ASML, founded in 1984, became the leading supplier of photolithography machines for the semiconductor industry in less than 30 years. The company supplies EUV scanners to companies such as TSMC and Intel. With more than 90% of the global market share in 2022, ASML is a key player in the commercial war between China and the United States that is being played out in the semiconductor sector.
Recently, the company has been accused by China of data theft. According to ASML, an “unauthorized diversion of data” was observed in 2022. The company reported this violation to the competent authorities and took additional measures to remedy the situation. This is not the first time that China has been accused of data theft by ASML. In 2021, the Dutch company also accused DongFang JingYuan Electron of technology theft.
The Biden administration recently obtained from the Dutch government that it withdraw ASML’s export license to China. However, the company’s CEO, Peter Wennink, does not support the American strategy. He stated that if the Chinese are excluded with export control measures, they will be forced to strive for technological sovereignty and in 15 years, they will be able to do it on their own, which will mean the end of the market for European suppliers.
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These allegations of data theft and the American strategy of export control are in line with the growing tensions between China and the United States on the technological front. China has recently been accused of stealing technologies from companies such as Airbus. Although it is complex to turn such suspicions into proven facts, China is often accused of technology theft.