Huawei to focus on AI in bid to boost core business
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