Baidu ordered AI chips from Huawei instead of placing its normal order with Nvidia.
Baidu, one of China's leading AI firms, which operates the Ernie large language model, placed the order in August, ahead of widely anticipated new rules by the US government that in October tightened restrictions on exports of chips and chip tools to China, including those of US chip giant Nvidia.
Baidu ordered 1,600 of Huawei's 910B Ascend AI chips - which the Chinese firm developed as an alternative to Nvidia's A100 chip - for 200 servers.
By October, Huawei had delivered more 60 per cent of the order, or about 1,000 chips, to Baidu. The second person said that the order's total value was approximately $61.83 million and that Huawei was to deliver all of the chips by the end of this year.
Although the order is tiny relative to the thousands of chips top Chinese tech firms have historically ordered from Nvidia, the sources said it was significant, showing how some firms could shift away from the US company.
It is also just the beginning of any move away from a reliance on US chips as Chinese companies become better at building higher-tech examples.