Wednesday's announcement by the Dutch government that it will impose new restrictions on semiconductor technology exports in order to safeguard national security was part of an effort by the United States to reduce chip exports to China.
This announcement was the first concrete step by the Dutch, who supervise essential chipmaking technology, towards adopting rules urged Washington to slow down China's military advancements and stop China's chipmaking sector.
In October, the U.S. imposed severe export restrictions on American chipmaking tools shipments to China. However, the restrictions will not be effective if other key suppliers from Japan and the Netherlands, which produce key chipmaking technology, agree to the restrictions. Since months, talks between the allied countries on this matter have continued.
Liesje Schreinemacher, Dutch Trade Minister, announced the decision in a letter addressed to parliament. She stated that the restrictions would be implemented before the summer.
Although she did not mention China, which is a key Dutch trading partner and ASML, Europe’s largest tech company and major supplier of semiconductor manufacturers, her letter did name both. One technology that would be affected is the "DUV" lithography system, which ASML sells as the second-most sophisticated machines to computer chip makers.
The letter stated that the Cabinet would introduce a national control listing because the Netherlands considered it necessary for national security reasons to ensure this technology is under surveillance as quickly as possible.
A representative of the White House did not respond immediately to a request for comment.