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Nvidia’s CEO is given the rockstar treatment in AI-powerhouse Taiwan

Taipei, Taiwan CNN —

When Nvidia surpassed Apple this week to become America’s second most valuable company, its CEO Jensen Huang was being feted like a rockstar in his birthplace Taiwan.

Wearing his signature black leather jacket, Huang spoke Sunday at a packed stadium in the capital Taipei, highlighting the island’s importance in building the infrastructure that underpins artificial intelligence (AI) technology, which has powered Nvidia’s rise to the top.

“Taiwan is the unsung hero, a steadfast pillar of the world,” he said onstage, gesturing to a graphic that showed the names of nearly 100 of the company’s suppliers in Taiwan.

Whether it was throwing the first pitch at a baseball game or visiting a night market, Huang’s every move has been tracked by his fans, legions of followers on social media as well as a posse of TV cameras. Taiwan media has dubbed the phenomenon “Jensanity.”

He’s not the only celebrity CEO in town. A parade of global tech glitterati — including Lisa Su of AMD (AMD), Pat Gelsinger of Intel (INTC) and Cristiano Amon of Qualcomm (QCOM) — also flocked to the city this week to attend Computex, an annual trade show.

Started some 40 years ago as a showcase for Taiwan’s burgeoning tech manufacturers, Computex isn’t used to the limelight. For decades, it was a low-key sourcing fair for personal computers and other consumer gadgets.

Huang speaks at Computex on June 4, 2024.

That was before the launch of ChatGPT by OpenAI in late 2022. Since then,the global competition to create generative AI applications has led to soaring demand for the cutting edge chips used in data centers to support these programs.

Jensen Huang, left, and Lisa Su, right.

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