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China trying to corner market in older computer chips

The U.S. lawmaker leading a congressional delegation to the Netherlands on Wednesday said he is concerned about the possibility China is trying to “get a monopoly” in the manufacture of less-advanced computer chips.

Texas Republican Michael McCaul, who co-authored the CHIPS Act and chairs the House Foreign Affairs Committee, thanked the Dutch government for steps it has previously taken to restrict technology exports to China but said “we need to think about other things”.

“We talked a lot about advanced semiconductor chips, but we also need look at legacy,” he said, referring to older computer chip technology which does not fall under current export controls.

“I think China is trying to get a monopoly on the market share of legacy semiconductor chips as well. And I think that’s a part of the discussion we’ll be having,” he said.

Under pressure from Washington, the Dutch government in June introduced export restrictions that require semiconductor equipment maker ASML – Europe’s largest technology firm – to seek a licence before exporting advanced equipment to customers in China.

McCaul is due to visit ASML on Thursday.

China is one of ASML’s largest markets with around 15% of sales in 2022. Demand from Chinese customers is expected to be a bright spot for the company in the second half of 2023. Reuters

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