The Chinese robotics industry is bigger than all the countries that make up the US combined, according to a new report from the World Economic Forum.
The report, titled ‘Robots for Humanity: The Future of the Global Robotics Industry’, estimates that China will overtake the US in the global robotics market by 2020.
The Chinese robotics sector is expected to grow to more than US$40bn by 2020, up from US$19bn today.
It’s a milestone the WFE believes will herald an era of truly global robotics, one in which machines can be used for good, for human purposes, and to improve people’s lives.
The WFE’s report, entitled ‘Robotics for Humanity’, estimates the Chinese robotics market will be worth more than the $200bn that the US has invested in robotics research, manufacturing and innovation.
The group believes the growth of the Chinese market will result in a new global industry of over 100,000 new jobs.
The robots are expected to be cheaper than anything produced in the US, meaning Chinese workers will have to compete for the same wages and working conditions as American workers.
The research says the global robot industry is expected grow from just $6.5bn to more $20bn a year by 2020 and will generate $60bn in annual GDP.
The US will remain the largest robotics market in the world, with a total market value of about $80bn, followed by Japan with $43bn, Germany with $37bn, and France with $29bn.
China is expected by 2020 to have more than 40% of the global market for robots, up significantly from less than 5% today.
The study notes that China is also one of the fastest-growing economies in the region, with an estimated $20.6bn in 2020.
China has a growing economy, but the country’s reliance on large-scale manufacturing and capital-intensive industries is leading to some of the highest inflation in the OECD.