China curbs exports of key computer chip materials

Microchip being held in a gloved hand

Controls over the export of two essential components used to make computer chips are being tightened by the Chinese government.

As of the following month, exports of gallium and germanium from China, the world's largest producer of these metals, will require special licenses.

In response to Washington's efforts to limit Chinese access to some cutting-edge microprocessors, it was introduced.

The announcement was made just a few days before US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen's crucial trip to Beijing.

The restrictions were required, according to China's Ministry of Commerce, to "safeguard national security and interests.".

Military, communications, and semiconductor equipment all use the silvery metals. They are also important components of items like solar panels.

The two largest economies in the world are engaged in a bitter trade war over semiconductors, which power everything from mobile phones to military hardware.

The US has taken steps to limit China's access to technology, including chips used in supercomputing and artificial intelligence, that it believes could be used for military purposes.

No matter where in the world the chips are produced, Washington announced in October that it would demand licenses from businesses exporting them to China using US equipment or software.

Several nations, including the Netherlands and Japan, have joined the efforts.

The Netherlands announced last week that it would limit the export of some machinery used in the manufacture of semiconductors.

This came after the Netherlands announced plans to limit the export of its "most advanced" microchip technology earlier this year.

The controls are anticipated to have an impact on Dutch ASML, a significant participant in the global microchip supply chain.

In the meantime, Japan intends to limit some of its exports of manufactured computer chips.

The restrictions, which were announced in March, will apply to 23 different types of manufacturing equipment for semiconductors.

As a result of export restrictions put in place by Washington, China has frequently referred to the US as a "tech hegemony.".

Beijing has recently imposed restrictions on US companies that are affiliated with the US military, like aerospace company Lockheed Martin.

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has cautioned against severing the economic ties between Washington and Beijing. Yellen will visit China for four days starting on Thursday.

During a recent appearance before Congress, she stated, "I think we gain and China gains from trade and investment that is as open as possible, and it would be disastrous for us to attempt to decouple from China.".

The second senior US official to visit the nation this year will be Ms. Yellen.

Xi Jinping and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met in Beijing in June to resume high-level communication between the two rival superpowers.

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