US Considers New Curbs on AI Chip Exports to China

    US Considers New Curbs on AI Chip Exports to China
    Last updated Jun 28, 2023
    Image credit: PD Photo [via Wikimedia Commons]


    • The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that, according to "people familiar with the situation," the US government is considering additional restrictions on exports of AI chips to China, citing rising concerns regarding the technology being used by US rivals.
    • The US Commerce Dept. will reportedly stop shipments of chips made by Nvidia and other chip companies to customers in China as early as July, with shares of Nvidia falling more than 2% and Advanced Micro Devices falling about 1.5% after the news broke.
    • Within the span of a few hours, tech stocks saw even larger drops, with Nvidia falling 4% overall, Advanced Micro Devices 3.3%, and Intel 0.7%, while futures tracking the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 index edged 0.5% lower.
    • Nvidia’s CEO Jensen Huang recently told the Financial Times that export controls could cause "enormous damage" to the US tech industry, as China is the second largest market in the world, adding that the company had its "hands tied behind our back."
    • The potential restrictions come after the sale of Nvidia’s cutting-edge A100 and H100 chips, designed for high-performance computing, to China was banned in September. Nvidia came up with a less powerful AI chip, the A800, as a workaround to the restrictions.
    • There has been increased demand for AI chips from Chinese companies, such as Tencent, Alibaba, Baidu, and ByteDance, just as the Biden admin. has attempted to make it harder for China to obtain advanced technologies that could be used for military purposes.


    Pro-China narrative

    The US can only ban the sale of technology or equipment, not the free flow of global tech talent to China, so it will be virtually impossible to contain China’s rise and emergence as a stronger power than the US. If the intention of these export control measures is to make it harder for China to become a global leader in artificial intelligence and semiconductors, it’s bound to backfire.

    Anti-China narrative

    The US is having a rational response to heightened geopolitical threats and the role of emerging technologies in advanced weapons systems. It would be foolish to expect the US to continue supplying its own and allies' technologies at the cost of national security, thus helping China reach its goal of upgrading its military capabilities. Even if a ban on chip exports to China sets off a slight geopolitical quake, it’s worth it.

    Establishment split



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