Industrial Automation and Robotics in China

Since 2013, China has bought more industrial robots each year than any other country, including high-tech manufacturing giants such as Germany, Japan and South Korea. By the end of this year, China will overtake Japan to be the world’s biggest operator of industrial robots, according to the International Federation of Robotics (IFR).

China’s technological transformation still has far to go — the country has only 36 robots per 10,000 manufacturing workers, compared with 292 in Germany, 314 in Japan and 478 in South Korea.

China’s leaders are also pushing for the country to become not just the world’s largest robot buyer, but a leading robot producer. At the forefront of that effort are firms such as GSK CNC and Shanghai’s Siasun Robot & Automations which are developing a range of robots for use in factories. A key driving force for automation in China are the country’s changing demographics which are altering the way employers think about their labor force. They can no longer count on an endless supply of cheap workers. Labor costs have risen 15% a year since 2000. The working-age population will peak this year, and is projected to shrink 16% by 2050.

Drones are also included in the Industrial Automation sector. The Chinese firm SZ DJI Technology Co. is now the world’s largest consumer-drone maker. Forecast International, a private market researcher, recently predicted that by 2023, Aviation Industry Corporation of China, a state-owned Chinese defense firm, will produce nearly $6 billion worth of unmanned aerial vehicles and control half the global market for such devices.

SAI has operated in China since 1992 and has significant experience across a diverse range of industries including industrial automation and robotics. SAI is well-placed to support business decision-making within industrial automation and robotics in China and Asia through services such as;

  • Competitor benchmarking – assess your Industrial Automation and Robotics footprint versus other domestic and multinational competitors
  • Customer analysis – what are your own and competitors’ customers’ unmet needs in Industrial Automation and Robotics
  • Value chain and supply chain assessments – what are the implications and key success factors for Industrial Automation and Robotics strategies in China
  • Regulatory implications of Industrial Automation and Robotics
  • Strategic opportunities in Industrial Automation and Robotics through M&A and JV’s in China


Please contact Greg Downes, SAI Asia – President, or +65 6550 9827 if you would like to discuss how SAI may support your-Industrial Automation and Robotics strategies in China and Asia