News Report Technology
December 01, 2023

Chinese AI Chip Maker Biren Technology Raises $280 Million Amid Escalating US Regulations

Chinese artificial intelligence (AI) chip company Shanghai Biren Intelligent Technology recently received a commitment of two billion yuan (about $280 million) from investors backed by the Guangzhou government, as per several media reports. The support comes after the company faced blacklisting by the U.S. government.

Biren Technology is also in talks with officials in Hong Kong for additional funding and is considering setting up operations there. However, these discussions with the Hong Kong government may not materialize, according to unnamed sources.

In October 2023, Biren Technology and Moore Threads — considered key players in China’s bid to compete with Nvidia and Advanced Micro Devices in the graphics processor sector, faced a significant setback due to US’s recent chip trade regulations.

The US government added thirteen Chinese entities, including Biren, Moore Threads, and their mainland subsidiaries, to the Entity List. These entities, involved in the development of advanced computing chips, may now encounter restrictions on accessing advanced foundries and US chip design software.

According to industry insiders and analysts, US government’s move aims to impede China’s advancements in AI.

Moreover, the decision to blacklist Chinese companies, combined with new export controls preventing Nvidia and Intel from supplying custom-made chips to China, has already heightened tensions between the two countries.

Chinese Industry’s Move Towards Self-Reliance

Biren’s success in securing funds from Guangzhou government-affiliated investors is significant amid increased restrictions on China’s access to advanced semiconductors. This move aligns with a broader trend among major Chinese tech companies like Baidu, looking for domestic alternatives to Nvidia’s AI chips.

Another Chinese AI chip startup, Moore Threads Intelligent Technology Beijing, which also faced U.S. restrictions alongside Biren in October, reportedly raised “hundreds of millions” in yuan from a Series B-plus round.

During the current earnings season, companies like Tencent and Baidu have reassured investors about having sufficient Nvidia chips to enhance their AI capabilities.

Baidu, in particular, claims that its latest large language model can compete with OpenAI’s advanced ChatGPT-4 in various capabilities. Biren and related Hong Kong government agencies, including the Financial Secretary’s Office, have not provided immediate comments on these developments.

With the company exploring additional funding avenues in Hong Kong and navigating complex geopolitical dynamics, the successful capital infusion underscores the intent of Chinese AI chip makers to forge ahead despite regulatory headwinds.

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About The Author

Kumar is an experienced Tech Journalist with a specialization in the dynamic intersections of AI/ML, marketing technology, and emerging fields such as crypto, blockchain, and NFTs. With over 3 years of experience in the industry, Kumar has established a proven track record in crafting compelling narratives, conducting insightful interviews, and delivering comprehensive insights. Kumar's expertise lies in producing high-impact content, including articles, reports, and research publications for prominent industry platforms. With a unique skill set that combines technical knowledge and storytelling, Kumar excels at communicating complex technological concepts to diverse audiences in a clear and engaging manner.

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Kumar Gandharv
Kumar Gandharv

Kumar is an experienced Tech Journalist with a specialization in the dynamic intersections of AI/ML, marketing technology, and emerging fields such as crypto, blockchain, and NFTs. With over 3 years of experience in the industry, Kumar has established a proven track record in crafting compelling narratives, conducting insightful interviews, and delivering comprehensive insights. Kumar's expertise lies in producing high-impact content, including articles, reports, and research publications for prominent industry platforms. With a unique skill set that combines technical knowledge and storytelling, Kumar excels at communicating complex technological concepts to diverse audiences in a clear and engaging manner.

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