Silicon Valley Tech News Roundup – September 4th

New U. S. regulation for China chip export hits U. S. chip makers – 9/2

The U. S. government issued a new regulation restricting the sale of artificial intelligence chips to China. Chip makers must obtain a new license to address the risk of chips being “used in, or diverted to a ‘military end use’… in China and Russia.” The new regulation becomes effective immediately.

Major US chip makers Nvidia and AMD saw their shares slip after the announcement. The experts fear the new regulation would lead to a massive loss in revenue.

In a statement to the BBC, the U. S. Commerce Department said: “We are taking a comprehensive approach to implement additional actions necessary related to technologies, end-uses, and end-users to protect US national security and foreign policy interests… This includes preventing China’s acquisition and use of US technology in the context of its military-civil fusion program to fuel its military modernization efforts, conduct human rights abuses, and enable other malign activities.”

Meanwhile, the Chinese government opposes the move. The government stated: “The US side should immediately stop its wrongdoing, treat companies from all over the world including Chinese companies fairly, and do more things that are conducive to the stability of the world economy.”

Nvidia filed its U. S. regulatory filing on Wednesday. The company claims the new license would impact the sales of H100 and A100 chips, used to speed up machine learning tasks. The company also stated the new rule would potentially affect $400 million of sales to China. AMD spokesperson stated the new license that would prevent the MI250 chips exports to China would not impact the business.

AMD and Nvidia halted chip sales to Russia in February when Russia invaded Ukraine.

Pinduoduo launches U. S. shopping website – 9/2

Pinduoduo, a Chinese e-commerce giant, launched its U. S. website on Thursday. It marks the company’s biggest push to gain a foothold in the overseas market. The Chinese domestic market currently faces several challenges (the Covid resurgence and the energy crunch).

The website Temu lists numerous categories including home and garden, pets, and clothing. It could present a challenge for Amazon. Because Temu is a cross-border e-commerce website, the goods will arrive from overseas, and shipping could take 7 – 15 business days. Longer shipping times are one of the challenges Pinduoduo faces in trying to crack the U. S. market. It also has to raise its brand awareness and reputation against Amazon. However, the company offers heavily discounted products and site-wide offers.

Founded in 2015, Pinduoduo is worth $87 billion and has become one of the biggest e-commerce retailers in China. The company focuses on low-income consumers and offers agricultural products on its platform to differentiate itself from its rivals.

The IRS accidentally exposed the confidential information of 120,000 taxpayers – 9/3

In a statement released Friday, the Internal Revenue Service (the IRS) confirmed it accidentally leaked the private information of 120,000 taxpayers.

The data pertains to Form-990T. It is required for people with individual retirement accounts whose IRAs are invested in assets that generate income (like real estate, master limited partnerships, or other assets). The exposed data included names, contact information, and financial information about income within IRAs. It did not include Social Security numbers, income information, or other data that could impact taxpayers’ credit.

The incident happened last year, and when discovered, the IRS removed the information. The IRS attributed the leak to a human coding error when Form-990T began to be filed electronically. The nonpublic data was included with the public data and posted on the website.

Because the federal law governing major information securities incidents requires government agencies to report these incidents, the IRS notified Congress about it on Friday.

Anna Canfield Roth (acting assistant secretary for management at the Treasury Department) said in a letter to Congress: “The Treasury Department has instructed the IRS to conduct a prompt review of its practices to ensure necessary protections are in place to prevent unauthorized data disclosures.”

Micron, the chip manufacturer, announces $15 billion Idaho project – 9/1

Weeks after Congress passed the CHIPS and Science act worth $52 billion, Micron (the chip manufacturer) announced it would invest $15 billion in a new plant in Idaho. Before the new law passed, Micron announced its plans to invest $40 billion in fabrication plants in the U. S. by 2030. The new plant in Boise will create over 17,000 new jobs.

Sanjay Mehrotra, CEO of Micron, stated: “Our new leading-edge memory manufacturing fab will fuel US technology leadership, ensuring a reliable domestic supply of semiconductors that is critical to economic and national security.” Mehrotra also thanked the Biden administration for completing the bipartisan chip legislation.

The passing of the legislation was not all smooth sailing. The act stalled in Congress, and Intel delayed the groundbreaking ceremony for its new chip plant worth $20 billion in Ohio. They even suggested taking over an abandoned Chinese plant instead of waiting for funding approval. It resulted in lawmakers approving the bill more swiftly.


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