Report: China Buying Nvidia Chips Despite US Export Ban

    Report: China Buying Nvidia Chips Despite US Export Ban
    Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News via Getty Images

    The Facts

    • Chinese universities, government-linked artificial intelligence (AI) institutes, and military establishments have reportedly bought small quantities of Nvidia semiconductors banned by the US from export to China and Hong Kong in 2022.

    • According to a report published by Reuters, largely unknown Chinese suppliers provided Nvidia's A100, H100, A800, and H800 chips to the PRC over the past year despite the export bans.

    The Spin

    Pro-establishment narrative

    The global AI race is real and the US and its allies are well within their rights to safeguard their AI-related geopolitical interests. In any case, a situation in which China or Russia uses their technology to beat the West in this field is unacceptable. To avoid that, the US and its global allies must present a united front — measures like geo-tagging of AI chips should be made standard. Export curbs aren't enough if they are not leak-proof.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    Penalizing Beijing for its stupendous growth may help the US curb China's AI industry in the short run, but it won't stop its development forever. Such curbs eventually hurt the US and the West because American companies are losing out on a lucrative market. No wonder chip-making giants like Nvidia and Qualcomm are pushing back against such bans. The US and its friends in its so-called "rules-based order" should not try to squeeze the AI market in a multipolar, high-tech world.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 5% chance that Nvidia will have its AI accelerators fabricated in China before 2033, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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