China Soon to be Global Leader in Automated Manufacturing

This from Global Crunch:

China currently has just one-fifth the number of robots as Japan, and just one-third as many as the United ManufacturingStates or Germany. But Akira says it’s just a matter of time before China surpasses the United States and Japan in having more robots. “The total sale of robots in China last year was 28,000 units. It will be about 30,000 this year. And it’s going to continue at 20% to 30% growth for quite a while.” . . .

Just as in the capitalist world, growth in demand for robotics is based upon the desire to use it to displace more expensive human labor:

Statistics shows that China’s manufacturing industry wages are growing at an annual rate of between 10% and 20%. Meanwhile, robot prices are falling by 4% per year. China has a structural labor supply-and-demand discrepancy, says Gu Shengzu, vice chairman of the Financial and Economic Committee of the People’s National Congress. Thus China is a big, but not strong, manufacturing country. Monthly wages in the coastal areas are as high as 2,500 to 3,000 RMB, which is a lot higher than in Vietnam and India.

Wang Feiyue, director of China’s State Key Laboratory of Management and Control for Complex Systems (SKL-MCCS), says that for every 10,000 manufacturing workers in Japan, 300 robots are used — whereas in China that number is just 10. So there’s a huge potential market for robots in China, the widespread use of which will improve the country’s overall manufacturing level.

The full story is here.

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