China Crafts 5-Year Robotics Plan

The International Federation of Robotics (IFR) reports that China has released its 5-year robotics plan, laying down strategies for global leadership in robot technology. The new plan was released by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) in Beijing. It focuses on promoting innovation for leadership in robot technology and industrial advancement.

The statistical department of the International Federation of Robotics reports about the domestic and foreign engagement on the world’s largest market.

Largest Robot Market

“China is by far the biggest robot market in the world regarding annual sales and operational stock,” says Milton Guerry, President of the International Federation of Robotics.

“IFR´s robot density statistics is a useful indicator of China´s dynamic developments, counting the number of industrial robots per 10,000 employees. China´s robot density in the manufacturing industry currently ranks 9th globally (246 units) – compared to 25th (49 units) just five years ago,” according to Guerry.

Market share Chinese robot manufacturers vs. foreign manufacturers

Second Robotics Development Plan

“China released the second five-year development plan for the robotics industry – following 2016-2020,” says Song Xiaogang, Executive Director and Secretary-General of the China Robot Industry Alliance (CRIA).

“The plan has great guiding significance for promoting the high-quality development of China’s robotics industry during the 14th period. Robots are the key equipment of modern industry. The new 5-year plan leads the digital development and intelligent upgrading in China and also helps to promote the global robot technology progress.”

Automation Race in China

Foreign robot manufactures lead the automation race in China today with a combined market share of 73 percent. With some volatility in the past eight years, this share has been constant. In 2020, installations of robots from abroad – mainly imported from Japan, Korea and Europe – grew strongly by 24 percent to 123,030 units. This number also includes units produced in China by non-Chinese suppliers. Chinese robot manufacturers mainly deliver to their domestic market, where they held a market share of 27 percent in 2020 with 45,347 units shipped.

No. 1 Global Rank

Based on IFR China data, the country’s robot sales reached a new peak in 2020. There were 168,377 new robots installed (of which, 45,347 units from Chinese suppliers). This represented 20 percent growth from 2019 and CAGR of more than 20 percent from 2015 to 2020. Among the total supply, robots for handling operations accounted for 42 percent, for welding 21 percent, for electrical/electronics industry 37 percent, and for automotive industry 16 percent.

Stock of operational robots reached about 943,200 units, 21 percent higher than in 2019. It grew more than 30 percent from 2015 to 2020.