There are almost 7,000 robotics companies now established in China, according to a report from Xinhua.
Xinhua says the exact number established in 2017 alone is actually 1,686.
That brings the total number of robotics companies established in China to more than 6,500 according to Xinhua’s calculations.
Although it didn’t say whether they were component makers or systems builders, it’s probably safe to say there is a robotics and automation manufacturing ecosystem developing in China.
The news agency was reporting from the 5th China Robot Summit, which is currently taking place in Yuyao, in Zheijang Province.
The organisers of the summit released a report which highlight some of the features of what Xinhua says is China’s “booming robotics industry”.
There are geographical hotspots emerging where robotics companies are being formed. These hotspots include Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, the Yangtze River Delta and the Pearl River Delta, according to the report.
The study says that in 2017, the global robotics industry market was worth $23.2 billion, and had seen annual growth of 17 per cent between 2012 and 2017.
China is widely known to now be the largest market in the world for industrial robotics and automation.
It became the largest market for industrial robots in 2013, and looks like it will keep that status for a few years yet.
But most of the industrial robots China has so far bought have been from overseas suppliers, especially those in Japan.
Established robot-making giants doing well in China include Fanuc, Yaskawa, which are both Japanese, and ABB, the Swedish-Swiss company, and Kuka, which was German until Chinese company Midea took over last year.
But as more domestic robot companies emerge in China, some of the growth in demand has been met by local companies.
Xinhua reports that in 2017, sales of China’s industrial robots reached $4.22 billion, up 24 per cent year on year, while sales of service robots totalled $1.32 billion, up 28 per cent year on year.