The chief executive of ASML Holding, a leading manufacturer of semiconductor equipment, has questioned the US’s efforts to persuade the Netherlands to adopt new regulations restricting exports to China.
ASML CEO Peter Wennink said US companies selling alternative technology were benefiting from restrictions on the company on exporting its most advanced lithography machines to China. The restrictions were imposed following pressure from the United States.
Wennink said it seemed contradictory that US chip manufacturers are able to sell their most advanced chips to Chinese customers, while ASML is only able to sell older chipmaking equipment.
“American chip manufacturers have no problem with China as a customer,” he said.
Meanwhile, “it is common knowledge that chip technology for purely military applications is usually 10, 15 years old. (Yet) the technology used to make such chips can still be sold to China,” he added.
Wennink’s comments follow a US push to rope in Netherlands and Japan in its ongoing chip war against China.
“Maybe they think we should come across the table, but ASML has already sacrificed,” CEO Peter Wennink said in an interview with newspaper NRC Handelsblad.
He added that while 15% of ASML’s sales are in China, US chip equipment suppliers “it is 25 or sometimes more than 30%”.
A spokesperson for ASML confirmed the remarks in the interview were accurate but declined to comment further.
The Biden administration issued new export rules for US companies in October aimed at cutting off China’s ability to manufacture advanced semiconductor chips in a bid to slow its military and technological advances.
Washington is urging the Netherlands, Japan and other unspecified countries with companies that make cutting edge manufacturing equipment to adopt similar rules. The Dutch trade minister has confirmed talks are ongoing.
- Reuters, with additional editing by Vishakha Saxena