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Battle of the Robots Still Favors Japan, Europe--For Now

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Robots at a factory in Jiujiang in China's Jiangxi province.

China, unsurprisingly, is far and away the world's largest market for industrial robots.

Credit: Associated Press

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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