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China eyes larger share in global robot market

By Chen Qide in Shanghai | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2013-07-02 15:35

China has become the world's second-largest robot market, after Japan, with 25 percent annual growth since 2005, Andreas Bauer, chairman of Industrial Robot Suppliers Group, said.

Bauer made the remarks at a CEO roundtable co-sponsored by the International Federation of Robotics (IFR) and the China Robot Industry Alliance (CRIA).

The event, on Monday, brought chief executive officers of leading robotics enterprises from Europe, the United States and Japan.

"The growth rate in China is much higher than the annual eight or nine percent global increase," he said.

Five countries—Japan, China, the United States, South Korea and Germany—account for 70 percent of the global robot market, Bauer said.

His words were echoed by Wang Ruixiang, president of the China Machinery Industry Federation, who said China accounts for one-fifth of the world market.

"China has become a major manufacturer of robots with great market potential," said Wang.

A survey of six key Chinese robot manufacturers showed that their combined output increased from 2,000 robots in 2011 to 3,200 in 2012, said Zhao Xinmin, director of CRIA Statistics Working Group.

China manufactured robots valued at less than 600 million yuan ($97 million) in 2011, but this figure jumped by 67 per cent in 2012 to exceed 1 billion yuan, Zhao said.

More than 50 percent of robots are used in the auto industry and 20 percent are utilized in energy and electronics.

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