Today, the FT released an opinion piece regarding the escalation in the Trade Dispute between China and the US vis-a-vis a potential retaliation by China in restricting its export of rare earth metals to the US. The rare earths topic has become quite heated in the recent week since rare earths comprise key components in technological products such as cell phones and electronic car motors.

As a curious exercise, I want to take you down a meandering pictorial journey down the path of supply chain and see how rare earths feed into mobile phones.

Note: The companies displayed in the some of the figures below are only a select list, not an exhaustive list.

Figure 1.1: Rare Earth Metals Direct Supply Chain

Up Stream and Down Stream Products of Rare Earth Metals

Figure 1.2: Listed Chinese Producers of Rare Earth Metals and the Associated Revenue Figures and Contribution to Total Company Revenue

Chinese Producers of Rare Earth Metals and the Associated Revenue Figures and Contribution to Total Company Revenue

Figure 2.1: Chemicals for Information Use (Down Stream Product of Rare Earth Metals)

Chemicals for Information Use (Down Stream Product of Rare Earth Metals)

Figure 2.2: Listed Chinese Producers of Chemicals for Information Use

 Chinese Producers of Chemicals for Information Use

Figure 2.3: Listed American Producers of Chemicals for Information Use

American Producers of Chemicals for Information Use

Figure 3.1: Liquid Chrystal Display Materials (Down Stream from Chemicals for Information Use)

 Liquid Chrystal Display Materials (Down Stream from Chemicals for Information Use)

Figure 3.2: Listed Chinese Producers of Liquid Chrystal Display Materials

Chinese Producers of Liquid Chrystal Display Materials

Figure 3.3: Listed American Producers of Liquid Chrystal Display Materials

American Producers of Liquid Chrystal Display Materials

Figure 4.1: Liquid Chrystal Display (Down Stream from Liquid Chrystal Display Materials)

Liquid Chrystal Display (Down Stream from Liquid Chrystal Display Materials)

Figure 4.2: Listed Chinese Producers of Liquid Chrystal Display

Chinese Producers of Liquid Chrystal Display

Figure 4.3: Listed American Producers of Liquid Chrystal Display

American Producers of Liquid Chrystal Display

Figure 5.1: Touch Screen Display (Down Stream from Liquid Chrystal Display)

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Figure 5.2: Listed Chinese Producers of Touch Screen Display

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Figure 5.2: Listed American Producers of Touch Screen Display

Listed American Producers of Touch Screen Display

Figure 6.1: Mobile Phones (Down Stream from Touch Screen Display)

Mobile Phones (Down Stream from Touch Screen Display)

Figure 6.2: Listed Chinese Producers of Mobile Phones

Listed Chinese Producers of Mobile Phones

Figure 6.3: Listed American Producers of Mobile Phones

Listed American Producers of Mobile Phones

Hope that was fun or boring, depending on your level of nerd :) You can do the same exercise at ChinaScope's iNews (http://inews.chinascope.com).