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Business News/ Companies / Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang to visit China amidst growing geopolitical tensions, meeting tech executives and gaming giants

Nvidia's CEO, Jensen Huang, is reportedly planning a visit to China to engage with tech executives in the largest chip market globally, defying escalating tensions between the United States and China. Sources familiar with the situation revealed this information, as per a report by Bloomberg. 

As per the report, Jensen Huang, the CEO of Nvidia, intends to visit China in June, marking his first trip to the country in several years. These insiders, who wish to remain unidentified due to the confidential nature of his schedule, disclosed that Huang recently made an appearance at a trade show in Taiwan. During his upcoming visit to China, Huang plans to meet with prominent technology executives from Tencent Holdings Ltd., a leading player in the gaming industry, and ByteDance Ltd., the parent company of popular social media platform TikTok.

As the field of artificial intelligence experiences rapid growth, Nvidia is emerging as a significant player. However, the company's position in China has become complex due to geopolitical factors. The Biden administration's sanctions imposed last year prohibit Nvidia from selling its most advanced AI chipsets to Chinese customers, including Tencent and ByteDance. 

To adapt to these restrictions, Nvidia, headquartered in Santa Clara, California, swiftly redesigned its product lineup to develop new chips specifically tailored for the Chinese market, ensuring compliance with the regulations. Nvidia's chipsets are widely recognized as the industry standard for training AI systems, such as the sophisticated language model powering ChatGPT.

Jensen Huang, aged 60, is not the only business leader seeking to engage with Chinese customers. He joins a growing roster of corporate executives capitalizing on China's economic recovery post-Covid by visiting the world's second-largest economy. Prominent figures like Tim Cook of Apple Inc. and billionaire Elon Musk have also made similar trips. Despite the pandemic-induced downturn, China remains a crucial market for numerous global companies, and economists anticipate a resurgence in growth throughout 2023.

In the past week, Huang has experienced a meteoric rise to prominence, particularly within the technology sector. Nvidia's optimistic outlook for AI chip demand propelled its market valuation to a staggering $1 trillion, making it the first chipmaker to achieve this milestone. During events held in Taiwan, Huang garnered substantial attention from both the media and admirers, with many clamoring for selfies with the CEO.

After reaching the notable $1 trillion mark, Nvidia experienced a setback on Wednesday as its shares declined by up to 4% to $385.01. As of 12:02 p.m. in New York, the company's market valuation stood at $954.9 billion.

Executives representing Chinese customers, including Tencent, have downplayed concerns regarding the impact of US chip sanctions on their global AI development capabilities. Many of these executives argue that they can compensate for the performance loss to some extent by employing a larger number of chips, although this approach may lead to increased costs.

(With inputs from Bloomberg)

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Updated: 01 Jun 2023, 12:10 PM IST
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