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Japan joins the camp to limit the export of chip equipment, and the United States completes the encirclement of China? – BBC News Chinese

Japan joins the camp to limit the export of chip equipment, and the United States completes the encirclement of China? – BBC News Chinese
Japan joins the camp to limit the export of chip equipment, and the United States completes the encirclement of China? – BBC News Chinese

1 hour ago

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The United States is rapidly ramping up its efforts to try to thwart China’s advances in the semiconductor industry.

This week, the Japanese government announced that new regulations restricting the export of semiconductor manufacturing equipment will come into effect on July 23. In March, Japan announced the implementation of export controls on 23 types of high-performance semiconductor manufacturing equipment.

The new regulation does not specifically target China, but restricts 160 countries including China, but China accounts for about 30% of its semiconductor manufacturing equipment exports, the highest proportion.

The 23 kinds of export control equipment cover multiple links such as semiconductor cleaning, film formation, photolithography, etching, and testing. Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry stated that this move is mainly to prevent semiconductors from being used for military purposes in response to the increasingly severe international security environment.

China’s Ministry of Commerce responded that this is an abuse of export control measures and a serious departure from free trade and international economic and trade rules. China firmly opposes this.

what japan’s accession means

Since the Trump era, the United States has gradually imposed an embargo on chips (wafers) against China, and then further extended to chip manufacturing equipment. As early as 2018, at the request of the United States, the Netherlands had embargoed the most advanced extreme ultraviolet lithography machine produced by ASML to China.

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U.S. investors are also prohibited from owning or trading SMIC shares.

After Biden took office, he sought to further exclude China from the global chip industry chain. A White House security adviser said that the previous reason for restricting chip exports was “only a few generations ahead of China”, but now it is “we must do everything possible to maintain a sufficiently large lead.”

Gregory C. Allen, a researcher at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in the United States, believes that the specific strategy is reflected in four points. First, the ban on high-end chips used in artificial intelligence and other industries; the ban on the use of EDA software can block Chinese companies. chip research and development; embargo on US-made semiconductor equipment, blocking the development of Chinese companies in high-end chip manufacturing; embargoing semiconductor equipment parts, blocking the development of Chinese companies in semiconductor manufacturing equipment.

The first of these has already been achieved. On October 7 last year, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) of the US Department of Commerce announced new controls on chip exports. Among them, the sales of DRAM chips of 18 nanometers and below, NAND flash memory chips of 28 layers and above, and logic chip production tools of 14 nanometers and below FinFET process to China are prohibited, effective immediately.

Subsequently, the embargo began to extend to manufacturing equipment and parts. Although the most advanced extreme ultraviolet lithography machines have been embargoed to China, China can still import deep ultraviolet lithography machines that are more widely used, and the world is only capable of producing deep ultraviolet lithography machines. nikon.

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The booth of a Japanese semiconductor company at the 2021 China Import Expo in Shanghai.

According to Reuters, the United States has taken measures to ensure that companies can maintain their competitive advantages. To be effective, these measures require the cooperation of the two industry giants, Japan and the Netherlands.

In January this year, U.S. President Biden met with the prime ministers of the two countries separately, hoping to jointly strengthen export controls on advanced technology and equipment, and arranged tripartite talks to finalize the details. In March, the Netherlands and Japan announced export control plans separately. This week, Japan announced a specific timetable.

“This will destroy the market expansion of Japanese companies. From a regulatory point of view, it will definitely reduce their competitiveness,” said Suzuki Takamoto, director of China Economic Research at Marubeni Corporation, a major Japanese trading company. Japan lacks a sufficiently large chip market. , these export restrictions will be a blow to Japanese chip equipment manufacturers.

At present, the scale of Japan’s chip manufacturing equipment industry is about 30 billion U.S. dollars, of which 10 billion U.S. dollars in orders come from China, ranking first in all markets.

China’s response

Under the above-mentioned series of chip bans against China, China implemented its first counterattack-on May 21, China announced that Micron’s products “had serious network security risks” and caused major security risks to China’s “critical information infrastructure supply chain.” risk”, affecting national security. Requires China’s “operators of critical information infrastructure to stop purchasing Micron products”.

Micron is the largest U.S. maker of memory chips, which are widely used in electronic devices, and the Chinese market accounts for about 10 percent of the company’s total sales.

Xing Yuqing, a tenured professor of economics at the National Graduate School of Policy Research in Japan, wrote that Chinese companies obviously do not grasp the “choke point” of the semiconductor industry and technology. Therefore, a reciprocal technology embargo cannot be imposed on the United States.

Xing Yuqing said, but the popular saying in China is to trade the market for technology, and now the United States has opened an embargo on semiconductor technology, which means the end of the tacit understanding between the two sides on the market for technology. If you don’t give technology, naturally don’t count on the market. This is a counterattack by China using its market advantage, and the effect depends on how the United States plays its cards.

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Some experts believe that chips have become “the oil of today”, vulnerable to geopolitical influence and triggering global crises.

However, from Japan’s point of view, it is also beneficial for China and the United States to tear each other apart. Just when China announced the supervision of Micron, Bloomberg quoted people familiar with the matter as saying that Micron Technology will receive about US$1.5 billion in funding from the Japanese government for the local production of next-generation memory chips, which will help improve Japan’s domestic semiconductor production and have a positive impact on Taiwan. Chip production forms a reserve force.

Stew Randall, an analyst at Intralink, a Shanghai-based consulting firm, believes that although Chinese companies will lose the opportunity to obtain many Japanese equipment and parts under export restrictions, most of China’s chip companies are currently concentrated in relatively mature production plants. On the node, it will not be affected, but everyone has to wait and see.

In the long run, under the comprehensive export restrictions of Chinese enterprises, their self-developed chip capabilities will be greatly affected. For example, in the software EDA, which is a necessary software for the design link, the three giants in this field are all American companies; in terms of the core lithography machine in the manufacturing link, China does not have independent manufacturing capabilities, and the major lithography machine companies are all affected. The grip of the US ban. If we get rid of existing technological achievements and accumulate from zero, the investment capital and cycle will be too large and too long.

And these impacts will continue to be transmitted to the downstream of the industry chain along the chip-the international competitiveness of mobile phone companies will decline. For example, Huawei has to withdraw from the international mobile phone market; electric vehicles are becoming China’s most potential pillar industry. Reached 91,000, a year-on-year increase of 1028.5%, while electric vehicles use about 3,000 chips on average, more than twice that of non-electric vehicles.

The article is in Chinese

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