JD.com enters the pork business

Other tech companies are already stakeholders in hog farms.

Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com has invested in a pig-farming business, Jingqishen, according to a statement released by JD on Tuesday. The company’s name refers to three processes that regulate physical and spiritual health in Taoism. It was founded in 1991 in Changchun, the capital of Northeast China’s Jilin province.

As part of the tie-up, JD.com will share some of its technological capabilities with Jingqishen for the pork supplier to build a smart supply chain from farm to table. For example, JD’s face recognition technology for hogs will be used to construct profiles for each pig and monitor its growth, while blockchain technology will trace a pig from birth to butcher, and indicate where its meat has ended up for sale. Automated feeding devices and flexible fences will control the pigs’ rations.

Neither party has disclosed the deal’s financial details.

JD.com isn’t the only tech company in China that has poured money into raising pigs.

Chinese gaming company NetEase established a pig farm in Anji county, Zhejiang province, as early as March 2011. The pork from this farm has been used in banquets that fed the country’s internet gurus.

In February, Alibaba launched its ET Agricultural Brain system, which uses sensors to identify each pig, generating profiles with detailed, real-time information about its health status or birth prospects.

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