Paul van Gerven
4 February 2022

ASML is among a number of semiconductor companies that China is targeting to become more active within its borders, Nikkei reports. According to the business paper, China plans to launch a “cross-border semiconductor work committee” in the first half of the year. This organization is tasked with encouraging foreign companies to collaborate with Chinese businesses and R&D institutes and inviting them to build factories. An ASML spokesperson says the company hasn’t been approached to participate.

TSMC fab 12
Credit: TSMC

The move comes in the wake of US sanctions that has affected multiple Chinese tech companies. For example, telecom giant Huawei has been cut off from advanced semiconductor technology and SMIC, China’s most advanced foundry, is being denied ASML’s EUV scanners. These blockades have likely bolstered China’s ambitions to establish its own domestic supply chain. The new organization “appears to be designed as a way to acquire advanced semiconductor technologies from the US, Japan and Europe to help further this goal,” Nikkei writes.

Other companies being targeted include AMD, Intel and Infineon. ASML is mentioned in the report as part of “an industrial group” that refused to comment. According to Nikkei’s sources some companies have already expressed an intention to participate. Some might not have much choice. China is the largest growth market in term of semiconductor sales, and the Chinese government may not look too kindly on companies refusing to participate.

The article has been updated with ASML’s comment in the first paragraph.

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