China’s plan to expand the nation’s robotics and automation industry seems to be working, according to a new survey by TheRobotReport.com.
The website tracks robotics companies worldwide and editor Frank Tobe says he wrote about 194 robot companies in China in 2015, but now that number has more than doubled to greater than 500.
The Chinese government launched a “robot revolution” as part of its Made in China 2025 program a couple of years ago, partly because it has become the world’s biggest buyer of robots and would like some of those robots to be made by domestic companies.
Additionally, it turns out that some parts of China are facing a shortage of working-age people, probably because of the country’s one-child policy, which was introduced in 1979, so it needs more robots that it would have otherwise.
Tobe says: “China’s government, through successive 5-year plans and a longer-term Made in China 2025 program, all funded with subsidies, low-interest loans, tax credits and other incentives, has jump-started the use – and building – of robots in China.”
The Robot Report has vetted and tagged more than 500 new Chinese robotics-related companies and labs. Those companies are available free, online, on The Robot Report’s global map of robot providers.
Tobe says: “Those 500+ companies are evidence that long-term strategic planning, properly funded and promoted, can effect massive change – as is happening today in China.
“It is also happening within the EU and Japan. In America, we’ve given token government money to the advancement and deployment of robotics even though President Trump said that we need to develop the industry.”
The Robot Report generally tracks the business of robotics, in particular mergers and acquisitions.