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Business News/ Technology / Nvidia’s CEO Still Plans to Sell High-End Chips in China
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Nvidia’s CEO Still Plans to Sell High-End Chips in China

wsj

Days after Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo warned American companies against sales of AI-enabling chips to China, Jensen Huang said the company would come up with new products to comply with U.S. regulations.

Nvidia’s CEO Still Plans to Sell High-End Chips in ChinaPremium
Nvidia’s CEO Still Plans to Sell High-End Chips in China

SINGAPORE—Nvidia’s CEO said he still hopes to supply high-end processors to China, days after U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo warned U.S. companies against sales of AI-enabling chips to the country in the name of national security.

“Our plan now is to continue to work with the U.S. government to come up with a new set of products to comply with the new regulations," Jensen Huang told reporters in Singapore Wednesday. “The new regulations have additional limits. We have to come up with new products to comply with those regulations."

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company has come under scrutiny in recent weeks for seeking to redesign its advanced chips to cater to the Chinese market soon after U.S. officials put out rules to stem sales of artificial-intelligence chips. In October, U.S. officials tightened chip restrictions to shut out the sales of Nvidia’s China-specific graphics processing units, used by many Chinese companies for cloud and building AI programs.

The latest round of U.S. export curbs had left $5 billion worth of Nvidia’s chips in limbo, The Wall Street Journal has reported. China has historically formed about 20% of Nvidia’s revenue, Huang said on Wednesday.

Nvidia is working on a new lineup of AI chips customized for China, called the H20 and L20, the Journal reported in November. The company developed new chips within weeks in the hope of continuing sales to China, according to people familiar with the matter.

The most powerful of the chips, the H20, would fall short of the processor performance thresholds that would require an export license, according to an analysis by Bernstein Research.

Huang didn’t confirm the company was working on the chips, choosing instead to emphasize Nvidia’s acquiescence with U.S. export rules.

Days before Huang’s comments, Raimondo fired a warning shot to American chip companies about such behavior, adding that regulators would seek to clamp down on companies’ moves to work around government export controls.

“Our intent is to deny China technologies that can do XYZ, so I’m telling you, that if you redesign chips around a particular cut line that enables them to do AI…I’m going to control it the very next day," she said at a fireside chat in California.

The restrictions on AI chips are part of a wider effort by the Biden administration to curtail China’s access to advanced chips, AI tools and other technology that the U.S. believes China could use to advance its military and cyberwarfare capabilities.

Write to Liza Lin at liza.lin@wsj.com

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