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Huawei finds new way to bring home the bacon amid smartphone slump

It’s been a challenging time for Huawei, but it appears the company has found another way to fill its trough moving forward.

The company is experiencing a slump in smartphone sales, unaided by a ban on using Google services, while its mobile infrastructure business has been undermined by suspicions over its involvement with the Chinese government.

Now the mobile giant is turning its attention to pig farming. No really. Huawei is using its facial recognition technology in order to help farmers identify individual pigs. The company’s machine vision division will use other tech to monitor the animals’ weight, diet and vital stats.

In a statement to the BBC, the company said: “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.”

Huawei is also working on technology for coal mines. It says the tech will contribute to “fewer workers, greater safety, and higher efficiency.” Miners will be able to wear suits and ties to work, rather than spending their lives down the pit, according to the plans.

Related: Best mobile phones

The company’s smartphone sales fell 42% during the last three months of 2020, as the sanctions continue to cut into the attractiveness of phones like the Mate 40 Pro, despite offering “some of the best hardware we’ve ever seen.”

Our reviewer concluded the phone was a powerhouse for those who prefer to avoid Google or don’t mind a little side loading action. However, for everyone else, “the Google-shaped potholes that become apparent across a typical day and the high price will likely result in one too many compromises to take the plunge.”

Huawei’s chief executive Ren Zhengfei says the US sanctions are unlikely to be lifted any time soon, which means no Google apps on Huawei phones. He said last month: “We can still survive even without relying on phone sales.”

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