Huawei Technologies Co on Tuesday denied media reports that the telecom giant had reached an agreement with a top scientist in China to develop "sea rice," saying it has never had any plans to grow rice.
Huawei is "focused on developing [information and communications technologies] capabilities to enable clients to undertake digital transformation and won't enter into sectors which it's not good at and is not experienced in," the company said in a statement sent to the Global Times.
Earlier media reports had reported that Huawei had reached an agreement with renowned agriculturalist Yuan Longping, China's father of hybrid rice, to develop "sea rice" that can grow on saline-alkali soil.
A report on news website ifeng.com claimed that Huawei's technology is expected to help transform 1.5 billion mu (100 million hectares) of China's saline land into 100 million mu of arable farmland. The transformation could yield as much as 30 billion more kilograms of grains every year, it said.
The core technology of "sea rice" involves breeding new varieties of rice and adjusting soil and crops, Huawei's rotating chairman Ken Hu said, according to the report. The technology is based on a system of "internet of Things for elements" and is achieved through "digitalizing lands," the report said.
But Huawei said in its Tuesday statement that it has never released any information regarding such a deal, but it noted that it has contributed to "smart agriculture" using its technologies.
"Sea rice," which is developed by Yuan, refers to saline-alkali tolerant rice which can grow in saltwater and is also resistant to diseases and pests.