As the U.S. moves to strengthen its control over semiconductor equipment exports to China in cooperation with Japan and the Netherlands, Chinese semiconductor companies are reportedly fighting to secure semiconductor equipment and materials.
Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post (SCMP) quoted multiple semiconductor industry sources on the 25th as saying, “Chinese semiconductor companies have begun to stockpile related equipment before the (official) agreement on export control of the U.S., Japan and the Netherlands.”
Bloomberg and other foreign media recently reported that the U.S. negotiated with the Netherlands and Japan presided over by National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan in Washington in late January to obtain consent to join the export control of semiconductor equipment to China, which took effect in October last year.
According to SCMP, large Chinese semiconductor companies are struggling to increase their stockpiles of semiconductor equipment and materials this year after reports that the U.S., Japan, and the Netherlands agreed to control semiconductor equipment exports to China.
A source who asked not to be identified said a Beijing semiconductor equipment company “filled several large warehouses with semiconductor materials and parts,” adding that it is increasing its stockpile of semiconductor-related materials and parts that are not controlled by the U.S.
Another source in charge of procuring semiconductor equipment and materials for Chinese customers in Tokyo, Japan, also said, “(China) some semiconductor companies are overpurchasing parts and equipment beyond the level required for production planning.”
Chinese semiconductor companies’ over-orders for semiconductor equipment and materials are highly unusual and related to concerns that semiconductor export controls to China will be tightened, the source said.
Japan has not officially announced its position to join the U.S. in controlling exports of semiconductor equipment to China, which took effect last year.
The source said Japanese companies are also waiting for clear guidelines on export control of semiconductors to China, adding that new guidelines for semiconductor control to China are expected to be released in April.