US urges allies to tighten China's access to chip technology, Bloomberg reports

Illustration picture of semiconductor chips

(Reuters) -The U.S. government is urging the Netherlands, Germany, South Korea and Japan to further tighten curbs on China's access to semiconductor technology, Bloomberg News reported on Wednesday.

The U.S. wants Japanese companies to limit exports to China of specialized chemicals required for chipmaking, including photoresist, the report said citing people familiar with the matter.

Washington is also pressing the Netherlands to stop semiconductor equipment maker ASML from servicing and repairing chipmaking equipment for Chinese clients bought before limits on sales of those devices were put in place this year, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters, confirming part of the Bloomberg report.

Tokyo and The Hague want to assess the impact of their current curbs before considering tougher actions, the report said, adding that the U.S. Commerce Department officials raised the issue in Tokyo during a meeting on export controls last month.

The Dutch foreign ministry declined to comment on the report, while the U.S. Commerce Department did not respond to a request for comment.

An official at Japan's industry ministry said the ministry routinely discusses export controls with relevant countries.

ASML could not be immediately reached for comment.

American officials had earlier expressed particular concerns about China's ability to employ advanced chips, and the powerful processors they enable, for its fast-growing military.

(Reporting by Toby Sterling in Amsterdam, Gnaneshwar Rajan and Shubhendu Deshmukh in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Alexandra Alper in Washington and Miho Uranaka in Tokyo; Editing by Franklin Paul, Marguerita Choy and Sandra Maler)