The US government has banned popular American chip maker Nvidia from selling two of its most powerful chips to its Chinese clients and while that was worrying news for many big tech companies in the country, one of the country’s top surveillance camera makers Hikvision seems to be unbothered by the ban.
A board secretary at the company made it known in response to questions on the investor relations management platform of the Shenzhen Stock Exchange on Thursday.
Hikvision would be the second Chinese company that felt compelled to speak out on the US government’s ban.
Inspur, which is China’s top server maker has also said that the use of Nvidia’s A100 GPU chips in its products may not be obligatory while narrating to investors last week that it was in communication with the American company over the situation.
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Hikvision has a long relationship with Nvidia and has used the latter’s GPU chips to develop AI products.
The Hangzhou-based company was one of the first Chinese users of Nvidia’s deep-learning supercomputer DGX-1.
Hikvision got blacklisted by the US government back in 2019 alongside Huawei over ties with the Chinese government.
Hikvision in this case was alleged to be involved in the surveillance of Uygur Muslims in Xinjiang leading to the US government suspending business operations and partnership with the company.
In fact, harsher trade sanctions are being considered against Hikvision according to a Financial Tiems report back in May.
News of the latest US restrictions has triggered investors’ concerns.
“Will [the Nvidia ban] has a big impact on the company?” one person asked on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange’s forum. “Will [Hikvision] have no chip to use for AI?”
Another investor wrote, “You once said you were not affected by US sanctions, but you also said during the mid-year earnings call that your performance was under the impact of politics. Are you contradicting yourself?”
Huang Fanghong, Hikvision’s board secretary, responded, “We noticed the news … it has no impact on the company’s business.”
“Political impact comes in many forms, including geopolitical tensions and ideological differences. The [report of further US sanctions against Hikvision] is just rumors and has no real impact on the company,” she said.
Even though some major Chinese tech giants are said to be less concerned about the ban, one of the country’s leading rival to Nvidia Iluvatar Corex CTO Lu Jianping said this week that local companies have not been able to produce GPUs capable of challenging what either Nvidia or AMD has to offer.
“So far we can’t find any [mature rival products], probably because everyone is still in the development stage,” he said during an online session organized by Chinese chip supply chain consultancy ICwise.
Hikvision has however reported a 37 billion yuan (US$5.3 billion) revenue, up 9.9% from the same period in 2021 while its net profits slid 11.1% to 5.76 billion yuan.