Former CEO of ASML predicts US-China semiconductor war will go on

Former CEO of ASML predicts US-China semiconductor war will go on
Former CEO of ASML predicts US-China semiconductor war will go on

The recently departing CEO of semiconductor equipment producer ASML said that conflicts between the United States and China over computer chips are more ideological than factual and will probably continue.

The CEO of semiconductor equipment manufacturer ASML, who just departed, stated that the U.S.-China disagreements over computer chips are ideological rather than fact-based and will likely persist. Wennink led ASML for eleven years, during which time the company grew to become the biggest technological company in Europe. He departed in April. With China being its second-largest market after Taiwan, the U.S. has been placing more and more limitations on the tools the firm may export since 2018, citing security concerns. Most recently, the US has tried to prevent the business from maintaining machinery that has already been purchased by Chinese clients.

“These kinds of discussions are not being conducted on the basis of facts or content or numbers or data but on the basis of ideology,” Wennink stated. “You can think whatever you want about that, but we’re a business where the interests of your stakeholders have to be managed in balance… If ideology cuts straight through that, I have problems with that.” He added that the business has had clients and employees in China for the past thirty years, “so you also have obligations.”

Wennink added that in an effort to find a compromise, he had complained to senior Chinese lawmakers when he believed ASML’s intellectual property was not being honored and had lobbied wherever feasible to keep export restrictions from getting too severe. “I think in Washington, maybe they sometimes thought, Mr. Wennink, maybe he’s a friend of China,” he stated. “Not at all. I have friends among my suppliers, staff, stockholders, and consumers.”

He predicted that the chip war might take decades to resolve, given the geopolitical interests involved. “This is going to go on for a while,” stated the man.

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