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US Pressures Netherlands to Cease Maintenance of Chinese Semiconductor Equipment

Daniel Kim Views  

집요한 美… 네덜란드에 中반도체 장비 보수 중단 압박

The Biden administration plans to persuade the Dutch government next week to block semiconductor equipment company ASML from providing equipment maintenance services to China. The administration’s push will extend beyond the Netherlands to Japan, Germany, and South Korea.

According to Reuters on the 4th (local time), Alan Estevez, Under Secretary of Commerce for Industry and Security, will meet with Dutch government officials and ASML officials in the Netherlands on Aug 8th to discuss the issue of ASML’s service contracts.

Under Secretary Estevez is in charge of the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), which oversees US government export control policies. “We’re trying to control services for semiconductor equipment that China bought before the export controls on China were announced to ensure that their equipment is ossified,” he told a US House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing last month.

The extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography equipment made by ASML n the Netherlands is the most crucial equipment in the semiconductor microprocessing. ASML sold its relatively old deep ultraviolet (DUV) lithography equipment to China in the face of increasing US export control pressure. However, the US also requires ASML not to provide the services necessary to maintain and repair semiconductor equipment, so China cannot properly utilize the equipment it has already imported.

The US is also reportedly considering adding other Chinese factories to the list of Chinese semiconductor factories to which Dutch companies are not allowed to export semiconductor equipment. US media reported that the US is increasing pressure on the Netherlands, Japan, South Korea, and Germany to strictly control semiconductor equipment against China.

In response to the Biden administration’s move, the Chinese Embassy in the US strongly criticized it, saying that “the US is overextending its national security concept and forcing other countries to participate in a high-tech blockade against China.” The Netherlands did not say what agenda it would discuss with its American counterpart.

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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