On Monday, the Chinese government announced export controls on crucial elements needed to make semiconductors and electronics, namely gallium, germanium, and several of their compounds. The Ministry of Commerce and the General Administration of Customs said that exporters of these materials will need to apply for a license, starting August 1. The new export restrictions have been put in place, China says, to protect national security and interests, and come after the US, Japan, and the Netherlands took steps to limit Chinese companies’ access to chips and chipmaking equipment. China produces 60% of the germanium and 80% of gallium currently used by the global market, according to the European Critical Raw Materials Alliance (CRMA), with the rest coming from Canada, Finland, Russia, and US. [Ministry of Commerce, People’s Republic of China, in Chinese]