With Struggling Smartphone Sale, China’s Huawei Looks At Pig Farming Business For Revenues

With tough sanctions imposed on it by the United States on its smartphone business, technology for pig farmers is something that Chinese tech giant Huawei is turning to.

After the Trump administration labelled the Chinese company a threat to US national security, accessing vital components has been prevented for the Chinese telecoms giant.

Huawei is looking at other sources of revenue for its technology as a response to its struggling smartphone sales. The company is also working in the coal mining industry apart from using its Artificial Intelligence (AI) tech for pig farmers.

The former US administration had claimed that user information could be shared by Huawei with the Chinese government. These allegations have been denied by Huawei. The sanctions have resulted in the Chinese firm, the largest telecoms equipment maker of the world, has been forced to limit itself to making 4G models since it is unable to import components for 5G models.

With the company struggling to deal with a limited supply of microchips due to the sanctions, the company reported a 42 per cent drop in its smartphone sale in the last quarter of 2020.

A number of countries have also prevented Huawei’s participation in the construction of 5G networks which includes the United Kingdom over concerns over national security.

According to reports, the company plans to reduce production of smartphones by 60 per cent for the current year. The company has however not put out any such figure. 

“The issue here is not like there’s any problems with our quality or experiences of the Huawei products. It’s not a level playing field for Huawei as Huawei is caught in between the geopolitical tensions,” a company spokesman said.

That has apparently forced Huawei to seek out other revenue sources as it moves into cloud computing services, smart vehicles and wearable devices. There were reports of the company even planning to build a smart car.

But the company is also targeting some of the more traditional industries.

The biggest pig farming industry of the world is in China with the country having half of the world’s total number of pigs.

Pig farms are being modernized with the help of technology and the use of technology such as AI is being used to detect diseases and track pigs. Individual pigs can be identified with facial recognition technology while the weight, diet and exercise of pigs can be monitored using other technologies.

Facial recognition tech was already being developed by Huawei. There was criticism of the company last month about over its facial recognition system being used in China for identifying people who appear to be of Uighur origin from images of pedestrians.

Other Chinese tech giants, including JD.com and Alibaba, are already working with pig farmers in China to bring new technologies.

“The pig farming is yet another example of how we try to revitalise some traditional industries with ICT (Information and Communications Technology) technologies to create more value for the industries in the 5G era,” the Huawei spokesman added.

(Adapted from BBC.com)

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