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South Korea is facing a complex balancing act as it finds itself positioned in the middle of an intensifying tech war between the United States and its biggest semiconductor chip trading partner China.

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ASML is not about to voluntarily leave China, where it has sold a thousand chip-making tools over the decades.

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The trade war has led to a 62% drop in tech electronics imports from China to the US since 2018.

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Washington’s ban on hi-tech exports to China marks a huge gambit for economic supremacy for the next decades.

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Step-by-step progress with China possible, says former US trade chief

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China criticized expanded U.S. restrictions on its access to semiconductor technology, saying they’ll harm supply chains and the world economy.

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The Biden administration on Friday published a sweeping set of export controls, including a measure to cut China off from certain semiconductor chips made anywhere in the world with U.S. equipment.

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Last December, South Korean semiconductor company Magnachip reluctantly announced the demise of its proposed $1.4bn merger with Chinese private equity firm Wise Road Capital.

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With the clash of the two superpowers, the economic implications of this friction could be much worse than the Russia-Ukraine war, according to billionaire investor Ray Dalio.

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Economist Zhong Zhengsheng says the US might use tariffs in concert with the IPEF economic framework to restrict China’s economy

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