Home » News » Exclusive-US to press Dutch next week to curb ASML’s work servicing tools for China, sources say

Exclusive-US to press Dutch next week to curb ASML’s work servicing tools for China, sources say

By Karen Freifeld, Alexandra Alper and Toby Sterling

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The Biden administration plans to press the Netherlands next week to stop its top chipmaking equipment maker ASML from servicing some tools in China, two people familiar with the matter said, as the U.S. leans on allies in its bid to hobble Beijing’s tech sector.

Alan Estevez, the U.S. export policy chief, is scheduled to meet in the Netherlands next Monday with officials from the Dutch government and ASML Holding NV to discuss the servicing contracts, the people said.

Washington may also be seeking to add to a list of Chinese chipmaking factories restricted from receiving Dutch equipment as part of the discussions, one of the people said.

The Dutch Foreign Ministry confirmed the upcoming meeting but did not elaborate on which topics would be on the agenda.

“The Netherlands always has good discussions with our partners. The meeting of officials on Monday is one example of that,” the Ministry told Reuters.

The Commerce Department and ASML declined to comment, and the Chinese Embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

ASML shares briefly turned negative after the news.

The meeting is the latest move by Washington to convince allies to join its efforts to further crackdown on Beijing’s ability to produce cutting-edge chips, after sanctioned Chinese telecoms giant Huawei shocked the world last year with a new phone powered by a sophisticated chip.

The Huawei Mate 60 Pro is seen as a symbol of the China’s technological resurgence despite Washington’s ongoing efforts to cripple its capacity to produce advanced semiconductors.

Chip-related exports to China are vital for its economy. Chinese President Xi Jinping complained to President Joe Biden this week about U.S. efforts to block certain U.S. technologies, including advanced semiconductors, saying it hindered China’s development.

Restrictions on servicing ASML machines could be particularly painful given the large and expensive tools require constant maintenance. China was ASML’s second-largest market by sales last year (29%), after Taiwan.

(Reporting by Karen Freifeld and Alexandra Alper; Additional Reporting by Toby Sterling in Amsterdam; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama, Lisa Shumaker and David Gregorio)

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