Possible response to Western export controls on chips.
The U.S. and other Western countries want to cut off China’s supply of the latest generation of computer chips while reducing their own dependence on Chinese raw material exports. These efforts are being closely watched in the Asian country. China has now responded this week by calling in the World Trade Organization (WTO) to review export controls.
According to the Japanese newspaper Nikkei (paywall), further measures could follow that will likely have a direct impact on the international industry. For example, Chinese authorities are apparently considering either banning or restricting exports of rare earth processing and refining technology. This would also apply to technologies for producing alloys and high-performance magnets, Nikkei said. The Japanese government expressed concern about the potential impact on its own economy, The Japan Times writes, because China dominates the global market for neodymium and samarium-cobalt magnets. Both are major components for the energy and transportation transition, areas that are currently driving strong demand.
The new regulations could come into effect this year, Nikkei further reports.