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The export of EUV ASML scanners to China in 2020 was banned at the insistence of the Dutch defense department.
Excerpts from official documents published in local media confirm that in 2020 the ban on the supply of advanced lithographic equipment from the Netherlands to China was carried out at the insistence of the Ministry of Defense of this country, which, in turn, acted at the insistence of the US authorities. In the near future, the Dutch government should further restrict the supply of ASML equipment to China.
Exports of ASML equipment to China should be further restricted for the foreseeable future, and related national security negotiations are currently underway between the Netherlands and the US. The news for the stock market will overshadow the impact of ASML's last quarter financial report, which is expected next week. Now the company receives up to 15% of its total revenue in the Chinese direction, and the local market continues to grow rapidly.
In early October, we recall, the US authorities imposed their own additional export restrictions on China, and since then they have been persuading the Netherlands and Japan to join them to one degree or another. Officials in the Netherlands are trying to take into account the economic interests of national equipment suppliers, the largest of which is ASML. The country's trade minister Liesje Schreinemacher said from the WEF rostrum in Davos yesterday: "I know that there is serious international pressure, but I will fight for the principles of free trade and against protectionism."
The country's authorities are now trying to develop rules that would not restrict companies from the Netherlands more than American ones. Secondly, these restrictions need to be synchronized with Japan. Thirdly, you need to make sure that the new restrictions will not be a shock to the world market for semiconductor components, which is already not in the best condition.
Analysts expect ASML to post a net profit of €1.68 billion and a record revenue of €6.37 billion last quarter. In November, the company's management raised its annual revenue forecast by 25%, by 2030 the company expects to receive at least 30 billion euros annually. The US sanctions in October alone could reduce ASML's order book by 5%, but if the Netherlands tightens restrictions on its side, the losses could be larger.
Until 2014, the supply of equipment for DUV lithography to China was limited, but then the ban was lifted, and ASML has since managed to gain more than 8 billion euros in this direction. There is a possibility that such restrictions may return.
From the revelations of Financieele Dagblad, it became known that in 2020 the Dutch authorities heeded the recommendation of the local Ministry of Defense to refrain from supplying EUV lithography equipment to China. According to representatives of the Dutch defense department, if the supply of such equipment to China had not been stopped, then the chances of any of the NATO countries would have increased many times over to face the need to defend themselves against advanced weapons produced by a potential adversary. The document simultaneously emphasized that “the most important strategic partner in the field of security (USA) has submitted an urgent request for appropriate content to the authorities of the Netherlands” in order to prevent the export of EUV lithography to China.