Just The Facts

Push for Automation: South Korea Vs. China

China hopes to shift production from low-wage human labor to robots, as South Korea has done.

Credit: futureatlas.com www.flickr.com

Takeaways


  • As of 2015, 531 robots were deployed per 10,000 workers in South Korea's industrial sector.
  • China has 49 robots per 10,000 workers. Its future economic strategy will increase its reliance on industrial robots.
  • Korea’s automotive industry has 1,218 robots per 10,000 employees.

1. South Korea, a country with a population of 50 million, has the highest robot density in the world.

2. As of 2015, 531 robots were deployed per 10,000 workers in the country’s industrial sector.

3. That was about 74% higher than second-ranked Japan (305 robots per 10,000 workers), 76% higher than Germany (301) and three times higher than the United States (176).

4. While China currently has only 49 robots per 10,000 workers, its leadership has determined that the country’s future economic strategy will rely on industrial robots.

5. To that end, China is making major investments to expand its presence in the market for producing industrial robots.

6. This includes Chinese electrical appliance maker Midea Group’s July 2016 acquisition of German robot maker KUKA, which ranks as 6th worldwide by installations.

7. Certain industries are much more heavily automated than others. Korea’s automotive industry, for example, has 1,218 robots per 10,000 employees.

8. This compares to 411 robots per 10,000 workers in all other Korean industries.

Sources: The Globalist Research Center, International Federation of Robotics, Bloomberg, Robotics & Automation News

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