Bloomberg: Research linking former ASML employee to the Chinese state

Photo: ANP

Investigators are looking into possible links between the former ASML employee who embezzled information and the Chinese government. This was reported by Bloomberg News based on insiders. Chip machine maker ASML recently reported that an employee working in China had captured data about Veldhoven’s technology.

According to two Bloomberg sources, who wish to remain anonymous because the information is classified, investigators believe the former employee had ties to an organization backed by the Chinese state. The same organization had previously been associated with intellectual property theft. It is not clear which group would be interested in this.

Among other things, US government officials will investigate the data breach. ASML says in its response that it is conducting its own investigation and will not explain it now.

ASML accounts for more than 90 percent of all lithographic chip machines in the world, where light beams put extremely precise patterns on chips. This makes the company an important link in the global production of cutting-edge semiconductors, which are used in more and more devices.

For example, ASML is the only company in the world that manufactures the most advanced machines for chip production, the so-called EUV machines. The Dutch company was not allowed to export them to China for some time. The United States, the Netherlands and Japan recently agreed that certain second-to-last generation devices, DUV devices, may not be sold to Chinese companies.

The United States has increased pressure since last year to limit the export of high-quality chip technology to China. This should prevent China from creating highly advanced weapons, as the Americans claim.

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