According to Bloomberg, the U.S. is pushing the Netherlands government to ban a Dutch firm ASML Holding NV, from selling key chip making technology to China. 

The news outlet reported that the U.S is lobbying the Dutch officials to ban ASML from selling some deep ultraviolet lithography, or DUV systems to the Chinese market.

So far, the Netherlands has not taken a final decision. But if they agree, it would substantially expand the list of chipmaking technologies that are forbidden to sell to China. And the move could be a severe blow to key Chinese chipmakers.

The source told Bloomberg that the Dutch government has not yet agreed to any additional restrictions on ASML’s exports to Chinese semiconductors as it might hurt trade relations with China.

Failure to obtain an export license from the government, ASML cannot sell its most advanced extreme ultraviolet, or EUV lithography systems to China. 

ASML is the world’s top lithography system producer. This equipment plays a crucial step in the semiconductor-making process. 

Eliminating China from obtaining this equipment will cut the country from accessing key products, undermining its ability to be more self-sufficient in chip production. 

For the last couple of years, Washington has been expanding its effort to curb China’s ambition to become a key player in the semiconductor field, which potentially challenges U.S. leadership in chip technology. 

The U.S. plans to invest 52 billion dollars in semiconductor manufacturing subsidies and bolster U.S. competitiveness with China’s technology. 

The Chinese regime has pushed up its ambition to achieve global chip dominance as a part of its Made in China 2025 plan. 

To help the chip industry, in 2014, the communist regime established a National Semiconductor Fund of 23 billion dollars. Another 30 billion dollar investment was announced in 2019. Local governments have spent at least 25 billion dollars more on such funds. In 2020, the government also put out a ten years of corporate-tax exemption for the most advanced chip makers.

Last month, a top Chinese economist even recommended invading Taiwan to seize global chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) if the U.S. imposes Russia-like sanctions on China. 

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