Chinese GPU Start-up Moore Thread Announced Lay-off

On November 6th, Chinese GPU startup Moore Threads released a company-wide announcement, declaring the initiation of “personnel optimization”, which is expected to be completed within this week.

“This is a necessary choice for the continuous development of the company, but it is also a difficult decision.” said Moore Thread’s CEO Zhang Jianzhong in the announcement. He also mentioned that the entire GPU and AI chip industry in China has been severely affected by the latest round of US sanctions on Chinese chip manufacturers in October. In response to its being included on the “Entity List” by the US Department of Commerce on October 17, Moore Thread issued a statement expressing strong protest and emphasizing the company’s strict compliance with relevant national and regional laws and regulations. 

“At this juncture of challenges and opportunities, what I want to say is that there is no ‘darkest moment’ for Chinese GPUs, only vast possibilities,” emphasized Zhang Jianzhong in the announcement. Therefore, he wrote, MooreThread will undergo organizational adjustments by establishing two strategic departments: AISG (AI Strategy Group) and MCSG (Metaverse Computing Strategy Group).

The company will also integrate its resources and promote the implementation of product technology. In terms of personnel performance, Zhang Jianzhong stated that the company will conduct a routine job optimization to achieve better alignment between personnel and positions, as well as salary matching efficiency, with a greater focus on GPU core research and development.

Moore Thread was founded in October 2020, with team members from companies like NVIDIA, AMD, Arm, and others. In November 2021, Moore Thread announced the completion of a Series A funding round of 2 billion RMB, and in December 2022, the company completed a 1.5 billion RMB Series B funding round. Over the past three years of rapid development, the company has grown to a size with nearly one thousand employees.

While other GPU startups were focused on the AI computing track, Moore Thread has been aiming at a “full-function GPU” and launched consumer-grade products to directly compete with international giants. With the rise of generative artificial intelligence, the demand for AI computing powered by GPUs has skyrocketed, and the market eagerly awaited the emergence of a company that could challenge NVIDIA’s monopoly. Zhang Jianzhong previously stated in an interview that while the company’s GPU products meet domestic needs, they also aim to adapt to the international ecosystem. Moore Thread now allocates 70% of its resources to software development, with a particular focus on applications related to the metaverse and the integration of AI.