ASML awaiting Dutch approval for advanced machine export to China

FILE PHOTO: ASML Holding logo is seen at company's headquarters in Eindhoven, Netherlands, Januari 23, 2019. REUTERS/Eva Plevier/File Photo

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - ASML Holding NV ASML.AS, an equipment supplier to major semiconductor manufacturers, said its license to export one of its most advanced machines to a Chinese customer had expired and it was awaiting approval for a new one from the Dutch government.

Spokeswoman Monique Mols said the Dutch company expected approval from the government for the “Extreme Ultraviolet” lithography machine, estimated to cost 100 million euros.

“ASML just follows the law,” Mols said. “The law says that you need an export license to ship EUV. We have applied for a license.”

ASML’s EUV technology is considered strategic and therefore requires an export license.

In May, ASML said it had been the victim of corporate espionage in 2015 involving employees from countries including China but said it had not been the target of any “national conspiracy”.

Earlier on Wednesday Nikkei reported that the sale of the machine had been delayed due to political opposition from the United States.

Mols did not confirm the Nikkei report or the identity of the customer that analysts have said is likely to be SMIC.

ASML shares were down 1% at 244 euros at 1300 GMT, among the strongest decliners on the Euronext exchange.

Reporting by Toby Sterling; editing by David Evans and Louise Heavens