Chinese smartphone maker Huawei is reported to have launched an artificial intelligence pig farming project, as the company looks into new growth areas as its smartphone business is struggling to pick up under trade restrictions imposed by the United States. According to a recent report in South China Morning Post, Huawei launched the project on Monday, with the company’s president for machine vision business Duan Aijun made the announcement on Chinese micro-blogging platform Weibo.
The new move shows that Huawei is seeking new revenue streams as its smartphone business has crippled following a trade ban in the United States. Not being able to use chips and other technologies like Google Play services that allow smartphone makers to implement several features. So bad is the situation, the Huawei sold its spin-off brand Honor back in November in order to facilitate the survival of the company. Now, Huawei is moving to new ventures like cloud services, smart vehicles, and gaming equipment, along with the recent vision to modernise traditional industries like coal mining and pig farming.
Coming to the AI pig farming initiative, Huawei may be looking to exploit China’s massive pig farming industry (said to be the largest in the world), which is evolving from a series of small, backyard businesses into a more modernised, large-scae farming requiring hi-tech support. According to the South China Morning Post report, JD.com, NetEase, and Alibaba Group Holding, the owner of the South China Morning Post, have all sought to give China’s pig farming industry a technological upgrade.
Last week, Huawei’s founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei also announced the launch of an intelligent mining innovation laboratory in China’s Taiyuan. “We can still survive even without relying on phone sales,” Ren was quoted as saying in a round table meeting last week.
Apart from mining and pig farming, Huawei is also focusing on the health care aspect of its wearables. Last month, the company revealed three health research programmes for hypertension management, body temperature, and coronary heart disease. Further, the company is also reported to be investing in smart vehicles, in order to keep the shop running in case the smartphone business doesn’t see a turn around.