Huawei Technologies has set up a wholly owned subsidiary called Dongguan Jimu Machine Co. Ltd (东莞极目机器有限公司), which experts say marks an important step for the tech juggernaut to venture into robotics, Chinese media reported yesterday.
The new venture, headquartered in the southern boomtown Dongguan, has a registered capital of 870 million yuan (US$121 million), with Li Jianguo acting as its legal representative.
Its business scope consists of electronic components manufacturing, engineering and tech research and experiment, tech service and development, tech consulting, among others.
These generic terms can refer to everything tech but market observers suspect that the new Huawei unit will specialize in robotics and related components.
Notably, the reported capital of Huawei’s new affiliate is more than 17 times as big as that of a similar robotic startup incorporated two months ago by rival Xiaomi.
This huge gap suggests the high hopes Huawei pins on the prospects of robotics, observers say.
Another thing worth mentioning about Huawei’s new robotic arm is that it is headed by Li Jianguo, who at the end of 2021 also took the helm as Huawei’s wholly owned unit Huawei Precision Manufacturing.
Founded in February 2021 with a registered capital of 600 million yuan, Huawei Precision Manufacturing focuses on production of optical telecom equipment, optical electronic parts manufacturing, semiconductor discrete device making, among other areas.
It’s unclear how Li, as director overseeing both operations, will divide his time between them.
Huawei’s launch of a new manufacturing firm is also believed to be tied to its chatbot service called Pangu Chat.
As an important carrier of AI and especially generative AI, robots will occupy a central role in what Huawei touts as a “system and method of human-machine dialogue.”
Huawei announced in early June a plan to debut its all-in-one large language model PanGu-Σ, comprising natural language processing (NLP), computer vision (CV), multimodality and scientific computing, pending formal launch on July 7.