ASML blocked from exporting some critical chipmaking tools to China

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Dutch firm ASML makes one of the most important pieces of machinery required to manufacture the most advanced chips in the world. U.S. chip curbs have left companies, including ASML, scrambling to figure out what the rules mean in practice.

Emmanuel Dunand | AFP | Getty Images

ASML, which makes machines that are critical to manufacturing the most advanced semiconductors, was barred by the Dutch government from exporting some of its tools to China, the company said.

In a statement released Monday, ASML, which is headquartered in Veldhoven, Netherlands, said a license for the shipment of its NXT:2050i and NXT:2100i lithography systems in 2023 has “recently been partially revoked by the Dutch government.”

ASML shares were down about 1% in morning trade.

ASML sells lithography machines that are a key part of the chip manufacturing process. One type of machine they sell is called an extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography machine which is used to make the most advanced chips around, such as those that go into an Apple iPhone.

For several years, ASML has been barred from exporting this machine to China. To date, it has not yet shipped a single EUV machine to China.

The second type of tool it sells is called an immersion deep ultraviolet (DUV) lithography machine, which are used to make slightly less advanced chips. The NXT:2050i and NXT:2100i which are caught up in the Dutch government’s latest export curbs are DUV lithography machines.

The revokation of the shipping license comes after the U.S. government tightened export controls on advanced semiconductors and chipmaking tools to China in October, building on previous rules.

ASML said in its statement that in recent discussions with the U.S. government, the company has “obtained further clarification of the scope and impact” of the October updated export controls. These curbs “impose restrictions on certain mid critical DUV immersion lithography systems for a limited number of advanced production facilities.”

The Dutch government, following U.S. pressure, introduced its own curbs in June on the export of advanced semiconductor equipment.

A spokesperson for the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs was not immediately available for comment when contacted by CNBC.

ASML said it does not expect the revocation of its export license of U.S. export controls “to have a material impact on our financial outlook for 2023.”

ASML has previously said that it expects fourth quarter net sales of between 6.7 billion euros ($7.4 billion) and 7.1 billion euros.



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