Chinese companies have found a way to bypass US restrictions on the purchase of American technologies by renting them from local cloud providers, according to a report by The Financial Times. It appears that some Chinese cloud services are renting graphic processors to customers through fake companies, often enterprises in the verification of AI – an area in which the lack of access to graphic processors or the use of old products can become a serious obstacle.
Some Chinese cloud services have confirmed that customers rented graphic processors through fake companies. One Chinese cloud provider rents out 8 NVIDIA A100 graphics cards with tensor nuclei for $10 per hour, while AWS rents out the same number of graphic processors for $11.57 per hour for 3 years. Individual prices on request start from $32.77 per hour.
The report notes that the evasion of China from sanctions against video cards has not gone unnoticed by the United States. If it turns out that large Chinese suppliers are leasing processors prohibited for deliveries to China, the United States has obvious leverage. Alibaba Cloud and Tencent Cloud both have branches in the US, while Chinese suppliers of cloud technologies run the risk of falling under US sanctions due to their actions.
Meanwhile, NVIDIA A100 graphic processors are in great demand among Chinese artificial intelligence developers who cannot afford to buy their own video cards, according to the report.