Huawei is gaining ground in the AI revolution, developing chips to challenge Nvidia, and the US has only itself to blame.
The US has been engaged in an extended campaign to restrict China’s access to advanced technologies, including the semiconductors necessary for AI development. Actions have included cutting off Chinese firms — such as Huawei — from access to US tech and restricting American firms from doing business with their Chinese counterparts.
According to a new report by Reuters, that strategy may be backfiring, with experts saying Huawei is working to replace Nvidia in the Chinese market, where it has controlled as much as 90% of the AI chip market.
“This U.S. move, in my opinion, is actually giving Huawei’s Ascend chips a huge gift,” Jiang Yifan, chief market analyst at brokerage Guotai Junan Securities, said in a post on his Weibo account.
Analysts say Huawei’s Ascend chips still lag behind Nvidia in performance, but they are comparable in raw computing power. While Huawei clearly has a ways to go before it can fully replace Nvidia, the more the US restricts China’s access to Nvidia’s tech, the more the country and its companies will be motivated to escalate efforts to catch up.
In the meantime, Huawei is the company poised to benefit the most from US efforts, a strange turn of events given how much US regulators have tried to cripple the company.