Xiaomi to set up new AI and big data departments

Xiaomi has just announced its plan to set up some important departments to improve its strength in the tech race. The world’s fourth-largest smartphone manufacturer will bolster its competitiveness with new departments dedicated to AI, big data, and cloud computing.

According to the company, there will be three new AI-related departments added to its existing power. That is the next move to realize the company’s goal of transforming Xiaomi into an AI-driven tech business. Cui Baoquin, who was in charge of the establishment of Xiaomi’s current AI and cloud computing team, has been promoted to Vice President. The new vice president will report directly to the Company’s Chief Executive and Co-founder Lei Jun.

In a statement, Lei recognized technology as the crucial backbone of Xiaomi and explained that the appointment of Cui Baoquin would promote the company’s engineer culture. Before working for the Beijing-based business, Cui had worked for Yahoo, LinkedIn, and IBM Silicon Valley.

The new AI department will focus on the research and developments of AI. One of its primary purposes is to develop Xiao’ai – Xiaomi’s voice assistant. The big data unit will work on search and recommendations. The cloud computing division will be responsible for the company’s cloud computing technology and cloud security.

The new establishments mark Xiaomi’s fourth organizational change after its IPO event last summer. Earlier, in September 2018, the business started an organization unit to manage recruitment, promotion, and training and a strategic advisory department to enhance its talent developments.

At the end of last year, the company unveiled its project of setting up a China department, which was its second addition since the IPO. This new unit oversees Xiaomi’s domestic business. It was found in response to the drastic smartphone sales decrease in last year’s fourth quarter. In particular, the business suffered from a decline of 34% in smartphone sales. Last month, the business just created a new strategic advisory department to support its smartphone division.

AI development has been identified as Xiaomi’s priority in the tech race with other international competitors. Earlier this year, the company announced a minimum investment of $1.5 billion on AI and smart devices. This is a five-year investment that is expected to help Xiaomi go full AIoT which is the combination of AI and the Internet of Things.

In the context of the current tech world, this is a necessary move. Tech companies are investing heavily on the three technologies of AI, cloud computing, big data. Apple, Huawei, or Samsung and other major players all made their moves with AI. If Xiaomi doesn’t want to be left behind, it has no choice but to join the race.

The emergences of Xiaomi and other Chinese tech businesses also represent the shift in the global tech business. US-based companies are directly facing Chinese companies in both the market share and the research & development field. Big investments from both sides on the new technology like AI, big data, and cloud computing are heating up the game.

Source: https://www.thestar.com.my/tech/tech-news/2019/02/28/xiaomi-sets-up-artificial-intelligence-and-big-data-departments-to-sharpen-focus-in-tech-race/

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