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US, Japan, Netherlands May Announce Ban On Chipmaking Tools Export To China

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The United States, Japan, and the Netherlands are reportedly planning to impose restrictions on the export of chipmaking equipment to China. The confirmation came from a Washington official who declined to divulge further details.

“We can’t talk about the deal right now. But you can certainly talk to our friends in Japan and the Netherlands,” Guardian quoted Don Graves, deputy commerce department secretary, saying on the sidelines of an event in Washington.

On Friday, Bloomberg and Reuters reported that the same deal had been finalized. In October, the United States imposed significant export restrictions on exports of chipmaking equipment to limit China’s ability to expand its chip industry and improve its military capabilities.

However, Washington needed the consensus of the Netherlands and Japan, home to significant chipmakers such as ASML and Tokyo Electron. In an email, the U.S. Commerce Department called it a “priority” to coordinate export controls with foreign allies. “We recognize that multilateral controls are more effective than unilateral controls.”

On Friday, officials from the Netherlands and Japan arrived in Washington to discuss a broader issue with White House National Security Adviser Jack Sullivan. Commenting on the agreement on semiconductors, U.S. President Joe Biden said: “Yes, we talked about a lot of things, but a lot of it is private.” 

The U.S. is trying to break the monopoly of China’s semiconductor industry. Beijing has invested money to grow its domestic industry, but its fabrication plants, known as fabs, still rely heavily on foreign-made equipment.

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