China Implements Export Controls on Key Metals for Semiconductor Industry

China’s commerce ministry declared on Monday that it would exercise control over the export of certain metals extensively employed in the semiconductor sector, marking the latest development in the escalating dispute between Beijing and the United States over access to advanced microchips.

In a bid to safeguard national security and interests, China has introduced these controls, mandating exporters to obtain permission prior to shipping specific gallium and germanium products.

This move to regulate the export of rare elements, classified as strategic by Beijing, coincides with reports suggesting that Washington is considering imposing further restrictions on the transportation of high-tech microchips to China.

To add to the pressure on China’s chip manufacturers, the United States and the Netherlands are planning to implement consecutive measures this summer by imposing additional limitations on the sale of chipmaking equipment. These actions are part of a broader effort to prevent the exploitation of their technology in bolstering China’s military capabilities.

China’s newly implemented controls will come into effect on August 1 and will be applicable to eight gallium-related products, namely gallium antimonide, gallium arsenide, gallium metal, gallium nitride, gallium oxide, gallium phosphide, gallium selenide, and indium gallium arsenide.

Similarly, six germanium products, including germanium dioxide, germanium epitaxial growth substrate, germanium ingot, germanium metal, germanium tetrachloride, and zinc germanium phosphide, will also be subject to these controls.

To obtain export licenses, exporters will be required to complete the necessary procedures, as stated by China’s commerce ministry in an official statement.

The ministry further emphasized that severe penalties would be imposed on individuals found to be exporting these products without authorization or exceeding the permitted volumes.

Moreover, it is worth noting that germanium finds application in infrared technology, fiber optic cables, and solar cells.


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