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Robots pose new challenges to markets

By Hong Liang | China Daily | Updated: 2012-09-03 08:12

Chinese mainland manufacturers having a handful in coping with dwindling orders and swelling inventories should spare a thought for a less immediate but more far-reaching threat lying ahead.

The fast pace of industrialization that has benefited so many people on the mainland in the past several decades was largely built on the plentiful supply of land and labor. Indeed, the contributions of many millions of hard-working and disciplined migrant workers to economic growth are widely recognized.

Despite rising competition from other emerging markets, the mainland has remained the manufacturing base of choice for many multinational enterprises. But even at the best of times before the outbreak of the global financial crisis in 2008, economic planners were urging domestic manufacturers to move up the value-add ladder, warning that the existing model of growth could not last forever.

Robots pose new challenges to markets

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