Hikvision, a Chinese manufacturer of AI surveillance equipment, downplays the effects of the US ban on Nvidia chips.
Hikvision has utilised Nvidia GPUs to develop AI products and is one of the first Chinese companies to employ the US company’s deep-learning supercomputer DGX-1, according to a board secretary who spoke to investors via the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.
Hangzhou China’s biggest manufacturer of security cameras, Hikvision Digital Technology, stated that the recent export ban by Washington on some Nvidia and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) chips to the mainland would have “no impact” on its business.
On Thursday, a board secretary for Hikvision made the remark in answer to queries on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange’s investor relations management website.
Thus, it has joined a growing list of Chinese businesses that have felt obligated to criticise the US government’s decision to forbid Californian companies Nvidia and AMD from selling their premium artificial intelligence chips to customers in China.
The biggest server manufacturer in China, Inspur, which has bragged about using Nvidia’s A100 GPUs in its products, informed investors last week that it was in contact with the American business on the matter.
Since using Nvidia GPUs to create AI products, Hikvision has maintained a business partnership with the US chip designer. One of the first Chinese companies to adopt Nvidia’s deep-learning supercomputer DGX-1 was the Hangzhou-based business.
Hikvision was added to the Entity List by the US Department of Commerce in the fall of 2019 due to allegations that it participated in the monitoring of Uygur Muslims in Xinjiang; nonetheless, American companies, including Nvidia, are prohibited from exporting specific goods to the Chinese company.
A Financial Times report from May of this year stated that US officials had been thinking about imposing more severe trade restrictions against Hikvision.
Investors’ anxieties have been raised by news of the most recent US limitations.
On the Shenzhen Stock Exchange’s forum, someone posed the question, “Will [the Nvidia ban] have a large impact on the company?” Will [Hikvision] not have an AI chip?
“You originally indicated you were not impacted by US sanctions, but you also said during the mid-year results call that your performance was affected by politics,” another investor commented. Are you being contradictory?
Hikvision’s board secretary, Huang Fanghong, reacted, saying, “We saw the news… it has no impact on the company’s business.”
Geopolitical conflicts and ideological disagreements are just two examples of the various ways politics may have an impact. The [news of more US sanctions against Hikvision] is merely a rumour and won’t really have any bearing on the business, she claimed.
Other Chinese businesses seem less upbeat over the US semiconductor export restriction.
This week, Lu Jianping, chief technology officer at Iluvatar Corex, the biggest Nvidia competitor in China, claimed that local manufacturers had failed to create GPUs that could compete with those made by AMD and Nvidia.
During an online discussion led by Chinese semiconductor supply chain consultant ICwise, he stated, “So far we can’t discover any [mature rival goods], possibly because everyone is still in the development stage.”
Hikvision reported sales of 37 billion yuan ($5.3 billion) for the first half of 2022, an increase of 9.9% over the same time in 2021. However, net earnings fell by 11.1% to 5.76 billion yuan.