Netease Technology News August 21, according to foreign media reports, a senior partner of the well-known consulting firm McKinsey said in an interview recently that China's focus on robots has created a booming industry. But for now, Chinese companies have not surpassed their global competitors.
Karel Eloot, a senior managing partner at McKinsey's global and head of Asia's operations consulting business, said in an interview with US media last week that Chinese robotics companies could only meet 5% of domestic demand 10 years ago. But since then, the robotics industry has flourished, and the industrial robots provided by Chinese companies currently account for one-third of the Chinese market.
Ai Jiarui pointed out: "But when you think of the Chinese government's goal of achieving 50% by 2020 and 70% by 2025, you will understand that Chinese companies still have a long way to go."
Domestic industrial robots want to rule the Chinese market. Foreign media: a long way to go
“When we talk about global competitiveness, Chinese companies still have a lot of work to do,” Ai Jiarui explained. There are many powerful robot suppliers in many developed markets.
He said that in these countries, Chinese companies may have to do what they have done in the country: "Go slowly from the bottom of the pyramid."
But Chinese robotics companies have a bigger advantage in developing markets because these markets are similar to China's development over the past decade, Ai Jiarui said. "For them, going there is more natural."
So far, the Chinese government has effectively promoted the growth of the Chinese robot market.
Earlier this year, Chinese media reported that by the end of 2017, there were more than 6,500 robot companies in China. Sales of industrial robots in China this year were about $4.22 billion, up 24% year-on-year, while sales of service robots increased 28% year-on-year to $1.32 billion.
The International Federation of Robotics said that the number of new industrial robots in China in 2016 was about 87,000, slightly lower than the sum of Europe and the United States.
As the government encourages automation and smart manufacturing, Chinese companies are also using more and more robots. For example, the iPhone mobile phone manufacturer Foxconn deployed tens of thousands of "Foxconn robots" at the factory between 2012 and 2016. The electronics maker said it plans to replace more employees with robots over the next 10 years.
On a global scale, the scope of application of robots is not limited to the manufacturing field.
“One of the hottest areas at the moment is warehousing and distribution,” said Jeff Burnstein, president of the Association for advances Automation, in an interview.
He said: "Robots are pouring into Amazon, Walmart, Target, Alibaba and other companies you can think of."
Chinese technology giant Alibaba has launched an unmanned robot that can carry multiple packages and deliver them to customers. According to reports, the product is currently being tested in Hangzhou, China, and is expected to be put into commercial production by the end of the year.
Ai Jiarui said that while automation and a larger number of robots in the workplace are worrying about massive unemployment, there are many potentially positive results. He said that for China, automation may increase productivity and thus “further lay the foundation” for economic development.
“You can see that China wants to use robots, wants to use artificial intelligence, and wants to use digital tools to achieve leapfrog development. They know there is a gap and they want to close the gap faster.”