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U.S. chip curbs in Middle East just 'business as usual,' Ooredoo CEO says after Nvidia deal

Qatari telecoms provider Ooredoo told CNBC Wednesday that its new tie-up with Nvidia is compliant with all U.S. regulations and will still allow it to have access to the latest technology.

Ooredoo earlier this week signed a partnership with Nvidia, marking the chipmaker's first large-scale entry into the Middle East market. The companies did not disclose the value of the deal.

The deal will see thousands of Nvidia's GPUs, or graphics processing units, deployed in 26 data centers across Qatar and five other countries: Kuwait, Oman, Algeria, Tunisia and the Maldives. These chips will help the data centers process massive amounts of information, which will feed AI chatbots and other tools, essential components of a country's AI infrastructure.

The tie-up comes after the United States last year restricted the sale of certain advanced chips to some Middle Eastern nations, over fears that the technology could be intercepted by China.

Washington does allow the export of some Nvidia chips to the region, and Nvidia, Advanced Micro Devices and Intel have all indicated they have plans to create less powerful chips for export to the Chinese market. The restrictions focus on A100 and H100 chips, not GPUs, which are central to this deal.

Ooredoo told CNBC that the deal is compliant with all U.S. regulations. Under the partnership, no new licenses for different chips have been created.

"As a telecom operator, dealing with very stringent regulation is business as usual. We are used to dealing with regulators and government authorities, whether they're local or international," Ooredoo's CEO Aziz Aluthman Fakhroo told CNBC.

"We are working very closely with the different regulators and with Nvidia to see all the required approvals and to provide