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Trade war

U.S. chip tool makers eye Southeast Asia as China business shrinks

Export controls drive shift as semiconductor industry suffers demand slump

U.S. export controls on advanced chipmaking equipment has made it harder for American providers to do business in China. (Photo courtesy of Applied Materials) 

TAIPEI -- Key American chip equipment suppliers are shifting operations from China to Southeast Asia in a sign that U.S. export controls enacted last October are accelerating the decoupling of tech supply chains between the world's two biggest economies.

Applied Materials, Lam Research and KLA together control around 35% of the global market for chip production tools. Since October, all three have been either relocating non-Chinese staff from China to Singapore and Malaysia, or increasing production capacity in Southeast Asia, according to five people familiar with the situation.

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