China / Innovation

China to give robot makers subsidies and funding

By Tan Yingzi in Chongqing ( Updated: 2015-09-16 19:58

Chinese robot makers are to benefit from favorable government policies to help boost development, said an industrial official at a China Robot Industry Development Summit in Chongqing.

"The policies will include subsidies for companies who buy local brand robots, and a national merger and acquisition fund to help Chinese makers acquire world-advanced technologies from foreign companies," said Liu Tao, from the equipment department at the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

Industrial robot manufacturing is one of 10 key sectors that will benefit first from the newly released national plan Made in China 2025. Under the direct supervision of Premier Li Keqiang, it is designed to make breakthroughs in bottleneck areas so that the country can play an important role in global manufacturing. The ministry is drafting a 13th five-year plan for the industry expected to be released in November.

Liu said most Chinese makers do not have their own core technologies and still largely rely on imported key components and Chinese clients do not have enough trust in Chinese brands.

"Our ministry and the National Development and Reform Commission will set up a fund to encourage Chinese makers to acquire foreign robotic technologies," he said.

The government will also help promote local robot brands among Chinese users. "We will help enhance public awareness and trust in Chinese robots," Liu added.

China has become the largest market for industrial robots and wants to become a major manufacturer by 2030.

Foreign companies dominate the Chinese market but domestic manufacturers have been catching up rapidly since 2005.

More than 700 companies have entered the field. It is estimated that the number will reach 1,000 this year. In the past two years, Chongqing's Yongchuan district, which hosted the summit and an international robot expo this week, has attracted 65 robot makers to its Phoenix Lake Industrial Park and plans to have 200 robot companies by 2020.

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