Last year, the number of robots installed in Chinese factories was almost as high as in other countries worldwide.

According to the WSJ, shipments of industrial robots to China will increase by 45% in 2021 from the previous year. The country is currently the world’s largest market for robot manufacturers.

The shrinking working-age population in the country has prompted China to accelerate efforts to implement industrial automation. It aims to strengthen its dominant position in the manufacturing sector.

Another reason China eagerly seeks automation is to catch up with developed economies. Regarding the prevalence of robots on the production line, China lags behind the United States and manufacturing powerhouses such as Japan, Germany, and South Korea.

Using more robots, Chinese factories can fill growing workforce gaps while reducing costs. This reduces the advantage of Western companies when they move their production out of China.

Reporter Douglas says most of China’s automated robots come from Japan. Among them, Yaskawa and Fanuc are two of the largest suppliers in this country. In addition, several European companies are also involved in the supply chain.

The journalist also said that China’s robots are quite advanced. At Xugong Group (XCMG), a large state-owned construction machinery company in China, a single job-specific robot has replaced nearly 10 workers on a loader production line.

This trend shift also shows that China is unlikely to be an ideal destination for cheap labor.

Sign up to receive our latest news!

By submitting this form, I agree to the terms.