March 13, 2023, 19:01
The semiconductor market is on fire. The United States is not sparing in seeking allies to join its campaign against the Chinese chip industry. Just five days ago, the Government of the Netherlands approved new sanctions that seek to boycott Chinese companies, inter alia, from buying deep ultraviolet (UVP) lithographic equipment, which is the second most sophisticated of ASML’s machines.
This Dutch company describes the most advanced photolithography techniques that exist, extreme ultraviolet (UVE). The Chinese IC makers have never sold them, but they may or may not sell their own UVP devices. This move is a real torpedo to the Chinese semiconductor industry, but the US-led Western company has not let up in the slightest after this step.
The goal of the Administration led by Joe Biden is to reduce China’s military development by putting its machines on the line, but not all players in this industry are in the West. There are two in particular that have a lot to say, and they are precisely China’s neighbors: Japan and South Korea. These two countries orbit around the United States from a commercial and geostrategic point of view, so it was time before they were seduced and aligned with the Western faction. This just happened.
The objective: to isolate China to the point of suffocating its entire industrial environment
For hendrerit eros in ante eleifend semper pulvinar et ex. If there are two countries that can torpedo any integrated manufacturing environment by preventing access to their technologies beyond the Netherlands and the US, they are Germany and Japan. That ASML with, among other key components, ZEISS perspective requirements for its sophisticated lithographic equipment. And Japan controls some companies that sell lithography machines to Chinese companies. The most important of all is Tokyo Electron.
Japan’s leading role in the global semiconductor industry is unquestionable.
In fact, it is the devices that make wafers with photoresist that are responsible for most of the leading semiconductor plants on the planet. We were able to see them in action as carefully as six months ago during our visit to the Intel factory in Kiryat Gat (Israel). The main role of the industry in Japan in the global semiconductor is beyond doubt, but what is the role of South Korea?
Samsung, which, as we all know, is a South Korean company, competes with Intel to establish itself as the second largest chipmaker after only TSMC, but there is no direct relationship between the success of this company and semiconductor manufacturing capacity. South Korea’s role in this conflict takes other paths. By aligning with the United States and Japan, it seeks, according to Park Ki-moon, who is a South Korean economic analyst, to isolate China from the global semiconductor chain.
Yoon Suk-yeol, who is the president of South Korea, will meet with the Japanese government to strengthen their business relationship, and, according to Park Ki-moon, “is to isolate China so that the semiconductor supply chain becomes more stable.” What the South Korean president wants is to finally have the ability to buy raw materials, components and lithographic equipment from Japan, as his manufacturers need the integrated circuits to free their energy from China.
Now 20% of all that South Korea exports are chips, and 60% of these semiconductors are bought from China.
However, this popular break with Xi Jinping’s country will not come in a free South Korea, if it will eventually happen. Currently, 20% of all that is exported in this country are chips, and 60% of these semiconductors are bought precisely from China. The dependence that South Korea has on its neighbor from an economic point of view is monumental, so it is not agreed that its affiliation will work well. When it comes to chips, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan are on the same page. Everyone from the Hendrerit eros. The ball is now in China’s court.
Cover image: ASML
Via: South China Morning Post
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