GeForce RTX 4090 price doubles in China amid US export ban

Published: Oct 19th 2023, 11:46 GMT   Comments

Chinese RTX 4090 stock runs dry, as retailers remove cards from e-tail platforms or increase prices

Chinese gamers may now have to consider RTX 4080 instead. 

In response to the recent enforcement of new export restrictions by the United States, particularly targeting high-performance graphics chips like the NVIDIA H800 data-center and RTX 4090 gaming GPUs, there has been a noticeable turbulence in the inventory situation on Chinese e-commerce platforms. Most popular retailers have run out of stock for these cards, and some official stores have gone as far as to delisting them.

It’s important to note that these restrictions, as defined in the U.S. ECCN 3A090 documents, specify that the memory bandwidth should not exceed 600 GB/s, and the combined processing unit compute power should not surpass 4800 TOPS. Since these rules assume the aggregation of all processing unit power, the RTX 4090 falls into the restricted category.

The RTX 4090 was initially launched in October 2022 at a price of 12,999 RMB. However, the current lowest price we could find, including shipping, is at 26,000 RMB, which is already double the initial cost. Some users have even reported prices quadrupling. Notably, official stores have also removed their listings, including NVIDIA’s own Founders Edition, which was released in China much later than in other regions.

RTX 4090 pricing in China (October 2023), Source: Various

It’s worth mentioning that China is not the only country affected by these restrictions, but it is undoubtedly one of the largest gaming markets for NVIDIA.

Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belarus, Burma, Cambodia, Central African Republic, China, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cuba, Cyprus, Egypt, Eritrea, Georgia, Haiti, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, North Korea, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Libya, Macau, Moldova, Mongolia, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, South Sudan, Republic of Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zimbabwe

RTX 4090 pricing in China (October 2023), Source: Various

Now, it’s anticipated that gamers in China will shift their focus towards acquiring RTX 4080 cards, as these remain unaffected by the new restrictions. Given that gaming sales hold a significant place in NVIDIA’s priorities alongside data centers, it wouldn’t be surprising to see a new RTX 4090 model conforming to the updated regulations. NVIDIA has a history of developing such models, often with hardware or software modifications. A recent example of this is the Lite Hash Rate series, which effectively halved the cryptocurrency mining hash rate. While the crypto-mining community eventually found ways to bypass this feature, it took several months to do so.

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