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China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, along with 17 other agencies, has created a new action plan called the “Robot + Application Action Plan.” This plan lays out 10 industries the country wants to focus on developing robotic systems for and overarching goals for the country’s robotics industry to hit by 2025.
China hopes to accelerate the use of robotics in manufacturing, agriculture, architecture, logistics, energy, healthcare, education, elderly services, commercial community service (things like Pudu Robotics‘ service robots) and emergency and extreme environment applications.
The plan’s goals for the Chinese robotics industry include achieving more than 100 innovative robotics applications, and over 200 model use cases where those technologies can be applied by 2025.
China also hopes to have around 500 robots per 10,000 workers by 2025. In 2021, China averaged 322 industrial robots for every 10,000 employees, according to the International Federation of Robotics (IFR). IFR data shows that China has been aggressively installing more robots in the country.
In 2021, the country’s industrial robotics market saw 243,300 installations, a 44% increase from the year before. Those installations are evident in China’s jump from being tied for the ninth most automated country worldwide in 2020 to being the fifth most automated country in 2021, surpassing Chinese Taipei, the United States, Hong Kong and Sweden in robot density.
Five hundred robots for every 10,000 employees is still only half the robot density of South Korea, which reached an all-time high of 1,000 robots for every 10,000 employees in 2021.
In December 2021, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, in collaboration with 14 other government departments, revealed how it will continue to grow the country’s robotics industry in its 14th five-year plan.
The document lays out several smaller goals for the Chinese robotics industry before 2025, but the overarching goal is to make China a key source of global robotics innovation. The government also expects the average annual growth rate of operating income in the robotics industry to exceed 20%.
In addition to the new action plan, Shanghai has released a similar plan to boost the city’s robotics industry, which aims to become a major robotics hub by 2025.
The city plans to scale its local industry to $14.76 billion in the next few years and build 10 industry-leading robot brands, 100 benchmark robot application scenarios, 20 leading factories, and 200 smart factories. As far as robot density within Shanghai, the city aims to reach 100 units for every 10,000 people.