Huawei to fo­cus on AI in bid to boost core busi­ness

China Daily (USA) - - BUSINESS - By MASI

Huawei Tech­nolo­gies Co Ltd will fo­cus on us­ing ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence to boost its core net­work­ing gear busi­ness while step­ping up ef­forts to re­cruit AI tal­ents from the United States, its founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei said.

“We will not work on public AI prod­ucts and small ap­pli­ca­tions. In­stead, our AI re­search and devel­op­ment will re­volve around the core net­work­ing busi­ness,” he said in a re­cent speech on Huawei’s AI ef­forts.

The re­mark was Huawei’s first public an­nounce­ment of its strat­egy in the boom­ing AI in­dus­try, which Ap­ple Inc and do­mes­tic play­ers Baidu Inc and Xiaomi Corp are all pour­ing money into, in the hope of es­tab­lish­ing a beach­head.

Founded in 1987, Huawei is a global leader in manuf ac t u r i n g te lecom equip­ment. The speech, pub­lished on the firm’s of­fi­cial WeChat ac­count on Sun­day, also came as the Shen­zhen-based com­pany is seek­ing to dis­place Sam­sung and Ap­ple as the world’s largest smart­phone phone ven­dor, af­ter it se­cured the top po­si­tion in China.

“We ac­count for one-third of the global net­work­ing mar­ket and it is be­com­ing in­creas­ingly dif­fi­cult to main­tain net­works on such a huge scale,” Ren said.

Ac­cord­ing to Ren, AI can en­able ex­perts to fo­cus on tack­ling the most cru­cial prob­lems while ma­chine learn­ing can take care of the rest. The ap­pli­ca­tion of AI in pre­dict­ing on­line traf­fic can also help de­sign net­work­ing struc­tures.

In the first half of this year, Huawei recorded rev­enue of 245 bil­lion yuan ($36.7 bil­lion), mark­ing a year-on-year rise of 40 per­cent.

“Once our an­nual rev­enue ex­ceeds $150 bil­lion by 2020, our growth will slow down, and that is when AI can play a big role,” Ren added.

The firm will also ramp up re­sources to hire the best AI tal­ents from all over the world.

Ren Zhengfei, CEO of Huawei

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