Posted inAT+

US officials scramble to slow China’s advances

It was the ultimate chip war that never was: German officials denied that Berlin planned to stop exporting specialty chemicals for chip fabrication, Reuters reported on April 27 – a day after Bloomberg News claimed that the government of Olaf Scholz “was in talks” on the subject, presumably under prodding from Washington.

The stock prices of BASF and Solvay, the largest makers of the specialty products, plunged on Thursday after the Bloomberg report appeared but recovered sharply on Friday after the government’s denial.

More than a dozen chemicals including acids, bases and solvents are indispensable to etching microcircuits onto silicon wafers, and an interruption of supplies would cripple China’s fabrication capacity.

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