Nvidia ($NVDA) was hit hard by investor fears of tariffs stemming from the US-China trade war, and as markets nervously await an outcome of President Donald J. Trump's lingering spat with the Chinese, the company has been cutting jobs.
The graphics processing chip manufacturer has substantially cut jobs globally, as our first chart reflects. Total job postings, which hit a peak of nearly 1,400 roles, are down 86%. Nvidia stock has fallen from its peak, in October of last year, nearly 50% to about $146 per share as of midday trading Monday.
But, Nvidia is slashing more jobs in China — on a percentage basis, that is. From a peak of more than 100 job postings, Nvidia slashed more than 90% of its jobs, and is now hiring just a handful of workers to support operations there. But the bleak hiring outlook in China isn't unique for Nvidia; for other countries, including India, Germany, and the U.S.
Making matters more complicated is the lingering US-China trade dispute, which could be exacerbated by President Trump's June threat to increase tariffs on virtually every incoming Chinese import. Other top technology makers and providers of tech services —including Dell ($DELL), Oracle ($ORCL) and Arrow Electronics ($ARW) — have slashed job postings in China over the last 12 months, even if they spent (in some cases) years increasing their footprint in the country.
And that has riled Chinese party officials who — earlier this month according to the New York Times — sought out executives at companies including Dell and Microsoft to meet with them and warn them to not further disrupt supply chain and production work in China. It remains to be seen whether these requests made by Chinese officials will be heeded by top technology companies; their relationship with China has already become frayed in part thanks to a Bloomberg report detailing how Chinese spies implanted tiny chips in hardware bound for the US, likely used to surreptitiously gather data and to infiltrate leading global organizations. Further complicating matters is how sensitive the semiconductor industry is to potential tariffs.
For now, Nvidia execs don't seem like they're sweating it.
An analyst pressed Colette Kress, executive vice president and CFO of the company, on Nvidia's exposure to China last week for the company's investor call. "I wouldn’t look at it as our exposure," she responded. "China is what I look at is a very important customer for us. We have been with many of the regions of the world, have a great share of the overall gaming market in China is probably about one-third of our overall business in the Asia-Pac area."
If that is indeed the case, then Nvidia should resume hiring — sooner or later.
About the Data:
Thinknum tracks companies using information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales.