Tech giant Nvidia has announced that President Biden’s administration has ordered it to stop shipping advanced AI chips to China immediately.
These restrictions were always in the works and due to start next month. However, for an as-of-yet unknown reason, this date has been brought forward to today.
The crackdown highlights the US Government’s recent focus and involvement with cybersecurity, with the US Space Force banning personnel from using generative AI tools and the CIA being the target of an ethical hacker.
No “Meaningful Impact” on Finances
Blocking measures were originally announced on Tuesday, October 17th and would kick into action 30 days from that date. The plan was to also prevent Iran and Russia from buying the high-end AI chips.
However, in a statement to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Nvidia said the US Government had changed the curbs to be “effective immediately.” The new restrictions will stop the exports of Nvidia's advanced AI chips, which had been designed for the Chinese market so it can comply with export regulations.
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Despite the ban, the world-leader in AI computing is positive this won’t have a significant impact on its bottom line, with a statement explaining:
“Given the strength of demand for the Company's products worldwide, the Company does not anticipate that the accelerated timing of the licensing requirements will have a near-term meaningful impact on its financial results.”
How Did China Respond?
While Nvidia appears unconcerned with the speed of the ban and potential financial implications, China is yet to comment on the acceleration.
Chinese authorities have, however, hit back at the US Government’s initial decision, with the country’s foreign ministry saying that the ban “violates the principles of the market economy and fair competition.”
When the ban was first announced, the US explained that it was to prevent China using cutting-edge AI technologies that could help strengthen its military.
The Chip Ban Is Industry-Wide
While it may dominate the AI chip industry, Nvidia is not the only company caught up in the export curbs. Although yet to comment, Advanced Micro Devices also supply chips to China and will be subject to the ban too.
California-based Nvidia has become one of the most valuable companies in the world of late, thanks to a huge surge in demand for its AI chips. This has caused its share price to more than triple and in May, it joined the exclusive club of companies with a $1 trillion stock market valuation.