China faces more US pressure on their semiconductor industry in 2023 amid tightened export controls backed by Japan and Netherlands, reports (SCMP) South China Morning Post.
“The United States, Japan, and the Netherlands have agreed to tighten the country’s access to certain chip manufacturing equipment and technologies, dealing a fresh blow to Beijing’s semiconductor development ambitions,” reported SCMP. They said it’s now widely speculated that advanced wafer fabrication equipment from Dutch firm ASML would be “off limits to China”.
ASML manufactures all of the world’s extreme ultraviolet lithography machines, which are critical for producing cutting-edge semiconductors.
China could easily circumvent the export bans for advanced semiconductors, as it has been doing for many years. Acquiring huge lithography machines is much more difficult, and making them from scratch is nearly impossible. Furthermore, only a few hundred of those machines are sold every year, making it much easier to control their destination.
SCMP reports the announcement was immediately followed by reports that the Biden administration has considered cutting off telecommunications equipment maker Huawei Technologies Co from all of its US suppliers, years after the Shenzhen-based company was added by Washington to its trade blacklist and further restricted its access to advanced chips.
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