Applied Materials gets another subpoena on China customer shipments

FILE PHOTO: Illustration shows Applied Materials logo

(Reuters) -Applied Materials disclosed on Thursday that it received another subpoena from the U.S. Department of Commerce in May, as regulators request more information on shipments to China.

The largest U.S. semiconductor equipment maker received an SEC subpoena and two from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Massachusetts. In November 2023 the Commerce Department sent a subpoena "requesting information relating to certain China customer shipments."

Applied Materials is under U.S. criminal investigation for potentially evading export restrictions on China's top chipmaker, Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC), three people familiar with the matter said in a Reuters report in November.

Applied Materials, which supplies chipmaking tools to Samsung Electronics and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co, reported that 43% of its total revenue came from China in the second quarter.

Applied Materials is being probed by the Justice Department for sending equipment to SMIC via South Korea without export licenses, sources told Reuters in November. Hundreds of millions of dollars of equipment is involved, one of the people said at the time.

The company repeatedly shipped equipment from its plant in Gloucester, Massachusetts, to a subsidiary in South Korea and then to SMIC, the people familiar with the probe said in November.

(Reporting by Jaspreet Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber, Arun Koyyur and Richard Chang)