China to control exports of metals used in semiconductor industry

China will control exports of certain metals used in the semiconductor industry as a response to the US restricting sales of high-tech microchips to China.

Table of rare-earth elements

China’s commerce ministry announced that it will require exporters to seek permission to ship gallium and germanium products, which are classified as strategic elements. China supplies about 80% of the world’s gallium and germanium.

They are used for production of a wide range of existing products, including chips, screens, fibre-optic gear and solar panels.

The move comes as the US considers further restrictions on chip shipments to China.

The controls will take effect from August 1 and exporters will need to obtain export licenses. Those who export without permission or exceed permitted volumes will be punished.