Backlash in mainland China over Taiwan comment by Nvidia’s Jensen Huang

by Admin
Backlash in mainland China over Taiwan comment by Nvidia’s Jensen Huang

Semiconductor firm Nvidia Corp and its founder Jensen Huang have been targeted by angry Chinese citizens and a mainland media outlet after Huang’s reference to Taiwan as a “country”, with some calling for a boycott of the company.

Last week, on his latest visit to Taiwan, Huang was seen touring a night market in Taipei. When asked in an impromptu interview aired on May 29 by Taiwan’s Chinese Television System on the importance of the island, Huang replied: “Taiwan is one of the most important countries in the world. It is at the centre of the electronics industry.”

Huang, 61, was born in Taiwan and moved to the United States at the age of nine. In Taiwan, he has been treated like a pop star, signing autographs and stopping for selfies.

In an article on Thursday (Jun 6) that directly called Huang out, the mainland’s outlet said he “got too carried away”.

“Nvidia is a strong tech company and is willing to expand its mainland market, but it’s not stronger than the feelings of 1.4 billion people, and mainland companies would never work with any enterprise that supports ‘Taiwan independence’,” the article said.

It called for Huang to give “mainland compatriots and work partners” some clarification on whether he misspoke.

Following the article, the news became among the biggest trending topics on the microblogging site Weibo on Friday, as some internet users also called for a boycott.

“We should ban all Nvidia products and any other association with the company,” one said.

“Businessmen will only care about profits … you have no idea where their bottom line is,” another said.

“But at this stage, we might hurt ourselves if we boycott Nvidia, because we need to rely on their chips. We need to be stronger or else we’ll face a dilemma.”

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