China continues to be the biggest market for industrial robots, even though the market’s growth had been slowing prior to the pandemic, due to the U.S.-China trade war.
The International Federation of Robotics reported 140,500 new installations of industrial robots in China in 2019, down 9% from the prior year but nearly three times the number of installations seen in second-place Japan.
As China has gotten the Covid-19 pandemic under control, demand for automation equipment picked up, and Credit Suisse estimates that China's industrial-robotics market grew 9.5% last year. Citi reported that nearly three-quarters of China's industrial-robotics market is controlled by foreign firms like Japan's Fanuc and Europe's ABB, but some Chinese automation-equipment companies grew their market shares last year due to Covid-related supply-chain disruptions among their foreign rivals.
From "Battle of the Robots Still Favors Japan, Europe—For Now"
The Wall Street Journal (01/20/21) Jacky Wong
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