China's Industrial Robot Installations Jump 44 Percent in 2021

The industrial robot market in China achieved strong growth with a new record of 243,300 installations in 2021. This figure represents a rise of 44 percent compared to the previous year. These preliminary data have been published by the International Federation of Robotics.

Annual installation of industrial robots in China, 2021 (‘000 units)

China was leading the global recovery after the Covid-19 pandemic and accounted for half of worldwide robot installations in 2021,” said Marina Bill, President of the International Federation of Robotics. “Growth is strong across all industries with electrical and electronics being the dominant sector – up 30 percent to 81,600 installations. The automotive industry also showed a strong recovery. This was mainly driven by electric vehicle manufacturing in China. It rose by 89 percent in 2021 with 50,700 installations.”

Chinese Government Supports Robotic Automation

In China, the demographics of aging population causes shortage of labor and drives the growth of robotic automation. The continued robotization of industries has been announced earlier this year by the government. The Five-Year plan for the robotics industry, released by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) in Beijing, focuses on promoting innovation – making China a global leader of robot technology and industrial advancement.

New Profession: “Robotics Engineering Technician”

At the same time, state authorities aim to boost employment and entrepreneurial opportunities among college graduates. In June, 18 new professions including “robotics engineering technician” were announced by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security. The profession focuses on the research and development of control algorithms and operating systems for robots, as well as the use of digital simulation technology.

“China still has high potential for further growth,” said Marina Bill. “The country´s robot density in the manufacturing industry amounts to 246 industrial robots per 10,000 employees thus ranking ninth worldwide in 2020. Ten years ago, China´s robot density was 15 units only.”