China, once the manual labour “workshop of the world”, has become the largest buyer of industrial robots, as rising wage costs and growing competition from emerging economies have forced manufacturers to turn to technology.
The country bought one in five robots sold globally in 2013, overtaking tech-savvy Japan for the first time, in its attempt to drive productivity gains.
…“China has the fastest-growing robot market. In a few years time China will be significantly larger than the second and third largest robot market,” said Per Vegard Nerseth, head of robotics for ABB.
There is more here, from the FT.