Netherlands blocks ASML exports to China in partial license revocation

(Reuters) -Chip machine manufacturer ASML on Monday said the Dutch government had partially revoked an export license for the shipment of some chip-making equipment to China, following U.S. export restrictions.

The Veldhoven, Netherlands-based company said shipments included certain lithography systems.

“A license for the shipment of NXT:2050i and NXT:2100i lithography systems in 2023 has recently been partially revoked by the Dutch government, impacting a small number of customers in China,” the company said.

ASML dominates the market for lithography systems, which use lasers to help create chip circuitry.

The company said it does not expect the revocation or the latest U.S. export control restrictions to have a material impact on its financial outlook for 2023.

In recent years, China has been ASML’s third-largest market after Taiwan and South Korea, but it was the biggest in the third quarter of 2023, with 46% of the company’s sales.

In 2023, the United States announced new rules giving Washington the right to restrict the export of ASML’s “Twinscan NXT1930Di” machine if it contains any U.S. parts.

Soon after, several Dutch lawmakers challenged the Netherlands’ Trade Minister over whether the United States had acted correctly in unilaterally imposing rules regulating the export to China of another ASML chipmaking machine.

“In recent discussions with the US government, ASML has obtained further clarification of the scope and impact of the US export control regulations,” the semiconductor equipment maker said in a statement. “ASML is fully committed to comply with all applicable laws and regulations including export control legislation in the countries in which we operate.”

(Reporting by Mrinmay Dey in Bengaluru; Editing by Stephen Coates and Gerry Doyle)