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Nvidia chief skips visit to mainland China, returns to US

Nvidia’s billionaire founder and chief executive Jensen Huang Jen-hsun has left Taiwan to return to the United States, skipping a reported planned trip to mainland China, according to media reports.

Huang, 60, returned to the US after completing a trip to Taiwan last week, the Beijing-based Economic Observer reported, citing a company representative.

The official Shanghai Securities News reported last week that Huang was expected to arrive in Shanghai on Tuesday, echoing an earlier report by Bloomberg News that Huang planned to meet executives from Tencent Holdings, TikTok owner ByteDance, smartphone giant Xiaomi, and automobile makers BYD and Li Auto this month in China.

Nvidia, the world’s most valuable chip maker, has never confirmed or published any information about Huang’s planned trip to mainland China. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment by the Post on Monday.

The move is likely to upset mainland fans, as a visit to mainland China by Huang would have been seen as a sign that the country is too big a market to ignore.

As the current US-China tech war rolls on, the Taiwan-born American entrepreneur told reporters last month at a round table at Computex Taipei, an annual technology industry expo, that China’s ability to catch up in chip technology should not be underrated.

Under the updated US export control regime, Nvidia is unable to sell its most advanced chips to China where demand for such chips is enormous.

Huang, who founded Nvidia in 1993, has been vocal about the impact of Washington’s sanctions on China’s access to semiconductors.

To comply with Washington’s rules, Nvidia has to offer lower-end versions of its most advanced graphics processing units (GPUs) that are tailor-made for the mainland market.

Huang has been in the media spotlight for several days in Taiwan, where he received a rock star welcome.

He kicked off hi tour on May 27 at the National Taiwan University in Taipei, where he encouraged graduating students in a commencement address to “run hard” and seize the “golden opportunities” of an AI revolution.

Huang unveiled a series of new products and services related to AI at Computex Taipei. Speaking at the trade fair, he noted that China is pouring massive resources into shoring up its chip sector.

In an interview with the Financial Times last month, he was quoted as saying the Biden administration should be “careful” with its semiconductor restrictions, because “if [China] can’t buy from … the United States, they’ll just build it themselves”.

During his whirlwind trip to Taiwan, he also had dinner with Morris Chang, founder of the world’s largest chip foundry Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co, which builds Nvidia’s flagship chips, such as the H100. South China Morning Post

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