Despite export limitations put in place by the United States, Chinese sellers are profiting from the soaring demand for high-end Nvidia chips, particularly the A100 artificial intelligence (AI) chips. People looking for the sought-after chips have started gathering in Shenzhen’s well-known Huaqiangbei electronics district, which is well-known for its extensive selection of electronic products, including drones and camera parts.
Although the chips are not advertised in public, they can be found with careful research. The A100 chips, created by US chip company Nvidia, are reportedly offered for a stunning $20,000 per unit, which is double the standard price.
High-end US chips can be purchased or sold in China legally, but because of US export restrictions, a black market has emerged. Vendors take care to avoid drawing the attention of Chinese or US authorities.
In an effort to halt Chinese advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) and supercomputing in the face of escalating political and trade tensions, President Joe Biden’s administration introduced export restrictions. Thought to be the best for machine learning tasks, Nvidia’s microprocessors are now in high demand because of the worldwide AI boom, which was spurred by the popularity of OpenAI’s ChatGPT.
The precise number of A100 and H100 chips entering China is still unknown, but Reuters discovered that several dealers in Hong Kong and mainland China have easy access to small amounts of A100 chips. Buyers often include entrepreneurs, gamers, researchers, and app makers. Notably, a few municipal governments in China are also among the buyers.
In reaction to the circumstance, Nvidia declared that they do not allow the export of the A100 or H100 to China and instead provide lower-capability alternatives that adhere to US laws. The business also stated that it will punish consumers who were discovered to be breaking the terms of their agreement.