General Electric teams up with Huawei to improve production
Manufacturing giant agrees deal with Chinese smartphone firm, hoping to save $500mn this year
- Huawei are a leading smartphone maker, gaining ground in a market dominated by Apple and Samsung
US giant General Electric has teamed up with Chinese technology company Huawei in order to increase its productivity.
The agreement aims to connect all of the areas of its production lines through the internet to further reduce costs and cut emissions.
The US industrial giant announced the partnership as it launched an $11mn digital space in Shanghai, where it plans to keep an eye on start-ups and have developers work on new software applications to make machines more intelligent.
GE has set an aim to save $500mn from the project this year, as part of an overall move to increase productivity among its operations.
Huawei's managing director, William Xu, said it was "very pleased" with the deal.
"The next ten years are an important period for the traditional economy to move to a digital economy... Companies can not cope with all the challenges alone," he said.
GE was in agreement on the need to digitise their lines so they can remain competitive. Vice Chairman John Rice said it would not be easy to calculate the overall size of the "industrial internet market".
"It's potentially bigger than any estimates I've seen, because these capabilities are all going to be developed," he told Reuters in an interview.
Regarding the apparent lull in China's growth rate, Rice said that plenty of opportunities remained within the region.
"Yes the economy is growing at a slower growth rate... (but) it's the the world's second-largest economy so there's plenty of opportunity," he added.
General Electric is a massive conglomerate known for being one of the biggest companies in the world, which deals in everything from constructing jet engines and software to lightbulbs and dishwashers.