The article is intended to clearly state that - " China should use more and more Robots for manufacturing and not manufacture Robots."

Throughout the article Hyperlinks are provided to give relevant information.

In recent times, new articles from all over the world were flooded over the Chinese aggressive state policy for Robotics. Roboticists all around the world are seem to be too much excited and worried about the booming Robotics sector in China, many of them are astonished of the fact that, how come a country with such a huge labor population is absorbing Robots, which may result to a lot of job cuts. A lot of developments and initiatives are being going on around China Manufacturing 2025 strategy. China's largest robotic industrial base opens in Shenyang

Industrie 4.0 , IOT, Artificial Intelligence & Big Data , everything converging together and riding on the back of Robotics itself and China- The manufacturing hub of the world is bound to play a key role and will be acting as the main catalyst for world economy.

Last 25 years China have been growing at a huge rate which has made it a financial power house and which has also resulted into increased spending on its defense , it has also become a military superpower. To take it to a next level Chinese State is also having huge aspirations on Defense Robotics

Beijing also eyes 'robotic and human settlement' on Mars with ambitious 2020 mission

It is indeed very satisfying to hear for the Robotics community , that among all the hue and cry of Robots taking jobs , a country like China having the largest labor force in the world is not worried about job cuts but have an extensive plan and vision to absorb Robotics as a national policy. In addition to that the latest tech interest & buzz of everyone Artificial Intelligence is fueling the growth of Robotics market and China wants to build a Billion dollar industry.

What can be the possible reasons / thoughts behind aggressive Robotics pursuance as a Chinese State Policy ?

  1. 1. Robotics is the future - A blatant belief that "Robotics " is the future, in which they have to be ahead of all and influential. There is a road-map for Robotics adoption across industries starting with Automobiles and Auto-components manufacturing. China's 21st Century Industrial Policy Spawns Robot Bubble.

  2. 2. Brand makeover of "MADE IN CHINA" - Robotics beings its own set of benefits that everybody understands in terms' of quality, efficiency, productivity, safety & reliability. Traditionally Made IN CHINA brand is perceived as low quality cheap brands. Though many big brands with highest quality product (Apple) are also manufactured in China due to low cost production benefits, but these companies have strict Quality control on manufactured products, they put their own quality managers on job. Wide scale adoption of Robotics will ensure high volume and consistent quality products.

  3. 3. Aspiration to position China as Influencer/Leader in Robotics worldAcquiring the KUKA by state sponsored Midea, in an interest to have influential say in the world of Robotics, and if we see on economic point of view, acquiring KUKA will save billions of money which would have gone otherwise outside China, if factories in China would have purchased Robots' from KUKA Germany. Now the money used/to be used in Robotics investments' by the Chinese factories will remain within Chinese economy. KUKA's international sales will further add revenues to Chinese economy. Also Midea-KUKA plan to develop service and personal Robotics            

  4. 4. Aspiration to become World leader - Copy western world on anything and everything, to portray China as a innovative , high tech , growing and leader. This is reflected from trends in last 10-15 years. Influence of Silicon Valley & American economy has its own spell-caste on world's economies, culture, craft, governments & markets. The conservative and closely guarded Chinese society being a natural follower have a huge Western Hangover. Hence Chinese leadership have made a clear resolution to project their country as world leader by adopting al the probable future technologies, as being a big economically & military superpower is not enough to lead the world.

  5. 5. To counter "Contain China" Policy - An aggressive communist - no democratic government, becoming Financial super power & reluctantly military superpower doing a lot of Geo-political perceived hegemony across South China sea and Indian ocean is perceived as a pompous thorn and a significant threat to peace and stability of the world. To counter that all genuine and thriving democracies US, Japan, Israel & India are onto strategies which can contain the growth of China, by pushing Make In India and other similar initiatives of indigenous manufacturing and job creation. India is working hard to snatch the manufacturing share from China , which again is in India's governments interests, intents and policies. To counter this "Contain China" policy China eyeing to aggressive growth with Robotics to maintain its competitiveness.

  6. 6. South china sea countries Challenge - Small countries like Singapore , South Korea, Vietnam , Malaysia giving tough competition to china in terms of efficiency and soaring growth . very well explained bun the this article here - China competitiveness is diminishing while that of ASEAN is improving.

China's Industrial Scenario analysis

Now there are two important components of this Robotics revolution / pursuance :-

Before going to a deeper analysis we have to consider certain facts about China and its Industrial scenario.

1. China's competitiveness -

2. Geographical distribution of the manufacturing zones across China mainland

3. The distribution of sectors in the economy - Automobile only 10%

4. The wages of the Chinese labor across Chinese industrial zones -

5. China's domestic goods consumption scenario

What China SHOULD NOT DO  ?

