Treasury: Fewer ASML chip machines to China

Brabant chip machine giant ASML is allowed to export less advanced chip machines to China. This was announced by Minister Liese Schrenemacher (Foreign Trade) in an exclusive interview with De Telegraaf. This is a matter of national security.”

After years of pressure from the United States, the Cabinet partially restricted the export of Dutch chip machines to China. Where the latest chip machines have already been allowed out of China, there will now be a requirement to obtain a permit to export some of the older machines: this means that the older, more advanced models may not be sold to the Chinese. ASML is the largest manufacturer of chip machines in the world.

“We want to prevent Dutch equipment from being used in military applications,” says Schrenemacher. “We also want to make sure that we maintain our technological leadership. And we want to reduce our strategic dependence on China.”

The Cabinet made this decision after extensive consultations with America, Japan – the only other country in the world that also produces chip machines – and Brussels. In January, the issue was still on the table during a visit by Prime Minister Rutte to US President Biden at the White House.

The export restriction must take effect before summer. Schrenemacher wants other EU countries to adopt the Dutch policy: “I think it’s important to show that we are one bloc.”

ASML has publicly opposed stricter export restrictions. China remains the world’s most important chip producer. The government wants Europe to take control of chip production itself. “More chip factories should be built in Europe,” says Schrenemacher.

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