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Chinese Companies Stocked Up as US Chip Export Controls Tighten

On October 17th the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) issued an announcement expanding the scope of controls on the export of advanced computer chips to China. This action directly affects semiconductor giant NVIDIA’s sale of “special edition” A800 and H800 chips to China and other regions. The expanded export controls also restricts Dutch ASML from exporting certain machine models to China. Additionally, it added Chinese companies Biren Technology and Moore Thread and their subsidiaries to the “Entity List” to restrict export to them.

Many Chinese Artificial Intelligence (AI) startups have already acted to stock up on chips prior to the ban. Through various channels such as service providers, middlemen, and foreign trade agents, these Chinese companies are trying to prevent their previous orders from being cancelled while exploring avenues for obtaining additional chips in the short term.

Market research firm Counterpoint estimated that Chinese companies are now lagging behind global counterparts by about 2.5 to 3 years in fields like generative AI. According to Counterpoint, chip acquisition is not the sole factor driving this lag. The gap between China and its global counterparts is expected to widen over the next few years.

Source: Central News Agency (Taiwan), October 23, 2023