Soon after the US stopped ASML Holding NV and Nikon Corp from selling key chipmaking technology to China the country accused the US of “technological terrorism”, in some of its strongest criticism yet of Washington’s efforts.
After Bloomberg News reported the US is lobbying allies to stop the sale of mainstream technology essential for making a large chunk of the world’s chips, expanding a years-long campaign to curb the country’s rise, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian started taking a swing at Washington. However, Zhao didn’t mention whether China is planning on any retaliatory measures in response to the move.
Zhao, in a regular news briefing Wednesday in Beijing, said, “This is yet another example of the US practice of coercive diplomacy by abusing state power and wielding technological hegemony. It is classic technological terrorism,” He further added, “This will only remind all countries of the risks of technology dependence on the US and prompt them to become independent and self-reliant at a faster pace.”
The proposed restriction would expand an existing moratorium on the sale of the most advanced systems to China, which will kill the country’s dreams of becoming a world leader in chip production. Further, if the Netherlands agrees, it would significantly broaden the range and class of chipmaking gear now forbidden from heading to China, resulting in a serious blow to the Chinese chipmakers, including, Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. to Hua Hong Semiconductor Ltd.
Not only this, but Washington has also gone as far as exerting pressure on Japan and Dutch to stop shipping the chipmaking technology to Chinese chipmakers. Japan’s Nikon competes with ASML in the area. Amir Anvarzadeh of Asymmetric Advisors commented on the same, “Chinese chipmakers have been hoarding second-hand equipment since the Trump era,”. He further added that banning the most advanced tools was “clearly not enough to halt China’s advancement in semiconductors, especially since much of the chips used for defence purposes are using geometries that were far less advanced.”