Reregulation of China's rare earth production and export

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Purpose: Rare earths are essential materials for many high-tech industries critical to both economic development and national defense. China, the world's dominant supplier of rare earths, has recently been imposing stricter controls over its production and export. The purpose of this paper is to examine the domestic roots of the changes in China's rare earth industry production and exports in its three-decade rise to the current global monopoly. Design/methodology/approach: This paper adopts the historical institutionalism approach to analyze the trajectory of industry and trade development. The author analyzes data collected from government whitepapers and reputed scholarly and news sources. Findings: This paper argues that the Chinese rare earth industry has gone through three periods of development, in which the state attempted to control the market and industry through reformulating rules and institutions to achieve state goals. Domestic state institutions, combined with macroeconomic environment and state governance strategy shaped the three-decade experience of rare earth industry and trade development in China. Originality/value: This paper builds on existing findings about Chinese state regulations to provide a novel analytical framework to analyze the role of the state in industry and trade development in the rare earth industry. The focus on a single strategic industry seldom studied in the current literature also provides ample empirical value to further scholarly understanding about this industry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)236-256
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Emerging Markets
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2014


  • China
  • Governance
  • Industrial policy
  • Markets and institutions
  • Rare earth elements
  • Reregulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting (all)


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