Due to new US restrictions, the Dutch company ASML has suspended sales to Chinese manufacturers of semiconductor manufacturing equipment, and has also begun recalling its employees from enterprises. ASML is the world's largest supplier of lithographic scanners, which are essential for the production of all semiconductor products. The letter sent by ASML management to employees was published by Rhodium Group analyst Jordan Schneider.
Earlier it became known that American companies supplying equipment for the production of chips suspended sales and services to Chinese manufacturers due to US export restrictions. According to the Financial Times, these include Lam Research, Applied Materials and KLA Corporation. American manufacturers, according to the publication, have suspended deliveries to both already functioning and plants under construction.
This latest move in the US-China trade war would be a huge economic blow to China, an aerospace chip engineer told The Insider.
“The implications are not very clear yet, because they affect not only ASML, but also all other major equipment suppliers and, most importantly, individuals with US citizenship. In the worst case, the Chinese semiconductor industry will be set back many years, and after such an economic blow, China will seriously retaliate against the US. But in any case, we are talking about a huge economic loss to China.”
In early October, the administration of US President Joe Biden imposed restrictions on the supply of semiconductors and equipment for the production of microcircuits to China. Export of products manufactured using American technologies for the production of artificial intelligence calculations is possible only under a special license issued by the US authorities. Under the same conditions, the cooperation of US citizens with Chinese chip manufacturers is limited.
In addition, all US individuals and entities must obtain approval from the Department of Commerce to provide support to Chinese factories.
Experts compare the adopted sanctions with the attack of the Donald Trump administration against Huawei in 2019. However, if Trump's actions were targeted, then the Biden administration is trying to build a consistent policy in the field of exports, which will already affect dozens of Chinese companies.
According to experts interviewed by the FT, the new US measures could push Chinese companies back to the Stone Age.