Asia chipmaker shares slide after US curbs on China

A close-up of microchips on a circuit board.

Shares in major Asian computer chipmakers have slumped after the US announced tough new measures to restrict sales of technology to China.

The US said it will ban American firms from selling certain chips used for supercomputers and artificial intelligence to Chinese firms.

The rules, which were announced on Friday, also target sales from non-US companies that use American equipment.

Technology firms are also seeing demand fall as the global economy slows.

On Tuesday, shares of Taiwanese chipmaker TSMC tumbled 7.7%, South Korea’s Samsung Electronics was 2.3% lower, while Tokyo Electron in Japan fell by 5.5%.

The falls came after stock markets in Taiwan, South Korea and Japan reopened after being closed for public holidays on Monday.

Elsewhere in Asia, shares in China’s biggest chipmaker SMIC fell by 1.7% in Hong Kong.

    Under the regulations US companies must apply for a license to supply Chinese chipmakers with equipment that can produce more advanced chips.

    Washington said the rules were aimed at curbing Chinese military and technological advances.

    The measures, some of which take effect immediately, mark one of the biggest shifts in US policy toward exporting technology to China in decades.

    In the US on Monday, the technology-heavy Nasdaq index closed at its lowest level since July 2020 as shares in chipmakers Intel, Nvidia, Qualcomm and Advanced Micro Devices fell.

    Technology shares around the world have also been hit in recent weeks by lower demand for electronic products ranging from computers to smartphones.

    On Friday, South Korean technology giant Samsung warned of a 32% slide in its profit.

    The world’s biggest maker of smartphones said profits from its microprocessor making business suffered as global prices of memory chips plunged due to weakening demand for consumer electronics.

    Nomura research analysts Sonal Varma and Si Ying Toh said “The chip downturn suggests a deeper export decline lies ahead.”

    “So far, export growth has already turned negative in September in India, but the evidence is growing that export growth across more Asian economies will turn negative in Q4,” they said in a note on Tuesday.

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