When counting robots made in China and adding them to robots made internationally and shipped into China, 2012 saw China deploy more robots than any other country.
Data from the International Federation of Robotics (IFR) showed 23,000 robots sold into China. A Canadian college professor and researcher added 9,800 robots manufactured by six Chinese vendors giving a total of 32,800 – 4,000 greater than the 28,700 sold into Japan in 2012. Hence his claim that China has already become the largest buyer of robots.
These figures do NOT include the 20,000 robots manufactured and placed into service by Foxconn in the last two years.
Future IFR statistical reports will include Chinese data from the newly formed Chinese Robot Industry Alliance (CRIA).