China imposes export controls on rare minerals used to make semiconductor chips

Beginning August 1st, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce said exports of the metals germanium and gallium will be allowed only if exporters secure licenses from the ministry.

  • China called the move essential to “protect national security and interests.”
  • The country produces about 650,000 kilograms of gallium per year, about 94 percent of global production.
  • Production in China has been dramatically increasing since 2019, when environmental measures curtailed the use of similar metals.

The U.S., by contrast, has no current domestic source of the metal, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

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