Chinese imports of semiconductor manufacturing equipment rose more than 90% on the year last quarter, as the country has proven able to produce advanced chips despite trade controls imposed by the US and its allies, reports Nikkei Asia. Imports of machinery and equipment for producing semiconductors or integrated circuits jumped 93% in the three months through September to RMB 63.4 billion ($8.7 billion), a Nikkei analysis of Chinese customs data shows.
Imports of equipment for lithography, a critical part of the process that involves forming nanometer-scale circuit patterns, grew nearly fourfold. China’s imports of this gear from the Netherlands swelled more than sixfold, with the bulk of this likely coming from ASML, which supplies some of the world’s most advanced chipmaking equipment.
Lithography equipment is subject to trade controls. After the US imposed tougher curbs on exports of chipmaking equipment to China in October 2022, Japan and the Netherlands followed suit. This past September, the latter began requiring companies to apply for a license to export certain lithography equipment used to make advanced chips.