Vietnam’s VNG Subsidiary Becomes the Latest Partner of Nvidia in Southeast Asia

Jun 2024

Vietnamese gaming and messaging unicorn VNG has partnered with Nvidia, enhancing the U.S. chipmaker’s connections in Asia just months after CEO Jensen Huang’s regional tour.

Tencent-backed VNG informed that it has equipped a data center in Thailand with 1,000 Nvidia graphics processing units, offering artificial intelligence and other software services to clients using Nvidia products.

The Ho Chi Minh City-based startup, renowned for its chat app that surpasses Facebook in popularity within Vietnam, has maintained a Bangkok office for years. However, its international facilities became more crucial after the U.S. began restricting exports of Nvidia GPUs to Vietnam and neighboring China in 2023.

Nvidia is also collaborating with Vietnamese IT company FPT on a USD 200 million AI factory and is expected to expand its business in Vietnam as the country develops its semiconductor industry. In December 2023, Huang visited Malaysia, Singapore, and Vietnam, discussing partnerships with executives from companies such as FPT and VNG. The U.S. export restriction affects only a small portion of Nvidia’s most advanced chips.

As a cloud partner, VNG gains priority access to Nvidia chips and uses software architecture and technology compatible with Nvidia’s. This status could be a significant selling point for VNG as it seeks to attract clients.

VNG, initially known as a game publisher, has expanded into data centers, payments, generative AI, and a messaging app that boasts more Vietnamese users than Facebook.

Nvidia graphics cards, initially popular in the gaming industry, have found new uses among cryptocurrency miners and AI engineers. The recent AI boom has propelled Nvidia’s share price, making it the second-best performing stock of 2023 after crypto exchange Coinbase, according to Morningstar.

(Source: Nikkei Asia)

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