China offers ‘computing vouchers’ to small AI startups

China is reportedly taking steps to help its growing AI startups compete with tech giants.

As the Financial Times (FT) reported on Monday, at least 17 cities have pledged to offer “computing vouchers” to startups amid a shortage of the kind of chips needed for artificial intelligence (AI). Help pay for rising data center costs. ) department.

The vouchers will be worth between $140,000 and $280,000, and can be used for time in AI data centers where companies can train and run large language models (LLMs), the report said.

According to the report, industry experts say the move comes after internet companies voided their contracts with cloud computing services. This was because strict measures in the US forced them to “hog GPUs. [graphics processing units] For themselves, as one AI founder told the Financial Times.

The report, citing multiple unnamed sources familiar with the matter, notes that the tech giant has taken steps to limit rentals of Nvidia’s GPUs and use most of its stocked AI processors in-house. And reserved for key clients.

This follows two years of limits on access to China’s AI chips by the White House, prompting companies to either stockpile the chips or reuse Nvidia gaming chips, the report said. They resort to the black market.

“The lack of expensive AI chips that OpenAI and other AI companies rely on is a concern for companies,” PYMNTS wrote last month. “Nvidia currently dominates the chip market with a global market share of over 80%.”

That dominance has helped turn Nvidia into a $2 trillion company, and put it “at the center of a creative AI revolution that literally couldn’t go on without its products,” as reported here .

“We have the speed, scale and reach to help every company in every industry become an AI company,” Nvidia founder and CEO Jensen Huang said during the company’s most recent quarterly earnings call. “The coming year will bring major new product cycles with exceptional innovations to help drive our industry forward.”

Meanwhile, PYMNTS explored China’s role as the first major market economy to regulate AI last year.

The report states that, given China’s status as the world’s largest producer of AI research, monitoring its industry “certainly requires the necessary context around the infrastructure and technical feasibility of various regulatory approaches.” will increase.”

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