ASML has banned employees in the United States from working with Chinese customers. In doing so, the Dutch chip giant complies with new regulations from the US government.
ASML wrote an internal memo to inform employees in the United States that working with and supporting Chinese customers is prohibited from here on out. According to Bloomberg, the ban applies to all US employees. ASML confirmed the internal memo in response to early media reports.
ASML under pressure
ASML has been in a bind for some time. The United States is pressuring the Dutch company to reduce or quit manufacturing equipment sales to China. Although the chip giant still supplies deep ultraviolet (DUV) machines to Chinese customers, advanced extreme ultraviolet (EUV) machines are no longer sold.
New US regulations
By ceasing support for Chinese customers in the United States, the Dutch company moves to comply with new regulations from the US government. The regulations block Chinese companies from buying advanced chip manufacturing technology from US or US-based companies. They also can no longer employ US personnel for advanced manufacturing purposes.
The US government introduced the regulations to prevent the Chinese Communist Party from gaining economic and military power. The US claims many Chinese companies using advanced chip manufacturing technology have close ties to the party and military forces.
As a result of the legislation, US chip technology companies are cutting ties with China. Applied Materials, KLA and Lam Research recently began recalling employees seconded to Yangtze Memory Technologies, China’s largest memory chip manufacturer.