As fighting in Ukraine continues, Nvidia says it is to cease all operations in Russia and relocate local staff to other countries
Nvidia has confirmed it is ceasing all operations in Russia and will close its offices in the country, after Putin last Friday declared four regions of Ukraine as Russian, following sham referendums.
Reuters reported that the GPU powerhouse sent an emailed statement on Monday, in which it said it is ceasing all activities in Russia and giving employees there the option of continuing their jobs in other countries.
“After previously suspending shipments to the country, we had continued to maintain our office to support our employees and their families,” it reportedly said.
“With recent developments, we can no longer operate effectively there,” it said in an emailed statement.
Nvidia’s had already joined other chip makers including Intel, AMD and TSMC in early March, by halting all shipments to Russia and had banned the sales of its GPUs there in line with US sanctions.
It is reported that Nvidia had over 240 staff, who were still based at its office in Moscow
Forbes reported that the firm had charted planes to fly its staff out of the country, but this has not been confirmed officially by the company.
Nearly all major technology firms have withdrawn from Russia, with the exception of a number of mostly Chinese firms.
Yale University has been tracking the responses of over 1,200 companies since Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February, and noted that over 1,000 companies have voluntarily curtailed operations in Russia to some degree or another.
The vast bulk of tech firms in the F category still doing business in Russia (according to Yale) are from China, but a few are from United States, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Japan, Taiwan and Israel, as well a couple non-tech firms from the United Kingdom.
The Chinese firms include ANT Group (it has a joint venture with Russian Sovereign Wealth Fund); China Mobile (business as usual); Honor (business as usual); Oppp (business as usual); Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (Yale alleges it defies US sanctions by continuing to export to Russia); Tencent (has a major investment in VK); and lastly ZTE (business as usual).
Russia is not the only market that Nvidia and other chip makers are starting to exit.
The US administration of President Joe Biden has ordered AMD and Nvidia to stop shipments of chips to China that could be used for applications such as natural language processing and nuclear weapons research.
Nvidia has said that decision could mean a loss of $400 million (£395m) in sales of its advanced A100 and H100 artificial intelligence chips in its current fiscal quarter.
Nvidia GPUs account for some 95 percent of general-purpose GPUs in AI training systems, Lu Jianping, chief technology officer at Nvidia’s Chinese competitor Iluvatar Corex, told the South China Morning Post. Lu previously worked for Nvidia and Samsung Electronics.