NVIDIA and AMD ordered to stop selling AI chips to China by US government

(Image credit: Future)

What you need to know

  • AMD and NVIDIA have been ordered to stop shipping certain products to China.
  • A regulatory filing points to the potential use of products for military use in China and Russia as the reason for the new licensing requirement.
  • This is the latest in an ongoing tech saga surrounding relations between the United States and China.

The United States government ordered AMD and NVIDIA to stop selling certain components to China, citing concerns that the tech may be used for military use in China or Russia. Both companies were told by the government to stop exports of specific high-performance chips, as reported by CNN.

The components in question can power artificial intelligence features. AI can be used in a variety of ways, including image recognition and scanning large libraries of data for information, both of which have military applications.

NVIDIA's A100 and upcoming H100 are included in the order, as is AMD's MI250 integrated circuit.

An SEC filing states that the new license requirement is related to the risk of products being used for military use in China or Russia. 

"The USG indicated that the new license requirement will address the risk that the covered products may be used in, or diverted to, a ‘military end use’ or ‘military end user’ in China and Russia."

While the US Commerce Department said to the BBC that it was  "not in a position to outline specific policy changes at this time," it did shed some light on the situation.

"We are taking a comprehensive approach to implement additional actions necessary related to technologies, end-uses, and end-users to protect US national security and foreign policy interests," said a Commerce Department spokesperson.

"This includes preventing China's acquisition and use of US technology in the context of its military-civil fusion program to fuel its military modernisation efforts, conduct human rights abuses, and enable other malign activities."

Chinese officials disagreed with the move. "The US side should immediately stop its wrongdoing, treat companies from all over the world including Chinese companies fairly, and do more things that are conducive to the stability of the world economy."

The order to NVIDIA and AMD is the latest in an ongoing saga over technology shipments between the United States and China. Back in 2020, the U.S. government banned the sale of chips made with U.S. tech to Huawei.

NVIDIA shares dropped 6.6% and AMD shares went down 3.7% following the news.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com.