Nvidia’s latest AI chip struggles in China market

The uncertain future in the Chinese market concerns investors, while the H20 chip’s weak demand and discounted pricing compared to Huawei’s chip raises further doubts.

China, Nvidia, chip

Nvidia’s latest AI chip, the H20, tailored for the Chinese market, is struggling with weak demand, leading to prices dropping below that of rival Huawei’s Ascend 910B chip. Despite being Nvidia’s most advanced product available in China, the H20’s abundant supply suggests it needs to gain more traction. This comes as Nvidia faces stiff competition and US sanctions that have significantly impacted its business in China, a market that previously contributed 17% to its fiscal 2024 revenue.

The competitive pressure and sanctions create uncertainty for Nvidia’s prospects in China. Senior executives acknowledged a substantial drop in their data centre revenue from China since new export control restrictions were implemented. Market analyst Hebe Chen noted that Nvidia is trying to balance maintaining its presence in China while navigating US tensions and preparing for potentially worse outcomes in the long term.

Huawei’s aggressive expansion and increased shipments of its Ascend 910B chip, which reportedly outperforms the H20 in some metrics, further challenge Nvidia. While Nvidia’s H20 has seen some orders from major Chinese tech firms like Alibaba, its success is constrained by Beijing’s preference for domestically produced chips. With a significant price discrepancy between Nvidia’s H20 and Huawei’s 910B, Nvidia’s margin squeeze is apparent as it competes in a market increasingly dominated by local players.