The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) of the People’s Republic of China, in partnership with fourteen other government departments, has issued a document on Tuesday to guide the development of the country’s robotics industry during the “14th Five-Year Plan” period.
According to the document, by 2025, China aims to become a key source of global robotic technological innovation, the gathering place of high-end manufacturing and the new hub for integrated application.
According to the plan, breakthroughs will be made during the period in a number of core technologies and high-end products of robots, the comprehensive indicators of the whole machine will reach the international advanced level, and the performance and reliability of key components in similar products will reach the international level. The average annual growth rate of operating income of the robotics industry is set to exceed 20%.
In addition, the document expresses the need to form a group of leading enterprises with international competitiveness, and a large number of specialized and innovative “little giants” (小巨人 xiǎo jùrén) with a strong innovative ability and potential to grow. “Little giants” refers to small and medium-sized Chinese enterprises embodying the characteristics of “specialization, refinement and novelty.” The size of these enterprises must comply with the provisions of the national “SME classification standards” (MIIT Joint Enterprise  No. 300). Besides, three to five industrial clusters with international influence will be established. In addition, the density of manufacturing robots will be doubled.
The plan promotes the high-quality development of China’s robotics industry from many dimensions, including technological breakthroughs, foundational improvements, supply optimization, application expansion and ecological creation.
The document also puts forward four key actions with regard to robotics, including core technology research, key foundational improvements, innovative product development and “robot +” application.
According to analysis by Minsheng Securities, the Chinese robotics industry is witnessing a series of opportunities that could promote the improvement of global penetration rates, including an increase in industrial automation demand, driven by upgrades to the domestic manufacturing industry, and the bottleneck of manufacturing capacity underpinned by the recovery of overseas demand. The space for industrial automation has been opened, and domestic enterprises are expected to continue to benefit from the high growth of the industry. There is continued bullishness in the market with respect to the industrial robotics industry chain.
On September 11 of this year, MIIT Vice Minister Xin Guobin said at the World Robotics Congress that since the “13th Five-Year Plan” period, the strength of China’s robotics industry has been continuously enhanced and its industrial scale has grown rapidly. China’s industrial robotics market has now ranked first in the world for eight consecutive years, and its installed capacity accounts for 44% globally in 2020. According to the country’s National Bureau of Statistics, from 2016 to 2020, the output of industrial robots in China increased rapidly from 72,000 sets to 212,000 sets, with an average annual growth rate of 31%.