PerspectiveMining the future

Published 21 June 2019

China is set to dominate the next Industrial Revolution. A fight between the United States and China is brewing over 5G and the question of who can be trusted to control the world’s wireless infrastructure. But scant attention is being paid to an issue of arguably greater importance to the future of the world’s economy and security: China’s control of the raw materials necessary to the digital economy. No new phone, tablet, car, or satellite transferring your data at lightning speed can be made without certain minerals and metals that are buried in a surprisingly small number of countries, and for which few commonly found substitutes are available. Foreign Policy analysts write in a special report that Chinese firms, operating in niche markets with limited transparency and often in politically unstable countries, have locked up supplies of these minerals and metals with a combination of state-directed investment and state-backed capital, making long-term strategic plays, sometimes at a loss. Through in-depth analysis of company reports and disclosures, mapping of deal flows, quantification of direct and indirect equity stakes, and other primary research, FP Analytics has produced the first consolidated review of this unprecedented concentration of market power. Without rhetoric or hyperbole, this fact-based analysis reveals how rapidly and effectively China has executed its national ambitions, with far-reaching implications for the rest of the world.