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China bans export of rare earth processing technologies

BEIJING, December 22 ------ China, the world’s top processor of rare earths, banned the export of technology to extract and separate the strategic metals, as it overhauled a list of technologies deemed key to national security. 


The commerce ministry sought public opinion last December on the potential move to add the technology to its “Catalogue of Technologies Prohibited and Restricted from Export.” It also banned the export of production technology for rare earth metals and alloy materials as well as technology to prepare some rare earth magnets. 


In July, an influential trade policy adviser said China’s export controls on metals used in making semiconductors are “just a start,” as it ramps up a tech fight with the United Staes days before US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen visits Beijing. China’s abrupt announcement of controls from Aug. 1 on exports of some gallium and germanium products, which are used in electric vehicles (EVs) and fiber optic cables, has sent companies scrambling to secure supplies and bumped up prices. Germanium is also used in high-speed computer chips, plastics, and in military applications such as night-vision devices as well as satellite imagery sensors. Gallium is also used in building radars and radio communication devices, satellites and LEDs. 




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