ASML's former CEO says US and China 'Chip War' could 'continue for decades'

Peter Wennink, former CEO of ASML, says that the 'Chip War' between the US and China won't be resolved anytime soon, could last for DECADES.

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Peter Wennink, the former CEO of ASML, said he anticipates the Chip War will not be resolved anytime soon, and it could potentially persist for decades to come.

ASML's former CEO says US and China 'Chip War' could 'continue for decades' 207

The news comes from reports by Reuters and the Commercial Times, with the former ASML CEO also stating during an interview with Dutch broadcaster BNR that the "Chip War" between the US and China "lacks factual basis and is entirely driven by ideology".

ASML is the global supplier of EUV lithography machines, making the world's largest and most advanced machines. TSMC, Samsung, and Intel use EUV machines for manufacturing. TSMC uses EUV lithography machines for its 7nm, 5nm, and 3nm processes, while Samsung's EUV lines make 7nm, 5nm, and 4nm chips, along with the 3nm GAA process.

Wennink further emphasized that ASML has been operating in China for over 30 years, with multiple large customers and a large local workforce in the country. Therefore, the former ASML CEO says the company feels "obligated" to protect the rights and interests of its customers and employees.

He acknowledged that maintaining that (tricky) balance between the US and China during his time as CEO was hard, pushing for the US government to calm its export restrictions, while on the other hand raising concerns with Chinese officials about IP infringements.

The former ASML CEO talked about concerns from the US authority about which party he sided with, as Wennink noted Washington officials sometimes consider he's a friend of China. However, Wennink is a friend of ASML's customers, suppliers, employees, and shareholders. He predicted that with the current geopolitical interests at stake, that the "Chip War" could last for decades... which would not be good at all.

ASML's former CEO says US and China 'Chip War' could 'continue for decades' 208

During his time as CEO of ASML, Peter Wennink had a 10-year tenure, transforming the company into Europe's largest semiconductor equipment manufacturer. During Wennink's decade at ASML, China's semiconductor influence grew at a rapid pace, becoming ASML's second-largest customer outside of Taiwan (TSMC).

The US government started export restrictions on China back in 2018, continuing to expand the list of controlled product categories, which has impacted ASML. Earlier this year, the US announced fresh export restrictions, which limited ASML's ability to service their already-purchased high-end EUV lithography machines that had been shipped and being used in China.

Wennink said at the time that the new US restrictions wouldn't impact ASML's financial performance between 2025 and 2030, as only a "small portion" of ASML's customers in China would be effected by the new US sanctions.

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Anthony joined the TweakTown team in 2010 and has since reviewed 100s of graphics cards. Anthony is a long time PC enthusiast with a passion of hate for games built around consoles. FPS gaming since the pre-Quake days, where you were insulted if you used a mouse to aim, he has been addicted to gaming and hardware ever since. Working in IT retail for 10 years gave him great experience with custom-built PCs. His addiction to GPU tech is unwavering and has recently taken a keen interest in artificial intelligence (AI) hardware.

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