Chinese gamers now have to pay more than double the list price of Nvidia Corp.’s flagship consumer graphics card after it was caught up in a US technology export ban on its biggest geopolitical rival.
(Bloomberg) — Chinese gamers now have to pay more than double the list price of Nvidia Corp.’s flagship consumer graphics card after it was caught up in a US technology export ban on its biggest geopolitical rival.
Prices for the year-old GeForce RTX 4090, originally listed at $1,599, are now as high as 29,000 yuan ($3,970) on Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s Taobao marketplace as retailers begin to pull it from their shelves. The RTX 4090 is Nvidia’s top-of-the-line GPU and an aspirational item for gamers worldwide, but it’s now prohibited to export to China without a US government license after its performance was found to exceed a threshold set by American officials, Nvidia said in a filing this week.
Read more: Nvidia Warns of Product Snags From Tightening US Chip Rules
Washington’s intent with the curbs is to prevent China’s military from accessing gear that can help develop advanced artificial intelligence applications, targeting specialized accelerator chips like Nvidia’s A800. Desktop PCs that include the RTX 4090 card among their specifications are still available to buy from some Chinese outlets, though they would still be subject to the US curbs, according to Nvidia’s statement.
Nvidia touts its RTX 40 generation of cards as pioneers in the field of using AI in graphics rendering, applying what it calls neural rendering to produce higher-fidelity graphics faster. The company has also developed deep learning algorithms to help fill in missing frames for smoother animations, and its leadership in AI accelerators is built on technology first introduced in its consumer cards.
–With assistance from Jane Lanhee Lee and Zheping Huang.
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