China has stopped exporting germanium and gallium, essential materials for making semiconductors, just one month after announcing it would curb exports. The move is seen as a warning that China has a powerful weapon in the escalating trade war over tech. China enjoys a monopoly on the production of the two elements, accounting for 98% of global gallium production and 68% of refined germanium production. Developing an independent supply chain for processing these elements could cost over $20 billion and take years. The minerals are critical to the supply chains of the semiconductor, defense, EV, and communications industries.
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