Chip wars: China restricts exports of rare-earths deemed ‘critical’ for U.S. security

FPI / July 21, 2023


The communist regime in Beijing announced earlier this month that, starting on Aug. 1, it will impose restrictions on the export of two rare-earth minerals that are key to manufacturing advanced semiconductors.

China produces 60% of the world’s germanium and 80% of gallium.

The two minerals, gallium and germanium, are listed by the U.S. government as “critical to the U.S. economy and national security.”

The restrictions were seen as retaliation for moves by the United States, Japan and the Netherlands to restrict exports of advanced semiconductor equipment to China.

The Chinese Communist Party-affiliated propaganda outlet Global Times reported that the mineral restrictions show that “China will not be passively squeezed out of the global semiconductor supply chain.”

Following the Chinese announcement, the Biden administration reportedly was prepared to restrict Chinese companies’ access to U.S. cloud computing services, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The report, quoting people familiar with the planned restrictions, said cloud service providers such as Amazon and Microsoft will first have to obtain U.S. government permission before providing to Chinese customers cloud computing services that use advanced artificial intelligence chips.

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