China / Innovation

Over 30 robot factories under construction in China

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-10-27 12:55

SHANGHAI - China is now the world's largest industrial robot market with over 30 robot factories under construction, authorities said.

Qu Daokui, deputy director of the State Engineering Research Center for Robotics, said during a forum in Shanghai on Sunday that robotics and the Internet will transform global manufacturing, and China is entering a golden decade for the development of domestically produced robots.

Before 2008, there was no robot industry in China, he said. However, with the disappearance of the demographic dividend and a growing labor shortage, the country became the world's largest industrial robot market in 2013, he said.

In the past ten years, the cost of robot production has decreased by 5 percent annually, while the labor cost has been growing by 10 percent year on year, according to Qu.

"Though large in quantity, China has a low robot density with 23 units for every 10,000 workers, compared to the world average of 58 units," he said. "Only a quarter of the robots in the Chinese market are domestically made and the three core parts and components of domestic robots have long relied on imports."

However, domestic robots have developed at a rapid speed. There were about 420 robot enterprises in China as of September and more than 30 factories under construction, Qu said.

Robotics will promote the transformation and upgrading of China's work force, and companies will face new challenges such as employing and training staff and transforming production technology and management, he added.

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