China has announced a ban on exports of rare-earth technologies, an apparent response to tighter US controls on semiconductor shipments to the country. China accounts for roughly 70 percent of global rare-earth output.
China's Commerce Ministry said on Thursday it is barring the export of a rare-earth technology to make high-powered magnets, as well as restricting shipments of rare-earth refining technology.
The magnets are necessary to manufacture a broad range of products, such as motors of electric vehicles.
The United States, Japan and others rely on China for its rare-earth refining and processing technologies to make the magnets.
This is the latest in a series of China's export controls on important mineral resources used in the production of high-tech products.
In August, China initiated export controls on items related to the chip-making materials, gallium and germanium. On December 1, Beijing started restricting exports of graphite products, which are key to making lithium-ion batteries.