The March of the Machines: China to replace major workforce with industrial robots
Category: #world  By Saipriya Iyer  Date: 2017-04-28
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The March of the Machines: China to replace major workforce with industrial robots

The new robotic industrial revolution is here as the Chinese industry thrives to automate. The appetite for industrial robots is rapidly growing as high labor cost and a shrinking workforce drive the Chinese business towards automation.

This robotic revolution is deemed to be an initiative to promote automation and fill the labor gap. China’s working population is projected to hit 960 million by 2030 and reach about 800 million by 2050 from 1 billion in 2015, partially because of the one-child policy.

China is embracing this industrial revolution with full intensity, backed by the rising deployment of these robots. As per reliable sources, in a startup called E-Deodar, a human looking robot was observed serving coffee to employees who are developing another robot to automate the assembly lines. Another similar scenario was witnessed in JD.com Inc., the e-commerce giant, where a spider like robot picks up 3600 books per hour and transfers them to crates – the process which would have taken a person more than 4 hours to complete.

The shift from humans to labor is not just a business move, for the country is set to bring a fundamental move in labor workforce. Economic planners view this robotic industrial revolution as a stepping stone to a wider strategic goal. Chinese President Xi Jinping has called for more local industrial robotics developers like E-Deodar Robot Equipment Co., and Siasun Robot & Automation Co. to undertake projects in hand than purchase it from foreign players. 

The Chinese government has also been working to bolster its own tech sector and rely less on foreign companies. In an attempt to automate the manufacturing sector, the government has been playing a vital role, in response to which interesting development have come to fore in global industrial robotics services market.

Hundreds of factories in China have reportedly begun to employ a robotic workforce, making this economy the world’s fastest-growing robotics market. China installed about 90,000 new robots in 2016, which is around one-third of the world’s total installations. In 2013, China overtook Japan in unit sales domestically. However, in terms of robot adoption, China lacks over other rival nations. A study depicted that, in 2015, China counted for only 49 robots per 10,000 workers, while U.S. had 176, Germany added up to 301, and South Korea had 531, leading the global robot adoption number. Despite these statistics, China is touted to change the future of global manufacturing industries.

To overcome the difference and succeed in this 5-year robot plan, the country plans to automate key sectors of the economy including electronics, logistics, food production, car manufacturing, and home appliances. The government, in this regard, has promised generous subsidies, tax waivers, low-interest loans, and rent-free land.

In contrast, the misfortune here is that the technology used in the robot shell is often from U.S. or Japan. China’s own robot technology in this space is still very limited. Experts state that the country’s own technology will be more beneficial to cut down costs and drive sales. In this regard, China not only plans to buy automated machines but also looks forward to buying the foreign companies that manufacture them.

China’s robot revolution is likely to strengthen the economy and eventually turn it into a stronger market. The country is aggressively inching toward its goal and is likely to provide a tough competition as it moves up the industrial chain, prompting global robotics market players to keep an eye on the future of “Made in China”.



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Saipriya Iyer

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Saipriya Iyer

Saipriya Iyer develops content for Market Size Forecasters, Algosonline, and myriad other platforms. A computer engineer by profession, she ventured into the field of writing for the love of playing with words. Having had a previous experience of 3 years under her bel...

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