Pig and piglets on a  Chinese farm.JPG
Piglets on a pig farm in China.

Huawei has reportedly shifted its attention to how artificial intelligence can help pig farmers as a new use for its tech, as its smartphone sales fall amid US sanctions. 

Huawei’s facial recognition tech could help pig farmers identify individual pigs. The company’s tech could also help track their vitals, including weight and diet. 

That new project was announced on Weibo by President Duan Aijun, who runs the company’s machine vision business, The South China Morning Post reported on Thursday.

A company spokesperson told BBC News: “The pig farming is yet another example of how we try to revitalize some traditional industries with ICT (Information and Communications Technology) technologies to create more value for the industries in the 5G era.”

Huawei’s smartphone sales were hit by sanctions in the US last August, falling 40% in the last quarter of 2020, dropping to sixth place in smartphone shipments.

Huawei told component suppliers that it expected orders to drop another 60% this year, potentially shipping just 70 million phones compared with 189 million in 2020, Nikkei Asia reported on Thursday

The US Government accused it of sharing user information with the Chinese government. Huawei has repeatedly denied this.

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The sanctions bar suppliers from selling foreign-made chips featuring US tech to Huawei. In August, Trump imposed another round of restrictions on the company. Days before he left office in January, his administration revoked licenses of companies supplying Huawei. 

Joe Biden’s administration has signaled it would continue to take a hard line against the company.

On January 27, Press Secretary Jen Psaki said, “Let us be clear: Telecommunications equipment made by untrusted vendors, including Huawei, is a threat to the security of the U.S. and our allies.”

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