28 July 2020
China is trying to reduce its dependency on imported helium it uses to make hi-tech products and in high-tech processes. Nearly all helium used in China - whether to pump fuel for its huge Long March-5 rocket, to protect metal during welding, to produce laser light, or to create the super-clean environment needed to make computer chips - comes from elsewhere, mostly the United States or US-owned facilities in other countries. A new factory in Yanchi county (Ningxia), which started operating last week, produces helium at a commercial scale. However, compared to the massive amount China uses every year, the output - so far - is low.
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