China robot industry developing fast, but risks oversupply in low-end segment

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China has strong demand for robots, but locally robot production took up only 26.7% of its demand in 2015. The industry is growing rapidly, but a more standardized industry is required if products are to be more reliable.To meet the demand, China firms have geared up development of robots with government incentives in recent years and the use of robots has extended from manufacturing to other sectors.

But the development of China’s robotic industry faces two risks: over investment in low-end robots with low added values, and consequently oversupply, according to Digitimes Research.

From January to November in 2016, China produced 64,000 industrial-robot s, over 90 percent more than all production in 2015. Nearly 3,000 robot manufacturers have sprung up in China over the last five years, but current industrial standards are inadequate.

The market needs new standards designed by the government and the market, said XieBing bing, deputy chief engineer of the Beijing Research Institute for the Automation for the Machinery Industry.

Since Japan- and Europe-based makers have dominated the development and supply of key components, many China-based robot makers focus on secondary development of robotic systems, customized components and after-sale services.

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