[News] ASML Reports Partial Revocation of Export Licenses for DUV Equipment

2024-01-03 Semiconductors editor

Dutch semiconductor equipment leader ASML Holding N.V. has announced that export licenses for certain equipment have been partially revoked by the Dutch government.

In a press release issued on January 1st, 2024, ASML stated, “A license for the shipment of NXT:2050i and NXT:2100i lithography systems in 2023 has recently been partially revoked by the Dutch government, impacting a small number of customers in China. We do not expect the current revocation of our export license or the latest U.S. export control restrictions to have a material impact on our financial outlook for 2023.

The press release further stated, “In recent discussions with the US government, ASML has obtained further clarification of the scope and impact of the US export control regulations. The latest US export rules (published October 17, 2023) impose restrictions on certain mid critical DUV immersion lithography systems for a limited number of advanced production facilities.”

Bloomberg reported earlier on January 1st, 2024, citing unnamed sources, that several weeks before the implementation of export controls on advanced semiconductor equipment in the Netherlands, the U.S. government had requested ASML to cancel the export of certain machines destined for China.

Previously, ASML’s CEO, Peter Wennink, stated that these limitations would exclude the vast majority of Chinese customers in response to the U.S. restrictions. This exclusion is due to the fact that these customers are involved in mature nodes, specifically in the production of semiconductors at 28nm and above.

In addition, last week, the South China Morning Post has cited data, indicating that in November 2023, China had imported critical semiconductor manufacturing lithography equipment from the Netherlands, experiencing a significant surge of 1050% in import value.

In an interview with the South China Morning Post, Jan-Peter Kleinhans, Senior Researcher and Head of Technology and Geopolitics Projects at the Berlin-based think tank “Stiftung Neue Verantwortung” (New Responsibility Foundation), mentioned that the impact on sales would not be immediate following the new U.S. restrictions.

Reportedly, this is because ASML has a lead time of approximately 18 months. This implies that the equipment shipped in the fourth quarter of 2023 would have been ordered in the second or third quarter of 2022, and ASML would apply for export licenses at some point thereafter.

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(Photo credit: ASML)

Please note that this article cites information from ASML and Bloomberg