Top 3 tech, startup and sustainability stories of the week, May 27th -May 31st 2024

France, USA and China are top 3 tech stories of the past week

1-France can challenge AI dominance of US and China

French President Emmanuel Macron has a call that France’s AI leaders can challenge the dominance of US and China. I saw this at The Next Web and led by OpenAI rival Mistral, the country has become a European hub for AI. Mistral, the industry’s darling, is almost a year old and reportedly seeking a $6bn valuation. Another candidate for the French tech crown is H (formerly Holistic), which this week announced raising $220mn seed round.

“It’s insane to have a world where the big giants just come from China and US,” he said in a Thursday interview with CNBC. “We need much more European big players, and I think Mistral AI can be one of them.”

Macron underlined the promise of H, pointing to the startup’s impressive fund-raising and decision to launch in Paris. Let me add that Macron acknowledges France keeps lagging behind the US for entrepreneurship. (I’ve a story here about La French Tech and its efforts in Turkey)

To solve this issue, Macron has lowered bureaucracy and labor protections, plus reduction taxes on the rich. He’ attracted foreign investment as well, bringing a €15bn funding package from Microsoft and Amazon announced in May.

Emmanuel Macron, President of France

2- Nvidia: 20,000 GenAI startups builld on our platform

Nvidia recently announced Q1 2025 earnings and CEO Jensen Huang announced the explosive growth of generative AI (GenAI) startups using Nvidia’s accelerated computing platform.

“There’s a long line of generative AI startups, some 15,000, 20,000 startups in all different fields from multimedia to digital characters, design to application productivity, digital biology,” added. Huang. “The moving of the AV industry to Nvidia so that they can train end-to-end models to expand the operating domain of self-driving cars—the list is just quite extraordinary.”

Huang passed details on how cloud providers and other companies can generate strong financial returns by hosting AI models on Nvidia’s accelerated computing platforms as well.  “For every $1 spent on Nvidia AI infrastructure, cloud providers have an opportunity to earn $5 in GPU instance hosting revenue over four years,” Huang emphasized. Here’s an example: a language model with 70 billion parameters using Nvidia’s latest H200 GPUs, a single server could generate 24,000 tokens per second and support 2,400 concurrent users, claimed Huang.

“That means for every $1 spent on Nvidia H200 servers at current prices per token, an API provider [serving tokens] can generate $7 in revenue over four years,” as Huang put it.

Jensen Huang, CEO at Nvidia

3- China brings another $47.5 billion into its chip industry

China allocates around 50 billion dollars to its chipmaking efforts. Officially it is called China Integrated Circuit Industry Investment Fund, also known as Big Fund. The first part of the  fund launched in 2014, with a worth of  $19.2 billion.  The second portion was established in 2019 with $28.2 billion.

The fund, which will receive $47.5 billion of state money, marks the larges tamount China has made into its semiconductor industry. The money will be coming from six of China’s largest state-owned banks, including ICBC and China Construction Bank.

The country’s  investments are an effort to improve its semiconductor industry to meet the international standards by the end of the decade. The funds will mostly go toward chip manufacturing, design, equipment, and materials, according to China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

China brings another $47.5 billion into its chip industry (Image: Shutterstock)

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