Caught between a rock and a hard place: ASML delays China delivery

Collin Arocho
Leestijd: 1 minuut

It appears that ASML is the next victim of the political crossfire between the US and China. According to the Nikkei Asian Review, the global leader of EUV chipmaking machines has announced that it will delay its shipment to China’s Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC) at the behest of the US government, which has promised to carefully scrutinize all major companies within the supply chains of Chinese tech.

ASML is forced to wade deeper into the murky waters as it tries to avoid upsetting China and its Chinese customers. While this is seen as an obstacle for China in its bid for technological dominance, the Dutch company’s use of the word “delay” suggests the shipment is still due to come. In the report fom Nikkei Asian Review, ASML was quoted as saying, “A request for the renewal/extension of the export license for EUV to China is currently being processed by the Dutch government. Pending this process we cannot ship EUV to China.”

US companies like Intel and Micron account for roughly 16 percent of ASML’s yearly system sales, totalling 8.3 billion euros. Additionally, the company’s Connecticut-based plant holds nearly 20 percent of the components it needs to build its machines. On the other side of the coin is China, the fastest-growing technology market in the world, which accounted for 19 percents of ASML’s sales last year – leaving ASML’s tight rope act to continue for now.

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