Chinese minister calls for continued advanced chipmaking equipment trade with Netherlands

According to Chinese Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, China considers the Netherlands should help companies meet their contractual obligations and guarantee usual trade in the lithography machines between the two countries.

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China is hoping that the Netherlands will ensure ‘normal’ commercial relations for lithography machines, as discussed on Wednesday in a meeting to strengthen cooperation in the semiconductor industry between Dutch Trade Minister Geoffrey van Leeuwen and Chinese Commerce Minister Wang Wentao.
The Chinese official told his counterpart that China regards the Netherlands as a ‘trustworthy’ economic and commercial partner.

Why does it matter?

Lithography machines are essential tools for chipmaking processes in the semiconductor industry. Under pressure from the US, the Dutch government recently began restricting licenses for Dutch giant ASML to export sophisticated semiconductor equipment to China, such as advanced immersion deep ultraviolet (DUV) tool lines.

The move was seen as the Netherlands joining the US campaign to limit advanced chip and equipment exports to the world’s second-largest economy in an attempt to prevent ASML from providing critical equipment and slow down both civilian and military progress. China still regards the Netherlands as a ‘trustworthy’ economic and trade partner, expressing a shared commitment to oppose the severing of supply chains. Any high-tech decoupling would hinder Chinese efforts to produce their own advanced semiconductors.