Entrepreneur Caught in the Middle of U.S.-China Chip War

An American’s vision to build a global semiconductor player in China is clouded by moves to restrict supply chain

AMEC’s production could be hampered by lack of access to U.S. parts and materials.Photo: aly song/Reuters

Semiconductor whiz Gerald Yin left the U.S. and spent 18 years in China building what he said would be a worldwide powerhouse in chip-making equipment. Now the American citizen’s lifework has been thrown into uncertainty as U.S. restrictions undermine the global industry integration he celebrated.

Mr. Yin’s company, Advanced Micro-Fabrication Equipment Inc., or AMEC, had been making big strides and was gunning for industry leaders based in the U.S. and Japan when Washington stepped in. Decades younger than its rivals, the Chinese maker of etching equipment and other tools for the semiconductor industry has said it picked up customers including Robert Bosch GmbH and U.S. chip maker GlobalFoundries Inc. Its equipment is used on dozens of production lines in Europe and Asia.

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