As early as this Friday, Japan and the Netherlands could agree with the United States on participation in the export restrictions against Chinese chip manufacturers. Bloomberg reports, citing unnamed sources familiar with the negotiations. But there are no plans to make an agreement publicly known. The sanctions would probably “simply be implemented,” it said. Together, the three states would form a powerful alliance that could severely disrupt China’s chip manufacturing ambitions. It’s primarily about the industry giants ASML and Tokyo Electron (TEL), but also Nikon.
As early as December there were reports that the USA had managed to get the two supplier countries on board with chip sanctions. The negotiations are only now coming to an end. This involves manufacturing equipment that can be used to produce semiconductor components with structures of 14 nanometers or finer. The sanctions are intended to prevent China from being able to produce even the most modern semiconductors, for example for military technology. Restrictions on the sale of lithography systems for the exposure of silicon wafers already apply to ASML, and these are now likely to be expanded. TEL manufactures systems for semiconductor factories apart from the pure exposure processes, such as etching machines and test systems.
In the dispute between the United States and China, the step is a further escalation, Bloomberg quotes an expert as saying. Previously, US companies had criticized that the sanctions would give competition abroad an advantage. After all, it’s about one of the most important markets for high-tech systems. Accordingly, the stock markets have already reacted, the course of the Chinese Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. (SMIC) in the meantime in the red, also for ASML, TEL and Nikon it went down slightly.
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