Robots speak Chinese: here’s how the Dragon is conquering the automation market

Now we’ve come back from the summer break, we hope that you returned to the office with renewed energy. So let’s not waste time and talk about automation right away.

In 2013, the President of the Robotic Industries Association Jeff Burnstein attended his first China International Robotics Show, the annual Chinese exhibition dedicated to the robotics sector. At the time, Burnstein wasn’t impressed. He could not help thinking that many of the robots on display looked like copies of what American companies were already doing .


In today’s China, a different picture is taking shape, called Made in China 2025. This government-backed project aims at driving China into an unprecedented technological advancement process, which will involve specific sectors such medicine, automotive manufacturing and food production. Made in China 2025 prefigures the abandonment of the mass exporting strategy that has driven growth in China over the past 30 years: from mass imports and exports to quality imports and exports.


With its Robotics Industry Development Plan, the Chinese government wants to be able to manufacture in-house at least 100,000 industrial robots annually by 2020.


The Chinese dragon is racing full steam ahead to a fully robot-powered future. Why? For economic reasons, quite surely, but not only; China wants to transform into the world’s robot capital – overtaking Japan, Germany and especially the United States. The process has only just begun, yet the results can already be seen: according to the International Federation of Robots, China is already home to a market worth about $30 billion and is currently ranked the No.1 sales market for industrial robots (with the United States coming in at No. 4., South Korea and Japan are two and three, respectively).


This revolution does not only concern non-humans: salaries have increased more than 100% in China over the last 10 years; due to an ageing workforce, in fact, young workers have become a rare and overpaid resource.

What else is there to say? Next destination: China!