By Jiahui Huang


Nvidia has named Chinese technology giant Huawei as a competitor for the first time, offering a sign of the shifting global landscape for the advanced chips that will power new artificial-intelligence technologies.

In an annual report filed to the Securities and Exchange Commission late Wednesday, Nvidia listed Huawei as a current competitor in four of five fields, including AI-related graphics processing units, large cloud-services companies with internal teams designing chips related to AI, Arm-based central processing units and networking products.

"It is possible that new competitors or alliances among competitors could emerge and acquire significant market share," the company said in the report. It also named Chinese tech companies Alibaba and Baidu in the report, listing them as competitors in cloud services.

Nvidia declined to comment on its mention of Huawei.

Santa Clara, Calif.-based Nvidia used to be a major supplier of chips for Chinese companies, but the situation changed after Huawei was added to a U.S. trade sanction list in 2019. Nvidia's finance chief said on a call with analysts this week that sales of AI chips to China declined significantly during the company's most recent quarter because of U.S. government restrictions.

With limited access to Nvidia and other U.S. chip makers, China has boosted efforts to build a more independent semiconductor industry.

Huawei, one of the country's major players in AI, has been developing a series of "domestically made substitute" chips to replace Nvidia's, according to Bernstein senior research analyst Qingyuan Lin. "The biggest competition between Huawei and Nvidia will be in AI chip-making," Lin said.

Chinese companies are currently cut off from Nvidia's A100 chips, which power some of the world's highest-performing data centers for AI, and the more advanced H100 series.

The only other time Nvidia mentioned Huawei in a public earnings release was in a quarterly report in 2017, when it said Huawei would use Nvidia's Volta HGX architecture to build AI systems for data centers. In that report, Nvidia also added Huawei as a partner for its AI smart-cities platform.

To compete with Huawei, Nvidia is offering customers samples of its two new AI chips targeting the China market specifically, Nvidia's chief executive told Reuters in a recent interview.


Write to Jiahui Huang at jiahui.huang@wsj.com


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

02-23-24 0713ET