Nvidia stock falls after U.S. government restricts chip sales to China


Nvidia headquarters in Santa Clara, California, on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021.

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Nvidia shares fell 6.5% in extended trading on Wednesday after the company said the U.S. government is restricting sales in China.

In a filing with the SEC, Nvidia said the U.S. government told the company on Aug. 26, about a new license requirement for future exports to China, including Hong Kong, to reduce the risk that the products may be used by the Chinese military.

Nvidia said the restriction would affect the A100 and H100 products, which are graphics processing units sold to businesses.

“The license requirement also includes any future Nvidia integrated circuit achieving both peak performance and chip-to-chip I/O performance equal to or greater than thresholds that are roughly equivalent to the A100, as well as any system that includes those circuits,” the filing said.

The company expects that it could lose $400 million in potential sales in China in the current quarter after previously forecasting revenue of $5.9 billion. The new rule also applies to sales to Russia, but Nvidia said it doesn’t have paying customers there.

In recent years, the U.S. government has applied increasing export restrictions to chips made with U.S. technology because of fears that Chinese companies could use them for military purposes or steal trade secrets.

Nvidia said it was applying for a license to continue some Chinese exports but doesn’t know whether the U.S. government will grant an exemption.

“We are working with our customers in China to satisfy their planned or future purchases with alternative products and may seek licenses where replacements aren’t sufficient,” an Nvidia spokesperson told CNBC. “The only current products that the new licensing requirement applies to are A100, H100 and systems such as DGX that include them.”

An AMD representative confirmed to CNBC that it had also received new licensing requirements from the U.S. Department of Commerce which it believed applied to its MI250 circuit, which is intended for artificial intellegence. AMD said it did not believe the new requirements would cause a material impact to its business.

In a statement to CNBC, a department spokesperson said “While we are not in a position to outline specific policy changes at this time, we are taking a comprehensive approach to implement additional actions necessary related to technologies, end-uses, and end-users to protect U.S. national security and foreign policy interests.”

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