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This Day, That Year: Robots

(China Daily) Updated: 2016-08-23 07:42 Comments

This Day, That Year: Robots

Item from Aug 23, 1984, in China Daily: Robot salesmen attracted scores of eager young customers to a special advertising display organized this month by the Fuzhou Pencil Factory at Shanghai's first department store.

As technology advances, robots are predicted to lead the so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution, replacing more than 5 million jobs around the world by 2020, a report released this year by the World Economic Forum said.

In China, the transformation is already underway with factories across the country replacing workers with robots. China has surpassed Japan to become the world's largest market for industrial robots.

A development blueprint released in April by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology calls for the annual production of 100,000 units of industrial robots by 2020.

Such widespread use of robots may offer a solution to a looming labor shortage for an aging China.

In China, most robots are used in automobile production or in the manufacturing of electronic products.

However, they are also being adopted by traditionally labor-intensive industries such as foodstuffs and plastic wares, sectors that have suffered most from the labor shortage in recent years.

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