China sets up group to promote local robot industry

The alliance will promote the application of robot technologies and products, to grow the domestic sector and reduce China's dependence on foreign brands.
Written by Ryan Huang, Contributor on

China has launched a group to promote the domestic application of robot technologies and products, which has been lagging in terms of growth and innovation relative to foreign brands.

China's Robot Industry Alliance will promote the local industry.

The group, named the Robot Industry Alliance was launched in Beijing on Sunday, accoridng to a report by Xinhua News. It was initiated by the China Machinery Industry Federation (CMIF) as a non-profit organization that will focus on robot research and development, production and utilization, said the article.

Wang Ruixiang, president of the CMIF, said compared with developed countries, China's robot sector had been facing slower growth, weaker technology strength, and lower market share.

He added foreign brands currently dominated more than 90 percent of the local robot market. "The country's robot sector faces an urgent task of enhancing product quality and achieving sustainable development," said Wang in the report.

The alliance comprises 77 members, including major enterprises in the industry and research institutes. They will collaborate over the market and intellectual property rights to promote their products.

The Chinese robot market represents a fifth of the world market, according to Xinhua. In 2011, robot imports rose 62 percent to 38,000 units with a total value of US$866 million, Wang said in the report.

China-based manufacturers such Foxconn have been reportedly investing more into automating their processes by using more robots. The company in June 2011 announced it would deploy one million robots across factory assembly lines within three years.

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