The Dutch chip machine manufacturer ASML may temporarily not supply its most advanced machines to China. Previously granted permits to sell strategic technology to China have expired. The ban may be a result of concerns within the European Union about the increasing Chinese economic influence in Europe. In addition, the Netherlands is currently preparing a new China policy.
The technology giant is waiting for approval to resume deliveries. The company confirms this after asking questions from the Dutch economic television channel RTL Z. The blocked sale involves the expensive EUV machines that ASML is the world leader in, and with which the most powerful computer chips can be made.
The advanced technology falls under the Wassenaar Convention. 42 countries have drawn up a list of technology that cannot simply be delivered to other countries. This is strategic technology that can also be used for military purposes. China is not a participant in the treaty, and therefore requires a permit.
ASML is now waiting for a new license to be issued by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Other machines that are less advanced may be supplied to Chinese companies without a permit.
In addition to the lack of the required license, according to the Japanese Nikkei Asian Review, ASML is also a victim of the trade war between the United States and China. The company would fear American sanctions if it supplies goods and equipment to Chinese companies.
President Trump also puts pressure on foreign companies that supply Chinese companies that collaborate with Chinese tech company Huawei. ASML has several customers who make chips for Huawei.
Huawei has been blacklisted by the US. American companies can only do business with Huawei with explicit permission. ASML could also be the victim of this, because the chip machine maker also has an American branch. The United States has called on the EU countries not to supply products to Huawei and not to buy telecom equipment from the Chinese.
The introduction of G5 technology is currently being prepared in EU. Several EU countries are about to purchase Huawei equipment for G5. Several ICT investigators and security services have warned that the Chinese authorities can use that equipment to spy in the EU. There are similar objections to equipment from the Russian Kapersky.
The Dutch company does not want to say anything about orders and deliveries to individual customers, because that is strategically sensitive information.