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3 Jul, 2023 05:20

EU country joins US chip export curbs to China

The Netherlands has imposed new restrictions on key chip manufacturing technologies
EU country joins US chip export curbs to China

The Dutch government has announced new rules restricting exports of certain semiconductor equipment to China, following a similar move by the US earlier this year.

The Netherlands is home to one of the most important semiconductor companies in the world, ASML, which makes machinery required to produce the most advanced chips.

Under the new rules, companies in the Netherlands will need to apply for a license to export certain advanced semiconductor manufacturing equipment overseas. The rules will come into effect on September 1.

“We have taken this step in the interest of our national security,” Dutch Trade Minister Liesje Schreinemacher said, adding that the equipment could have military applications.

A “very limited” number of companies and product models will be affected, the minister noted, without elaborating on the countries subject to the limitations.

The Chinese Embassy in the Netherlands called the new law “an abuse of export control measures and seriously disrupted free trade and international trade rules.”

Nevertheless, the embassy said it is ready to “work with the Dutch side to address the issue based on the principle of mutual benefit, so as to jointly promote the healthy development of Sino-Dutch economic and trade relations.”

The development comes after the US introduced sweeping restrictions last October aiming to cut off exports of key chips and semiconductor tools to China. Since then, Washington has been pushing key chipmaking nations and allies like the Netherlands and Japan to follow its lead and introduce export restrictions of their own.

Last week, media outlets reported that the US authorities were contemplating new export controls on microchips used to develop AI in China. The move is expected to dent sales in the world’s top semiconductor market.

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