Grand Theft GPU: $340,000 worth of RTX 3090s “fell off a truck” in China | GeekComparison

A picture of a box truck is photoshopped with The Grinch stealing a computer part from it.
Enlarge / The GPU Grinch doesn’t care about your lists or whether you’ve been naughty or nice.

Last week, thieves stole a large number of Nvidia-based RTX 3090 graphics cards from MSI’s factory in mainland China. The news comes from Twitter user @GoFlying8, who Posted what appears to be an official MSI internal document about this morning’s theft, along with commentary from a Chinese-language website.

Roughly translated – in other words, scanned OCR, run through Google Translate, and sawed off with the most filthy edges by yours truly – the MSI document reads something like this:

Ensmai Electronics (Deep) Co., Ltd.
Announcement
Memo No. 1-20-12-4-000074
Topic: As for reporting graphics card theft, it is appropriate to reward.

Explanation:

  1. Recently, high unit price display cards produced by the company have been stolen by criminals. The case has now been reported to the police. At the same time, I also hope that all employees of the company will actively and truthfully report this matter.
  2. Anyone who provides information that solves this case will receive a reward of 100,000 yuan. The company promises to keep the identity of the whistleblower strictly confidential.
  3. If there is an individual involved in the matter, from the date of the public announcement, report it to the company’s audit department or the head of the conflicting department. If the report is truthful and helps in recovering the missing items, the company will file a police report, but ask for leniency. The law needs to be taken seriously.
  4. With this announcement, I urge my colleagues to be professional and ethical, to be disciplined, to learn and to be warned.
  5. Tel. report: [elided]

Reporting mailbox of the Court of Auditors: [elided]
December 4, 2020

There is some confusion surrounding the theft in English-language tech media; the MSI document itself dates from last Friday and does not say how many cards were stolen or what the total value was. The surrounding commentary – from what appears to be a Chinese news app – claims that the theft was about 40 containers of RTX 3090 cards, worth about 2.2 million renminbi ($336K in US dollars) in total.

If the reported value is correct – and refers to the cards’ MSRP – we are talking about about 224 stolen GPUs. The cards could even sell for significantly more, as supply is low and demand is very high. Scalpers on eBay have reportedly gotten some legitimate bids as high as $20,000 for a single RTX 3090, with typical auctions going for over $2,600.

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