The Chief Executive Officer of Nvidia Corp. Jensen Huang said that Huawei Technologies Co. is on the list of the most serious competitors of his company in the race for the production of the best chips designed for the creation and subsequent functioning of artificial intelligence systems.
Mr. Huang made the corresponding statement on Wednesday, December 6, during a conversation with journalists in Singapore. According to him, Huawei, Intel Corp., and a group of semiconductor startups, which are gradually expanding, are a serious challenge to Nvidia’s dominant position in the market for machine intelligence accelerators. Jensen Huang stated that his company has many competitors in China and beyond.
Huawei, based in the city of Shenzhen, located in China’s Guangdong Province bordering Hong Kong, is currently a leader in the domestic chip and technology industry based on microcircuits. This year, the company demonstrated achievements that attracted attention and became evidence of its ability to create cutting-edge developments. The new Huawei smartphones of the 2023 model year have high-tech processors made in China, which came as a surprise to many experts. This news became a kind of shock factor for those who doubted Beijing’s prospects regarding progress in the development of homegrown manufacturing chips.
In Singapore, Jensen Huang will meet with local Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. As part of the communication between the politician and a representative of the technology industry, the issue of the participation of the specified city-state in the global artificial intelligence race will be discussed. During the increased interest in AI, the demand for chips manufactured by Nvidia has increased many times. These products provide the most effective training of large data models, similar to the one that became the base for ChatGPT.
Washington has restricted Beijing’s access to advanced microcircuits. These measures had an impact on the supply of Nvidia products to China. In October, Washington tightened the relevant export rules. In November, the media reported that the company would develop special chips for the Chinese market to circumvent bans imposed by the American authorities. On Saturday, December 2, United States Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said that Washington cannot let Beijing access to advanced microcircuits, noting that this issue is non-negotiable.
During a conversation with reporters in Singapore, Jensen Huang said that traditionally China’s share in the Nvidia product supply structure was about 20%. Also in this context, he stated that his company intends to flawlessly comply with trade rules, implying coordination of activities with export restrictions imposed by Washington against Beijing.
At the same time, the fact that for Nvidia, the tension in relations between China and the United States is a factor of negative impact on its business is too obvious to dispute and even more so to deny it. The artificial intelligence chips produced by the firm have become something like a strategically important element in the ratio of power between the two largest economies in the world.
Jensen Huang actually confirmed the above information that Nvidia will create microcircuits for the Chinese market. In Singapore, he announced that his company would present a new set of products for the mentioned country that would comply with American rules in the sphere of exports. Jensen Huang also stated that Nvidia serves Chinese customers in Singapore. The city-state has a business presence of such large companies from China as ByteDance Ltd., whose TikTok is the main employer locally, Tencent Holdings Ltd., and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. According to the results of the three months ended in October, about 15% of Nvidia’s revenue was sales to customers in Singapore. This indicator includes, among other things, the service provided by Chinese companies.
Singapore is currently interested in scaling up its digital economy. According to local authorities, appropriate efforts will be able to ensure economic growth. Chip manufacturers operate in Singapore. In this case, not the most pleasant nuance is that the city-state has established the process of making microcircuits, which are not advanced. Singapore hosts factories of the appropriate profile, managed and operated by Globalfoundries Inc. and other major players. Nvidia, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., and NXP Semiconductors NV. have a joint venture in the city-state.
Jensen Huang is a native of Taiwan. In the mid-1990s, he co-founded Nvidia. In Asia, Mr. Huang is perceived as a hero who made the leap and reached heights where economic indicators are estimated in trillions of dollars. Before going to Singapore, he visited Japan, where he met with the local Minister of Economy Yasutoshi Nishimura, and discussed the potential of this country in creating an internal ecosystem of artificial intelligence.