Tencent, a Chinese tech giant, rushed to accumulate a large supply of AI chips before US export restrictions went into effect. The company's president, Martin Lau, revealed that they purchased components from Nvidia early, allowing them to continue developing their generative AI model for multiple generations. Tencent is now seeking new suppliers within China for these training chips. The purchase of these chips took place prior to the restrictions announced last month, which prohibited the sale of certain products to China. This move by Tencent is a response to the escalating feud between the US and China over access to advanced semiconductors. Other Chinese firms, including Kai-Fu Lee's startup 01.AI, have also been stockpiling chips. This practice is not new, as Huawei and Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC) have done the same in the past. Tencent is concerned that the export ban may affect their ability to resell components to other customers, so they are working on making their AI chips more efficient. The company recently launched its Hunyuan bot, which is designed for corporate users and offers features such as automated meeting summaries and document assembly. Tencent reported strong earnings for the quarter, with a 10% increase in revenue and a 39% increase in profit compared to the same period last year.
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