Details of Dutch US chip technology deal sketchy, ASML leaves 2023 forecasts intact
The Dutch government has declined to say much about an agreement reportedly reached with the US which will limit the export of ASML machinery to China but the company does not expect an impact on its forecasts for 2023.
New agency Bloomberg said on Friday that the US had secured an agreement with the Netherlands and Japan to restrict exports of some advanced chip-making machinery to China at talks Washington.
Bloomberg based its claim on ‘people familiar with the matter’ and said the deal would extend some export controls the US which were adopted in October to companies based in other two countries, including ASML, Nikon Corp and Tokyo Electron.
ASML had already been stopped from exporting its most advanced chip making machinery to China but, according to Bloomberg, older technology will also now be affected.
Rutte said after Friday’s cabinet meeting that the Netherlands will only communicate about the deal in a limited fashion because it is an issue which affects national security.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Dutch and Japanese reluctance to speak out is down to ‘concerns… about potential retaliation by China’.
The deal is now being worked out in more detail and this likely to take several months, insiders said.
ASML told tv news station CNN and others that it did not expect any material impact on its financial projections for 2023.
However, the company said, its knowledge of the new rules was still limited, making it difficult to map out ‘the medium and long-term financial, organisational and global industry-wide impact of new export control rules.’
ASML makes the machines that etch circuit designs onto the world’s most advanced, smallest semiconductors and is one of the biggest tech firms in the world.
However, the lack of information about the deal is putting the company in a difficult position because of stock market rules on transparency, the Financieele Dagblad said on Monday.
The chip machinery maker is required to brief investors and the rest of the market about the likely impact of the deal on sales.
Investors organisation VEB told the paper that it respected the sensitivity of the situation. ‘But there is more at stake here than the interests of the government,’ spokesman Joost Schmets said. ‘Other companies, investors and employees will be impacted and their interests need to be taken into account as well.’
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