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Dutch company explores prospects within China’s semiconductor industry

ANN/CHINA DAILY – ASML Holding NV, a leading Dutch company specialising in chip manufacturing equipment, remains dedicated to catering to the Chinese market.

This commitment is underscored by the Chinese economy’s remarkable resilience in the face of challenges and the substantial growth prospects presented by the local semiconductor industry.

Senior Vice President of ASML and President of ASML China Shen Bo emphasised that China continues to hold a pivotal position as one of the company’s key business markets.

“Our long-term presence and business operation in China over the past three decades is a strong testimonial of our continuous confidence and commitment to the market,” he said in a written interview with China Daily.


Despite ongoing export control tensions, ASML remains committed to assisting China while adhering to all relevant laws and regulations, the company confirmed.

Earlier this month, the Netherlands implemented new export control measures concerning advanced chip manufacturing equipment. ASML disclosed that it successfully obtained licenses from the Dutch government, enabling the continued shipment of specific high-end immersion lithography systems to China this year.

ASML’s lithography systems are needed to produce a wide range of semiconductors. CEO Peter Wennink had said earlier that in the past couple of years, around 15 per cent of ASML’s sales were in China.

The size of the Chinese semiconductor equipment market reached USD28.3 billion in 2022, accounting for about 26 per cent of the global market, and it is growing rapidly, according to data from Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International, a global chip industry association.

“With the growth of China’s business, the number of our employees has been growing steadily. In 2017, we had less than 500 employees and now, the number is over 1,600,” Shen said.

Currently, ASML has offices in 16 Chinese cities. It also has 11 warehousing and logistics centres, three development centres, a training center and a repair centre in China.

“We have a team of more than 800 customer support engineers to ensure smooth operation of our holistic lithographic solutions in China, with 95 per cent local solving power,” Shen said.

He pointed out that the company set up development centers in China to provide better customer support. “Moving forward, we will continue to expand our team to support the development of our sustainable, growing business in China.”

In the face of complex international headwinds, China’s economy has shown strong resilience, and the fundamentals for long-term development of the China market remain unchanged, he added.

In July, ASML told China Daily that there were no major changes to the company’s 2023 recruitment plans in China. The company was responding to foreign media reports that said ASML would scale down its global recruitment plan this year.

The Dutch company reported a rise in the shipment of chipmaking machines to China in the second quarter, as sales in China defied a slowdown in the global chip sector.

“We appreciate the continuous opening-up and favorable business environment in China,” Shen said.

Vice-president of research at United States market research company Gartner Inc Roger Sheng said the semiconductor industrial chain is highly globalised and no country can operate on its own. Greater international cooperation is needed to help the industry deal with the ongoing decline in demand, he said.