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U.S. seeks to tighten semiconductor exports to China, starting as soon as April

By Liu Hongzuo - on 13 Mar 2023, 12:44pm

U.S. seeks to tighten semiconductor exports to China, starting as soon as April

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels.

The United States of America (the U.S.) may tighten its grip on exporting semiconductors and chipsets to China. The new restrictions are set to happen as early as April.

According to multiple reports by Bloomberg and Reuters (1, 2, 3), the U.S. is considering a new wave of semiconductor export restrictions to China. Unfortunately, it won’t be the only one doing so recently.

Earlier last week, The Netherlands government announced its intention to place new export restrictions on semiconductor technology to China, which Bloomberg claimed to be the “first concrete move” by the Dutch authorities. In a letter to the Dutch parliament, its Trade Minister, Liesje Schreinemacher, said that the Dutch’s export control would impact deep ultraviolet (DUV) lithography chipmaking systems – implying that both chipmaker ASML and its key trading partner (China) will be affected. The restrictions may come into play before summer.

A few days after, the U.S. government approached U.S. chipmaking companies to brief them about its joint effort with The Netherlands and Japan to further restrict chipmaking exports to China. These restrictions are layered on top of relatively fresh ones imposed in October last year, where semiconductor manufacturers require licenses to sell chips to China’s buyers.

According to South China Morning Post, these new restrictions would potentially cap China’s chipmaking capabilities at 14mm for DRAM manufacturing, and 18mm for 3D NAND chips at 128 layers. 

Source: Bloomberg, Reuters (1, 2), South China Morning Post

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