Biden Expands Limits on Nvidia Chip Exports to China Explained


The Biden administration has introduced a series of measures aimed at preventing the export of cutting-edge artificial intelligence chips to China, including those designed by Nvidia. These actions are part of an effort to curb China's access to advanced US technology that could be used to bolster its military capabilities.

Key Measures:

  • Halt Shipments to China: The new rules, set to take effect in 30 days, stop the export of advanced artificial intelligence chips to China. This not only affects Nvidia but also other chip manufacturers.

  • Expanded Restrictions: The restrictions have been broadened to apply to more countries, including Iran and Russia, further limiting the export of advanced chips and chipmaking tools. Additionally, Chinese chip designers Moore Threads and Brien have been blacklisted.

  • Regular Updates: Commerce Department Secretary Gina Raimondo stated that these measures will be periodically updated, with the goal of preventing China from acquiring advanced semiconductors that could be used for military applications.

  • Economic Impact: It is important to note that the Biden administration's intent is not to harm China economically. China will still continue to import billions of dollars' worth of US semiconductors.

Chinese Response:

  • The Chinese embassy has expressed firm opposition to these new restrictions. They argue that imposing arbitrary restrictions and seeking decoupling for political reasons goes against the principles of fair competition and disrupts the international economic and trading order.

US AI and China's Military:

  • Despite prior regulations, it appears that AI chips previously banned can still be procured from vendors in China's Shenzhen.

  • A report from Georgetown University's Center for Security and Emerging Technology found that a significant number of AI chips purchased for Chinese military purposes were designed by companies like Nvidia, Xilinx, Intel, and Micro semi. These chips play a crucial role in enhancing military decision-making, planning, and logistics through advanced AI capabilities and supercomputing.

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