China demands US drop tech exports after Nvidia warning
BEIJING — The Chinese government on Thursday called on Washington to repeal its technology export restrictions after California-based chip designer Nvidia said a new product could be delayed and some work could be moved out of China.
The latest checks add to rising US-China tensions over technology and security. US officials say they must limit the spread of technology that can be used to make weapons.
Nvidia said it learned last week that it needed a license from the US government to export any product with performance equal to or better than its A100 graphics processing chips to China, Hong Kong or Russia. He said A100 buyers and the development of the new H100 could be affected.
But in an amended disclosure Thursday to U.S. securities regulators, the company said the U.S. government was offering a reprieve by allowing some chip exports that will allow Nvidia to continue supplying them to U.S. customers through March.
The high-end chips are designed to help power data centers and run artificial intelligence applications. The restrictions do not affect Nvidia’s best-known products used in video games and automotive technology.
Another U.S. chipmaker, Advanced Micro Devices, said on Friday it also received new licensing requirements from the U.S. Commerce Department blocking shipment of some of its high-end graphics processors to China and Russia. But AMD said it was unlikely to cause product development delays or have a significant impact on its business.
China’s Commerce Ministry has accused Washington of abusing export controls to limit semiconductor sales to China. He said trade restrictions would disrupt supply chains and global economic recovery.
“China strongly opposes it,” said ministry spokesman Shu Jueting. “The US side should immediately end its wrongful practices, treat companies from all countries equally, including China, and do more to contribute to global economic stability.”
US officials are increasingly concerned about Chinese technological development as both a strategic threat and a potential challenge to US industrial leadership.
Washington has tightened controls and pressured its allies to limit Chinese access to the most advanced chips and tools to develop its own. China is spending a lot to develop its fledgling producers, but cannot manufacture high-end chips used in the most advanced smartphones and other devices.
In an earlier disclosure on Wednesday, Nvidia said it may need to “move some operations out of China.” The company said it was asking the US government for exemptions for its development and support activities.
He said he would try to meet the needs of Chinese customers with products that are not subject to licensing requirements. He said the company may apply for a license for customers who need one, but “has no assurance” that the US government will agree.
Shares of Santa Clara, Calif.-based Nvidia Corp. fell $11.57, or nearly 8%, to close Thursday at $139.37.