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Global Times: U.S. Restricts AI Chip Exports to Middle East

China’s Global Times recently published a report on social media regarding new U.S. restrictions that prevent technology companies NVIDIA and AMD from exporting advanced AI chips to the Middle East. Analysts say the restrictions are aimed at preventing Middle Eastern countries from reselling the chips to China.

In a recent regulatory filing for its A100 and H100 chips, NVIDIA disclosed that the Biden administration’s new measures will affect exports of those chips. It’s not clear which specific countries are targeted by the new export controls.

In October of last year, the Biden administration announced its implementation of artificial intelligence (AI) chip export controls targeting China. NVIDIA’s A100 and the H100 were restricted, and AMD’s exports were similarly restricted by the U.S. government. Both companies stated that, although the new control measures will affect the export of some products, they will not have a direct and significant impact on the  companies’ business performance.

On the one hand, the U.S. may be concerned about China’s acquisition of advanced AI chips from Middle Eastern countries, especially considering the close relationship some Middle Eastern countries have with China. On the other hand, the U.S. export controls may not be aimed at curbing AI tech acquisition by China alone; they may also be part of U.S. policy targeting Middle Eastern countries specifically.

Compared with the earlier U.S. measures that targeted exports to China specifically, these latest controls targeting Middle Eastern countries have a less-direct impact on China’s AI industry. According to the Global Times report, however, they still reflect the U.S.’s attempt to stifle China’s semiconductor and AI capabilities.

Source: Global Times, August 31, 2023