Nvidia has some of the best graphics cards that money can buy now. The company's GeForce RTX 40-series graphics cards are everywhere; however, the exclusive Founders Editions launched recently in China. As always, scalpers quickly bought all the stock to resell the Ada Lovelace graphics cards for a handsome profit.
The launch date for Nvidia's GeForce gaming graphics cards is generally available globally. However, Nvidia doesn't offer the Founders Edition in every region. Some countries don't have direct access to the Founders Edition; therefore, consumers have no choice but to turn to third-party retailers. Such was the case with China. In retrospect, Nvidia didn't launch the GeForce RTX 30-series (Ampere) Founders Edition models in China. It seems that the chipmaker wants to do things differently for this generation.
In the U.S. market, consumers can buy Nvidia's Founders Edition graphics card straight from the company's online store or through Best Buy. Nvidia hasn't setup up shop in China; instead, the chipmaker chose JD.com, one of China's leading online retailers, to distribute its Founders Edition models. Chinese news outlet ITHome reported that the stock is reportedly depleted. However, it's hard to put it in context, considering that we don't know the amount of Founders Edition graphics cards Nvidia assigned to the Chinese market.
|Graphics Card||U.S. MSRP||China MSRP||Scalper Pricing||China MSRP vs. Scalper Pricing|
|GeForce RTX 4090||$1,599||12,999 RMB ($1,810)||16,499 RMB ($2,298)||27%|
|GeForce RTX 4080||$1,199||9,499 ($1,323)||10,499 RMB ($1,462)||11%|
|GeForce RTX 4070||$599||4,799 ($668)||6,999 RMB ($974)||46%|
|GeForce RTX 4060 Ti||$399||3,199 ($446)||4,999 RMB ($696)||56%|
China has a standard VAT (value-added tax) rate of 13% for imported goods, although the Chinese MSRP doesn't accurately reflect that. By nature, the Founders Edition graphics cards already carry a higher price tag, but to add salt to the wound, scalpers are now reselling the graphics cards for even more outrageous prices.
Stores are selling the GeForce RTX 4090 Founders Edition for 27% above the Chinese MSRP. The GeForce RTX 4080 Founders Edition is the least affected, exhibiting only an 11% increase over the official pricing. Meanwhile, scalpers are flipping the GeForce RTX 4070 Founders Edition and GeForce RTX 4060 Ti Founders Edition for 46% and 56%, respectively, above their respective MSRPs.
Luckily, there are abundant custom GeForce RTX 40-series graphics cards with reasonable price tags that Chinese consumers can pick from. As for the Founders Edition, that's probably out of reach for most buyers considering the massive premiums that scalpers have slapped on the graphics cards. However, with the type of obnoxious pricing we're seeing, it won't take long before the scalpers realize they won't move any units. Once the initial hype is over, they will ultimately have to lower the pricing to offload the graphics cards.