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China has nearly 70% of market share in mining of rare earth elements (REE) and has nearly 100% market share in technology related to mining of REE.

Recently, Reuters reported:

China, the world's top processor of rare earths, banned the export of technology to make rare earth magnets on Thursday, adding it to a ban already in place on technology to extract and separate the critical materials.

Most assume that this was to counter US restrictions regarding semiconductors. Now that China has increased the pressure:

  1. Has any foreign media or politician made any comments on this issue?

  2. Has any country publicly outlined its plan on how it is going to deal with the restrictions of importing rare earth metals from China?

(Pardon if you find my wording awkward)

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  • What typically happens in such cases of strategic subsidies followed by export restrictions is that production of such materials increases in the rest of the world and the introduction of technologies for processing that new production also happens. The reverse pattern is already happening with semiconductors. Any gains from export restrictions are usually short-term. See politics.stackexchange.com/questions/41557/…
    – Henry
    Dec 22, 2023 at 14:29
  • Voting to close - As this is a Q and A platform for disseminating factual information, we don't encourage "predictions" (speculative opinions) as answers. Please edit and improve your question - for e.g. .. you can ask "Has any foreign media or politician made any comments on this issue?" - so that it is within our guidelines. Thanks.
    – sfxedit
    Dec 22, 2023 at 17:09
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    It's worth noting that rare earths aren't actually rare, it's just that the chemical processes to refine them produce hazardous wastes that are ugly to deal with. China, with weak environmental protections, produces rare earths cheaply by polluting the local environment. In the West, hazardous waste must be dealt with and that drives up the price. So broadly, the answer is either some other country will accept the environmental costs, or the price of rare earths will go up, or someone will invent techniques to deal with the waste more efficiently. (or more likely a combination of the three)
    – codeMonkey
    Dec 22, 2023 at 18:00
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    @sfxedit I am positive regarding healthy criticism, and I have done the corrections, regarding English I am a beginner it's not my mother tongue. Thanks for help.
    – Qwerty
    Dec 22, 2023 at 18:55
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    Thanks for accepting the criticism graciously. Since you are not an English speaker, I have edited your question to help you, and requested reopening the question - others will decide now. Note though that since this is an English only platform, not everyone will spend time trying to understand your question. So you will have to be patient, and have to improve your English to participate here.
    – sfxedit
    Dec 22, 2023 at 19:42

1 Answer 1

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Question:

How will the world react to China banning the export of rare earth magnet technology?

CNN's September 22, 2023 China just stopped exporting two minerals the world’s chipmakers need (namely, gallium and germanium)

How is the world responding?

  1. Most countries have reserves of rare earths for such occasions
  2. Many countries like the United States are re-starting domestic rare earth production facilities and have been for some time.
  1. Consumer costs have gone up.
  2. Western companies no longer see China as a trustworthy partner. So Western investment and supply chains are moving away from China. Western firms shift investment from China to India as worries mount
  3. China itself is not only the largest producer of rare earth metals, they are also the largest importer. So this move to subvert the global marketplace will certainly hit China as hard as anybody else.
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  • The question asks about "rare earth magnet technology". To my knowledge, gallium and germanium are neither rare earth elements, nor are they technologies. cf. Electronics SE's What are the primary industrial uses of gallium and germanium in electronics? and the Asianometry video China's Gallium & Germanium Export Controls and Wikipedia's Rare-Earth Magnet I'm not seeing a real answer to the question yet
    – uhoh
    Dec 23, 2023 at 8:13
  • Have a 2nd look at the block quote in the question "...banned the export of technology to make rare earth magnets on Thursday..." Look for technology used to make magnets. It could be equipment of various kinds, but I wonder if in this case the technology is related to intellectual property? Or could Reuters have gotten it wrong?
    – uhoh
    Dec 23, 2023 at 8:18
  • Also note that the September CNN article about gallium and germanium you've linked to came 3 months before the Reuters report about rare-earth magnet manufacturing technology. These are really totally different things.
    – uhoh
    Dec 23, 2023 at 11:02
  • @uhoh, They are all rare-earth metals. They banned magnetic rare earth metals earlier in the year too. Why China Is Banning Rare Earth Metal Exports
    – JMS
    Dec 23, 2023 at 23:18
  • no, gallium and germanium are not even mentioned in your Popular Mechanics link. Those elements are not rare-earths. Neither (to my knowledge) are they related to rare-earth magnet production technology. There's no ambiguity here. Once again I link to Wikipedia's rare-earth element. There's a list there.
    – uhoh
    Dec 24, 2023 at 15:54

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