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China releases development plan for industrial robots

China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) announced on Wednesday that they have issued an “industrial robot development plan” for 2016-2020, along with the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Finance of the People’s Republic of China.

The plan provides a series of guidelines to accelerate the development of industrial robots. It emphasizes the quality of industrial robots, with hopes that Chinese robots will get a good reputation globally. Additionally, it is setting a five-year goal to create a well-established system for industrial robots and strengthen global competitiveness in smart robot technology.

To achieve this goal, urgent problems need to be solved, including how to build iconic robot products and the need for more research into key parts.

The plan also defines state policy support and measurements, including financial support, infrastructure investment and a mechanism for compensation insurance.

A smart robot. Photo from

Many industrial robots are already in the Chinese market, including arc welding robots, vacuum cleaning robots and human-machine collaborative robots.

An anonymous source at the MIIT told Xinhua News that industrial robotics in China will have tremendous momentum in next five to ten years.

China has been the world’s largest industrial robot market for two consecutive years, with 56,000 robots sold in 2014, a YoY increase of 54%, according to an industrial robot conference held in 2015.

“By the end of the 13th Five-Year Plan, the market demand for industrial robots in China will reach 150,000,” said a MIIT officer at the World Robot Conference 2015.

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