As if things couldn’t get any worse for the GPU shortage this year, MSI has reported that a shipment of RTX 3090s has been stolen right out of its Shenzhen factory in China. The news broke via Tom’s Hardware, who cited Chinese source @GoFlying8 on Twitter. The source provided official MSI documentation on the matter which revealed that the cost of the theft was tallied up to roughly 2,200,000 RMB (Chinese Yuan). When converted to USD, that’s roughly $339,000.
The MSI documentation didn’t reveal exactly how many units were stolen and instead simply mentioned that there are 40 boxes of missing RTX 3090s. A simple math conversion suggests that the total number of missing cards could be as many as 225 though. While this isn’t a staggering hit to the global supply, it’s still a disappointment to say the least. Even these $1500+ USD GPUs are still out of stock due to global supply shortages and the scalpers have only been making things more expensive.
Apparently there are worse things than scalpers
Looking further into the (translated) documents, we can see that MSI suspects the theft was committed by thieves with access to inside knowledge. The stolen cards were apparently taken from the factory shipping area. The site was under video surveillance, but the thieves seemed to know exactly what to look for. After the theft was discovered, MSI reported the crime to the local authorities, but it’s also offering a reward of 100,000 RMB ($15,000 USD) for information leading to the successful recovery of the stolen property.
Considering the massive potential for profit even in the black market though, it’s unlikely any of the thieves will have a change of heart. It’s impossible to say where these cards might end up, but it certainly reinforces the pleas of the gaming community not to buy from scalpers or any other unauthorized retailers. Hopefully this will only be a single incident of video card theft, as MSI and other manufacturers/retailers are sure to be more careful going forward.
— 夕惕若厉 (@GoFlying8) December 7, 2020