China’s robotics industry saw rapid growth this year. According to a report released by Buy Shares, there were 381,000 units of industrial robots globally as of September 2020. China accounted for 140,500 of them, more than one-third of the industrial robots sold worldwide.
As the Robotics Research Group put it, the country may account for 45% of all industrial robot shipments by 2021, which would represent a 39% surge from 2019. Developing the automation manufacturing sector is also one of the main goals in the nation’s “Made in China 2025 strategic Plan” issued by Premier Li Keqiang and his cabinet.
China is by far the biggest robot market in the world regarding annual sales and regarding the operational stock,” said Joe Gemma, the president of the International Federation of Robotics (IFR). “It is the fastest-growing market worldwide. There has never been such a dynamic rise in such a short period of time in any other market.”
Although the pandemic has slowed down the manufacturing sector worldwide, it has spurred the industrial robots market in China, since tech giants have been working on the modernization and digitalization of production to combat the pandemic.
Shenzhen-based startup Pudu Technology has come up with the home delivery of medicines and meals to reduce cross-infection rates. Alibaba’s logistics platform Cainiao recently launched a channel to deliver medical aid donations to heavily infected areas like Wuhan. Tencent now features health code ratings to track down positive cases and prevent cross-infection.
In the long run, China is aiming to expand the range of its industrial robots – from traditional caged robots capable of handling payloads quickly and precisely to new collaborative ones that work safely alongside humans, fully integrated into workbenches.
Shanghai has become the center of national production, accounting for about one-ninth of the global output, according to Shanghai Observer. Well-known Chinese brands with a strong presence abroad like FANUC, ABB, Yaskawa, and KUKA are headquartered in the country. In addition, many leading companies in niche sectors – such as Xiaoi, CloudMinds, Gaussian Robotics, and TMiRob – have grown rapidly as emerging industrial and technological forces.
According to the Shanghai Economic and Information Technology Commission, Shanghai will soon execute its so-called “10030 Program” to build 100 more automation manufacturing factories and produce 10,000 more robots to explore potential functions of robots in all kinds of industries.