Dutch interests and the politicisation of the Asian semiconductor industry

The LeidenAsiaCentre conducts a research towards the Dutch interests in the semiconductor sector in several Asian countries in light of the changing geo-political environment and the domestic and international political developments of these countries. The research is self-funded by the LeidenAsiaCentre.


The chip shortage is to a considerable extent the result of political factors. At the root of this development is the economic and technological rivalry between the United States and China. The U.S. actively draws its international partners into this conflict. At the same time, many other political developments are important, such as military tensions over Taiwan, the aim of India to develop itself as a technological power, and the bilateral relations between countries in the East Asian region, including Japan, Singapore and South Korea, who each aim to position themselves in the industry.

The effects of geopolitical developments on the global semiconductor supply chain are well documented. This is much less so for the way in which the Dutch semiconductor sector is positioned within the complex web of economic and political relations of the South & East Asian chips industries. Especially when it comes to developments that are less directly linked to the US-China dynamic, such as the ambitions of India, or the trade disputes between South Korea and Japan.

The Dutch semiconductor sector has many connections with companies, universities and official organizations in different Asian countries, which often are subject to the recent politicization of the industry, creating both risks and possibilities. In order to anticipate and respond to such risks and possibilities, it is necessary to increase our understanding of the links and dependencies of the Dutch semiconductor sector within the region, and the political developments that affect them.


The aim of this project is to increase our understanding of the links and dependencies of the Dutch semiconductor sector within the South & East Asia, and the political developments that affect these links. Such understanding helps us to better anticipate and respond to the risks of the recently politised chip industry.

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Published On: December, 2022