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ASML Not Expecting Licenses for Several Chip Equipment Exports to China

Dutch chip equipment maker ASML isn’t expecting to receive export licenses this year to ship several of its deep ultraviolet immersion lithography systems to China, along with one older DUV tool not previously disclosed by the company.

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CFO Roger Dassen said during an investor call last week that ASML won’t be getting “export licenses for shipment into China for, let's say, advanced immersion, so NXT:2000i and up tools.” He added that the company is also expecting “a handful of fabs not to get export licenses for China for NXT:1970i and NXT:1980i immersion tools.”

The company earlier this month said it expected the controls to impact exports of its NXT:2050i and NXT:2100i lithography systems to China, but it didn’t mention the 1970i tool (see 2401020012).

Dassen said ASML was told by the U.S. and the Netherlands governments last year that the company wouldn’t be granted certain licenses, and ASML has since “had that confirmed in follow-up conversations with the authorities.” ASML predicts the controls will impact about 10% to 15% of its China sales, Dassen said.

Still, he said, sales to China were “very, very strong” in 2023, which was partially because many of those orders had been placed by the end of 2022. “With the shifts in demand that we had with other customers, that meant that we were able to execute on the demand that was clearly there in China,” Dassen said. “That's why the China sales went up so significantly in this year.”

He added that most of those sales were for “mid-critical and mature manufacturing. That’s where the systems are going to, and that demand remains very, very solid.”