Nvidia Downplays Impact of Export Restrictions on AI Chips to China

CFO Colette Kress assures minimal immediate financial impact, but warns of potential long-term consequences

According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, the United States is contemplating imposing new restrictions on the export of AI chips to China, which could affect Nvidia, the leading provider of graphics processors essential for building AI software like ChatGPT.

Nvidia Downplays Impact of Export Restrictions on AI Chips to China

Nvidia’s CFO, Colette Kress, addressed the potential impact of these export restrictions during a financial conference on Wednesday. She downplayed their immediate financial impact but expressed concerns about their potential effect on the company’s future growth.

Kress’s comments initially boosted Nvidia’s stock but later led to a 1.8% decline in intraday trading. Despite this, Nvidia’s stock has seen significant growth of over 179% since the beginning of 2023.

In reference to the reports on potential export controls, Kress stated, “We do not anticipate that such additional restrictions, if adopted, would have an immediate material impact on our financial results,” emphasizing the strong global demand for Nvidia’s products.

Kress also highlighted that China accounts for approximately 20% to 25% of the company’s data center revenue, which amounted to $4.28 billion in sales in the first quarter. This revenue includes other chips used in addition to those specifically designed for AI, such as networking components.

However, Kress cautioned that long-term restrictions on selling data center products to China, if implemented, could result in a permanent loss of opportunities for the U.S. industry to compete and lead in one of the world’s largest markets. She acknowledged the potential impact on Nvidia’s future business and financial results.

Nvidia is currently at the forefront of providing essential components for advanced AI systems, and their A100 and new H100 chips are highly sought after by AI engineers. The U.S. government has been working to limit Chinese access to Nvidia’s technology to prevent them from catching up to the U.S. in this field.

Previously, Nvidia had introduced A800 and H800 chips with modified hardware to comply with U.S. export controls. However, according to The Wall Street Journal, new limits proposed by the Commerce Department may further restrict the export of even these modified chips.

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