Following the United States’ recent escalation of restrictions regarding the kind of semiconductors domestic firms are allowed to sell to the Chinese market, the Dutch government imposed similar restrictions on exports shipped by Veldhoven-based semiconductor maker ASML.

According to a statement issued by the company on January 2nd, the government partially revoked its license to ship NXT:2050i and NXT:2100i lithographic systems to China. However, it added that this is expected to affect only a small number of its clients in China.

According to ASML’s chief executive officer Peter Wennik, the restrictions could affect up to 15% of his company’s sales to Chinese companies. However, he does not see these or the revocation of its export license affect ASML’s financials as the 2023 fiscal year draws to a close.

What is ASML?

ASML is best known for the production of lithography equipment. The company’s lithography machines are used to print patterns onto silicon chips, a critical part of the production of microchips for numerous industries.

Being one of the leading companies in its specific field, ASML, and its products have been a bone of contention between Western nations and China.

Growing Pressure

The Netherlands has been pressured by the United States to limit any exports to China, particularly those related to the production of chips for the use of the nascent artificial intelligence (AI) industry. Indeed, US regulators have actively encouraged its allies to impose similar restrictions against shipping finished chips and chip-production equipment to the Asian giant.

For its part, however, ASML declared that it is currently going over the expanded export controls implemented by the United States in October last year. This is in order to check for any adverse implications these may have on its operations, particularly its exports.