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Japan, Netherlands to limit export of high-end semiconductor technology to China
Tokyo: Japan and Netherlands have agreed to join the United States in limiting the exports of high-end semiconductor technology to China, Japan-based nonprofit cooperative news agency Kyodo News reported.
According to Kyodo News, the deal was struck after the United States in October unveiled sweeping export controls on certain advanced chips that could be used by China to train artificial intelligence systems and power advanced military and surveillance applications. White House national security spokesman John Kirby had earlier said that the US government will make an announcement once the talks are concluded.
Kirby confirmed that Japanese and Dutch officials had been in Washington for discussions on a range of issues that are important to the three countries and "certainly the safety and security of emerging technologies is going to be on that agenda."
According to Kyodo News, as high-tech competition between the United States and China intensifies, Japan has found itself caught between its security ally and its biggest trading partner, which depends on imports of high-end chips and equipment to manufacture various products.
Indo-Pacific Centre for Strategic Communications (IPCSC) recently said that China has been ruthless in its attempts to acquire high-end microchips as the country imports more than USD 300 billion worth of semiconductors each year. The country, however, finds it difficult to acquire microchips amidst the US-imposed barriers.
The report also states that due to the restrictions, "China is finding it tough to train artificial intelligence systems and power advanced applications in the military and surveillance fields".
The US administration in October put a set of export controls on China which included measures that stop Beijing from acquiring from anywhere in the world, semiconductor chips with US equipment.
Since then, even Europe and its allies have been working towards ensuring that Beijing doesn't procure high-end microchips from anywhere in the world. As a result, Chinese firm, Si Microelectronics was in November blocked by Germany from taking over chip-making factory Elmos. The country also blocked Chinese investment in the Bavaria-based ERS Electronic.
The UK government in the same month barred Chinese firm Wingtech from taking over the country's largest microchip factory Nexperia.
"In 2021, South Korea supplied around USD 76.8 billion, or 60 per cent of its total microchips exported to China. But one year after its usual semiconductor business with Beijing, Seoul, according to South China Morning Post, is under pressure to side with the US-led alliance in stopping China from getting high-quality chips. However, South Korean semiconductor manufacturers Samsung and SK Hynix which have factories in China have been granted a year-long exception from US export restrictions," reported IPCSC. (ANI)