutch side to respect the spirit of the contract,” Shu said at the presser.

Commerce Minister Wang’s discussion with Raimondo also highlights Beijing’s concern at a US Department of Commerce survey into how US companies are sourcing so-called legacy chips – current-generation and mature-node semiconductors.

The department said the survey aims to reduce national security risks posed by China and will focus on the use and sourcing of Chinese-manufactured legacy chips in the supply chains of critical US industries.

Wang and Raimondo also discussed the boundary between national security concerns and trade and economic cooperation, China’s commerce ministry said.


  • 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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