ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailPositive ArrowIcon PrintIcon Twitter
Technology

Tech industry braces for skyrocketing rare earth prices

Surging demand and U.S.-China tensions make life tough for hardware makers

China controls much of the world's supply of rare-earth metals, which go into everything from smartphones, to electric cars to medical equipment.   © Reuters

TAIPEI -- Electronic hardware manufacturers are sweating as prices for rare-earth metals surge amid soaring demand and simmering tensions between the U.S. and China, the world's most important source of these vital materials.

For Max Hsiao, senior manager of an audio component maker based in Dongguan, China, the squeeze is coming from a magnetic alloy known as praseodymium neodymium. The price of the metal, which Hsiao's company uses to assemble speakers for Amazon and laptop maker Lenovo, has doubled since June last year to around 760,000 yuan ($117,300) a ton this August.

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

Discover the all new Nikkei Asia app

  • Take your reading anywhere with offline reading functions
  • Never miss a story with breaking news alerts
  • Customize your reading experience

Nikkei Asian Review, now known as Nikkei Asia, will be the voice of the Asian Century.

Celebrate our next chapter
Free access for everyone - Sep. 30

Find out more