China might ban Rare Earth Magnet Technologies

China Bans Rare Earth Magnet Technologies

As per a recent revision of China’s export control law, the country is looking to impose a total ban on exporting rare earth technologies needed to manufacture highly powerful magnets. Rare earth elements like neodymium and samarium cobalt are essential to making magnets used anywhere from smartphones to spacecrafts. Trains, EVS, and turbines all need these magnets to function so they have a huge global demand.

China’s Ban on Rare Earth

As of today, China owns about 85% of rare earth processing and 92 % of rare earth magnet production. Since the ban includes technologies for refining and processing rare earth elements, it’ll pose a huge problem in making powerful rare earth magnets globally. Hence, the export ban could be devastating for everyone since demand would far outpace supply chains.

China Rare Earth Mining Rig


China claims this to be a move for “national safety” but it’s likely something else. Many speculate that China is strengthening its hold on its dominant markets. They might use them later on as bargaining chips against  US and Europe. While we don’t know for sure, it seems like China is trying to build a self-sufficient economy independent of the rest of the world. This aligns with its goal of a self-sufficient China by 2025.

Alternatives to China’s Ban

Although the ban is a terrifying thought, there are alternatives present. According to an article on investor intel, this news is nothing more than a paper tiger. The experts at Critical Minerals Institute (CMI) seemed to share the consensus that it would have little to no impact in the long run.

Alternative to China's Ban on Rare Earth Magnet TechnologyTheir reasoning being Rare Earth Refining Technologies are already well known and being practiced in Estonia, France, and Japan. The most popular of rare earth technology, neodymium magnets are already in production in Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Thailand, Germany, the UK, and the U.S. NdFeB alloys are made in Vietnam and Thailand. These alternatives may serve to fulfill some of the demand if the ban does go through but it’s hard to imagine them pumping out the same quantity as China.

China’s Ban on Rare Earth: Conclusion

Geo-political issues like these often have multiple facets to them so it’s hard to land on a single objective conclusion. But, the best-case scenario would be for China to not proceed with the ban on Rare earth technology. Though the technology is not exclusive to China today, the country still holds a dominant majority of the market share. So chaos will ensue in the global economy if the ban does go through. Hopefully, not all has been decided yet so we can wait and see how things play out.

Meanwhile, check out our review of the fastest charging smartphone: I tested the World’s Fastest Charging Smartphone | Realme GT3 – YouTube

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Rabins Sharma Lamichhane

Rabins Sharma Lamichhane is senior ICT professional who talks about #it, #cloud, #servers, #software, and #innovation. Rabins is also the first initiator of Digital Nepal. Facebook: rabinsxp Instagram: rabinsxp

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