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China To Increase Manufacturing Robots Density Further

The South China Morning Post has reported that China has published a new ‘Robot +’ Application Action Plan laying out 10 industries where it wants to use more robots, as the country rushes to automate sectors from manufacturing to agriculture after recording its first population decline in six decades.

Under the recently released action plan by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and other government agencies, China will accelerate the application of robotics in manufacturing, agriculture, logistics, energy, healthcare, education and other areas.

The Chinese policymakers aim to achieve more than 100 innovative robotics applications and over 200 model use cases where the technology can be applied, as the country works towards transforming into a global robotics power by 2025. A number of industry-leading ‘robotics+’ application enterprises, experience centers, and verification centers will be established under the plan.

The latest blueprint comes after China registered more deaths than births last year, the National Bureau of Statistics has revealed, marking it the first time that the country’s population had shrunk since the widespread famine in the country in the 1960s.

Robot density, measured by the number of robots per 10,000 manufacturing workers, is considered the best indicator of automation adoption in manufacturing industry. China’s manufacturing robot density reached 322 robots per 10,000 people in 2021, surpassing the US for the first time and putting it in fifth place, according to the World Robotics 2022 Report from the International Federation of Robotics. China remains behind South Korea, which ranked first with 1000 robots per 10,000 people, followed by Singapore, Japan and Germany.

China had been the world’s largest industrial robot market for nine consecutive years since 2013, and is also one of the fastest-growing markets, according to data from the China Robot Industry Alliance. In 2021, sales volume of industrial robots in China reached 271,000, up by about 50 per cent from the previous year.