November 24, 2023 /SemiMedia/ -- According to reports, British AI chip design company Graphcore will lay off most of its employees in China and cease operations in China.

The report pointed out that the reason for Graphcore’s decision was the recent escalation of U.S. export controls to China.

"Unfortunately, this means we will significantly reduce our business operations in China." A Graphcore spokesperson said.

Founded in 2016, Graphcore designs artificial intelligence (AI) chips called intelligent processor units (IPUs) and is a challenger to Nvidia. Due to the high demand for this product category in the future, many investors have been attracted to invest money in this startup to find a viable alternative to Nvidia. In 2020, Graphcore raised $222 million at a $2.8 billion valuation, making it one of the most promising startups in the UK.

Graphcore CEO Nigel Toon has previously pointed out that China is a potential growth market, especially because ban restrictions hinder Nvidia's ability to sell products in China. At a technology conference in London in October, Nigel Toon said sales from China could account for 20% to 25% of the company's business.