Dongguan to boast US$573m robotic space by 2025, city guideline predicts

The city, however, has been trying to change the stereotype as a producer of only low-end products. In recent years, it is pivoting to advanced manufacturing, with robotics as one of the future economic pillars.

Dongguan, a southern Chinese manufacturing hub, is planning to possess a smart robotic hub with an annual revenue exceeding 8 billion yuan (US$573 million) by 2025, Chinese media reported recently.

The city’s Bureau of Industry and Information Technoloy published a set of measures on December 1 and sought public input until December 10 this year.

According to these proposed measures, Dongguan’s robotic hub will lead to 80 billion yuan in annual revenue from other sectors as of 2025.

In the period between now and 2025, industrial robot production is expected to surpass 20,000 units a year.

Dongguan has already emerged as a top player in robotic innovation and application among Chinese cities.

Last year, the city’s robotic and smart equipment manufacturers with an annual income of 20 million yuan and more generated over 500 billion yuan in revenue, 119.2 billion yuan more than a year earlier.

Meanwhile, the city’s smart robot segment churned out 1.59 million units, of which 17,477 were industrial robots and more than 1.57 million were service robots.

Humanoid frenzy

In view of the fast-expanding robotics sector nationwide since the beginning of this year, Dongguan’s policymakers have set higher goals.

One of their principal obsessions is to incubate a humanoid robot domain, just like that in Shanghai, Beijing or its neighbor Shenzhen.

Dongguan authorities stated that they look to “lower the threshold, enlarge funding and offer policy support,” in a bid to attract humanoid robot producers to move their operations and even headquarters to the city.

In addition to encouraging partnerships between companies specializing in core parts, AI and new materials, the boomtown in Guangdong Province also aims to build industrial clusters to host robotics companies.

A pivot from world factory to advanced manufacturing

Dongguan has acquired a reputation over the past 20 years as a manufacturing powerhouse, flooding the world with cheap consumer electronics, textile products, toys and other merchandise.

The city, however, has been trying to change the stereotype as a producer of only low-end products. In recent years, it is pivoting to advanced manufacturing, with robotics as one of the future economic pillars.

To meet this goal, Dongguan pledges cash rewards of up to 10 million yuan to smart robot developers that meet its criteria.

Eligible candidates are companies capable of solving major bottlenecks in servo motor, gear reduction, controller, sensor and other key parts and technologies essential to robotics.

Dongguan is also poised to set up specialized funds to finance the operation of robotic startups and up-and-comers, according to its proposed measures.

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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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