The latest export data from China shows Beijing did not export two rare minerals essential to chip manufacturing in August. This came after China imposed export restrictions a month earlier, citing national security. According to the Critical Raw Materials Alliance, 5.15 tons of gallium products and 8.1 tons of germanium products were exported from China in the previous month, while there were no exports of these minerals in the current month, CNN reported.
China counters US controls: technology war intensifies
The decision to halt exports of the said minerals appears to underscore China’s willingness to retaliate against US export controls amid a technology war between the two countries. However, analysts see this export restriction as a “double-edged sword”. On the one hand, such measures could further impact the already struggling Chinese economy. On the other hand, according to CNN, experts emphasize that despite China’s dominant position in the production of these minerals, there are alternative producers and substitutes.
Prices fluctuate: China feels export restrictions
The first effects of export restrictions have already become apparent within China. Gallium prices have fallen in the country, while germanium prices have risen slightly due to tight supply.
The measures also appear to be part of a broader geopolitical move. The Biden administration last year introduced export controls that prohibit Chinese companies from purchasing advanced chip technology without a license. Countries such as Japan and the Netherlands have joined these efforts, further restricting exports to China. In response, Beijing took action against US chipmaker Micron in April and banned sales to certain Chinese companies.
Huawei defies sanctions: Mate 60 Pro attracts US attention
Huawei’s latest smartphone model, the Mate 60 Pro, which is powered by an advanced chip despite US sanctions, has triggered additional pressure in the US. According to CNN, analysts believe that the US could further tighten its sanctions against Chinese technology companies in the coming quarter.