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China Retaliates: Restricts Vital Chipmaking Materials Gallium and Germanium

China has announced new export controls on gallium and germanium, two key metals used in the semiconductor, telecommunications, solar and electric vehicle industries. bloomberg report. The move marks a significant escalation in the ongoing tech trade war with the US and Europe and could be part of the country’s new foreign policy law (as revealed). CNN) This would allow governments to “take proportionate measures and restrictive measures”.

New export regulations will require Chinese companies to obtain export licenses for gallium and germanium metals and products containing them from August 1, 2023 in the name of China’s national security. China is the world’s largest producer of both gallium and germanium, as it has vast reserves of these metals and produces the majority of the world’s supply. China accounts for about 94% of the world’s gallium production, and regulations in the country could dramatically affect many industries, including semiconductors, LEDs and solar power. Meanwhile, such restrictions will inevitably hit Chinese companies as well.

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