Lithography expert ASML has had an export license revoked by the Dutch government, stopping it from shipping chip-making systems to China.

“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,” ASML said in a statement posted to its website.

ASML logo.jpg

ASML is the sole supplier in the world of extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUV) photolithography machines that are needed to make the most advanced 3nm and 5nm chips.

Chinese companies bought 46 percent of ASML's lithography systems sold in the third quarter of 2023, generating around $3.7 billion in revenue between July and November of that year.

The Dutch government decided to cancel the shipment due to pressure from the US government, Bloomberg reported. The US is currently engaged in a trade war with China, imposing restrictions on the export of chips to China last year in order to stop the country from having access to advanced technology that could be used for military modernization and human rights abuses.

As a result of this ongoing geopolitical policy, new restrictions spearheaded by the US government are set to come into force this month, further preventing the export of foreign-made equipment containing US parts to China.

These additional regulations will prevent ASML from selling its second most advanced machines, deep ultraviolet (DUV) lithography systems to China, with specific export bans on six Chinese chipmaking facilities also coming into force.

Despite this, ASML said: “We do not expect the current revocation of our export license or the latest US export control restrictions to have a material impact on our financial outlook for 2023.”