Chinese industrial robot makers double home market share to 50% in 2023

The rise of China Inc in the realm of robotics is not just restricted to the category of industrial robotics.

Domestic manufacturers now represent roughly 50% of the Chinese market for industrial robots, up from 24% a decade ago, a market survey shows.

GGII, an automation and robot-focused information portal, published data yesterday, showing that this year, homegrown industrial robot producers have come to taken half of the domestic market.

Industrial robot sales at home totaled more than 300,000 units as of last week, when data was last available, says GGII.

The survey points out that the country overtook the United States in 2013 as the world’s largest consumer of industrial robot and has maintained this position ever since.

Whats’s more, according to the International Federation of Robotics, China’s massive investment in industrial robotics has put the country in the top ranking of robot density, surpassing the United States for the first time.

In 2021, leaders like Estun (埃斯顿) and Inovance (汇川技术) both crossed the 10,000-unit sales milestone.

In October 2023, Efort, an up-and-coming Chinese industrial robot maker, announced that its full-year shipment also exceeded 10,000 units, putting in the same league as Estun and Inovance.

The rise of China Inc in the realm of robotics is not just restricted to the category of industrial robotics.

An across-the-board expansion

Autonomous mobile robot and cobot segments also experienced a fast expansion.

In the period between 2014 and 2016, AMR startups sprang up in ever larger numbers.

In the years that ensued, the proportion of domestic players in China’s AMR industry held steady at 90%, with a CAGR of 40% and higher.

Image credit: Pexels

The same pattern repeated itself in the domain of cobot. In 2018, Chinese cobot makers surpassed foreign rivals in terms of market share for the first time.

GGII data indicates that cobot builders operating in China now number over 70, with a sales volume exceeding 20,000 units.

Among them, domestic players account for about 85%.

In the ten years from 2013 to 2023, when cobot went from a fledgling innovation into a mature sector, the combined sales of cobot manufacturers in China grew by a CAGR of more than 60%.

The bulk of them are indigenous vendors, GGII says.

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Ni Tao

Ni Tao is the founder and editor-in-chief of cnrobopedia. Prior to cnrobopedia, he had a full decade of experience with a major state-run English-language newspaper as a tech reporter and opinion writer. He is also a communications specialist, having provided consultancy services to established firms like Siemens, Philips, ABinBev, Diageo, Trip.com Group (Nasdaq: TCOM, HK: 9961), Jianpu Technology (NYSE: JT) and a handful of domestic startups. A graduate of Fudan University, he writes widely about China's business and tech scenes and other topics for global publications including South China Morning Post, SupChina, The Diplomat, CGTN, Banking Technology, among others, and tries to impart his experience to students at Fudan University Journalism School, where he is a part-time lecturer. When he's not writing about robotics, you can expect him to be on his beloved Yanagisawa saxophones, trying to play some jazz riffs, often in vain and occasionally against the protests of an angry neighbor. Get in touch with him by dropping a line at nitao0927@gmail.com.

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