China: Graphcore discontinues China business, pulls out of the country

Nov 24, 2023 | Posted by Abdul-Rahman Oladimeji

British chipmaker Graphcore has announced that it will pull out of China in the face of US export controls. The chipmaker is now letting go of most of its staff in China and discontinuing business there. This is another setback to the company, which is already struggling as it revealed in October that it needed to raise funds and was uncertain if it could continue operations without financing. 

Graphcore said in a statement, "The recently updated US Export Controls means that Graphcore – in common with other AI hardware manufacturers – is no longer able to sell IPU systems in China. Regrettably, this means we will be significantly scaling back business operations in China.”

Graphcore's CEO Nigel Toon had mentioned earlier that China might be a growth market for the company since restrictions were limiting Nvidia's ability to sell into the country. According to Toon, China accounts for about 20 - 25% of the company’s sales.  However, Graphcore is also impacted by the US ban, as the restrictions also include American manufacturing and design tools used elsewhere.