Dutch chip manufacturer ASML confirmed the country’s government had revoked an export licence covering shipments of certain equipment to China, resulting in a sharp rebuke from its counterparts in Beijing.

Reuters reported China’s foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told the Netherlands to be impartial, respect market principles and “take practical actions to protect the common interests of both countries and their companies and maintain the stability of international supply chains”.

ASML issued a statement yesterday (1 January) announcing a licence for the shipment of two lithography systems had been partially revoked by the Dutch government, impacting a small number of customers in China.

The company said it had obtained further clarification of the scope and impact of US export control regulations following recent discussions with representatives in Washington, resulting in the licence revoke.

“The latest US export rules (published 17 October 2023) impose restrictions on certain mid critical DUV immersion lithography systems for a limited number of advanced production faciltiies,” stated the company. Lithography systems use lasers to help with the production of chip circuitry.

ASML did state in October it was assessing the scope of new US rules, warning controls would likely slow its business in the mainland.

However, in its latest statement it added it did not expect the current revocation of its export licence or the latest US export control restrictions to have a material impact on its outlook. The chip company said it remains committed to comply with all applicable laws including export control legislation in countries where it operates.

Customers impacted were not revealed.