China should not promote "Manufacturing of Made in China Robots" - one way it seems good to manufacture locally or acquire international Robotics giants for domestic consumption , that make sure money not going outside China and is consolidated inside the economy.

Flip side - If the Robot's manufacturing increases in China by many Chinese manufactures then the next natural step is to expand and export globally which in-turn gives opportunity to competitive countries like India, Germany, Japan, USA to do indigenous manufacturing and avoid imports China.

China Should understand the use of Industrial Robots is concentrated on automobile industry and not in plastics , electronics and PCBS , textiles or any other industry where China has an edge of severely cheap products to dominate global market. The volume of production of all other goods than Automobiles / auto components is very huge only in China and they ONLY can afford to invest into high cost high quality manufacturing Robots for its production to sever global demand.

Again if the Chinese Robot Manufactures start making low cost Robots for global markets then it gives small industries of other countries an opportunity to manufacture these goods locally and need not to import from China.

Current form of Industrial robots are not suitable for these sectors so the question is How can going so aggressive about robots will help China ? instead they should focus on consuming high quality Robots which made outside China to maintain manufacturing edge.

Another important aspect is that, Automobile sector and Automobile manufacturing in China is only 10% of the whole manufacturing sector/economy of the China. The use of current form of Industrial Pick & Place Robots is concentrated in this industry only. There is a limit and point of saturation will be soon. The cost of the Robots currently are pretty high and makes it difficult to afford to invest for production of any other goods by industries around the world.

But only in China the volume of production of all other goods apart from automobiles and auto-components are extremely huge for serving global markets, hence only Chinese industries can afford to invest into Robotics for the production of other goods than auto-components (like Plastics, electronics, textiles & other white goods) to make it more efficient, productive and high quality (which is the need).

Hence it's not a wise option for Chinese economy for Robot's manufacturing in China.

What China SHOULD do ?

It's also a big fact that Chinese companies struggle to innovate, however Germany, USA, India, Japan & Israel can make high quality & efficient Robots for China market and work market, but cost is a big factor.

Because of the due reasons mentioned earlier China SHOULD Adopt & Buy Germany, USA, India, Japan & Israel made Robots for domestic consumption's (domestic factories) to increase productivity, efficiency, quality and maintain it's low cost manufacturing edge.

We can definitely dream of a ecosystem or synergy between Chinese market and world market where 'Robotics" acts a key catalyst for flourishing and complementing economy. Other developing and innovative countries like USA, Japan, Israel & India can make high quality Robots and sell it to Chinese market.

With Robotics coming into economy lot of jobs transformation will occur and more quality jobs will be created replacing old unskilled jobs- preventing suicides etc. China will be an extremely good place for this PILOT of Robotics revolution and can set example for the world.

With Robotics coming into economy lot of jobs transformation will occur and more quality jobs will be created replacing old unskilled jobs- preventing suicides etc. China will be an extremely good place for this PILOT of Robotics revolution and can set example for the world.

As mentioned earlier also, because there is larger volume production in other sectors apart from Automobiles use Robots becomes more viable ONLY in China to invest into high priced and high quality Robots, which is not that easy for industries of other countries.

Make the market more open to outside companies, the quality Robot makers from USA, Germany, Japan, India & Israel to influx high quality innovative Robots' into China's manufacturing units , to produce high quality low cost product in huge volumes.

Japanese robot firm makes an aggressive move in China

However to achieve the goal of "Leading" the Robotics revolution, China can do these additional things as well:-

  1. Invest into innovative Robotics startups across India, Germany, USA, Japan & Israel.
  2. Can host major Robotics research centers for giant tech companies (e.g Siemens) , close proximity of manufacturing ecosystems, prototyping and materializing the Robots will be far more easy.
  3. China can host giant Expos and Summits (e.g World Robotics Conference) to create a welcoming ecosystem for Robotics community.
  4. Establish policies for Robotics companies from India, US, Japan, Germany & Israel their manufacturing in China and serve Chinese market more efficiently and influx the QUALITY into Chinese manufacturing circles.

Hence in these ways a coherent, complementing & flourishing Robotics ecosystem and industry can be established.

Seek common ground, not hostility, partnership, not conflict


I visited Chinese industries at the early age of 21, for my first startup company to develop some dies-moulds. I have been to 10 Chinese cities & have seen first class infrastructure, highly fast and efficient engineers/workers. In few months of my stay specifically in the industrial areas of Shenzhen & Guangzhou I have closely observed the strengths and weaknesses of Chinese Industry , economy and society. This is a lateral perspective with regards to the current scenario in Robotics world.