The new World Robotics report shows robot installations in China grew by 5% and reached a new peak of 290,258 units in 2022. This was 52% of all installations worldwide.
“China is by far the world’s largest market for robotics,” says IFR’s President Marina Bill. “This latest gain of 5% in 2022 is remarkable since it even tops the 2021 result that was a 57% jump over 2020.”
The operational stock in China surpassed the 1-million-unit mark in 2021 and the 1.5-million-unit mark in 2022 (1,501,535 units; +22%). This makes China the first and only country with such a large robot stock. Europe counts a total of 728,391 units and North America 452,217 units. In China, the stock grew by 25% on average per year between 2017 to 2022. This illustrates the tremendous speed at which the modernization of China’s economy is taking place.
The electrical and electronics industry was the main customer of industrial robots in China, with a share of 35% in total installations or 100,320 units in 2022. This was up 7% from the previous year. Globally the Chinese electronics industry accounted for 64% of installations in this industry in 2022 and Chinese producers supplied 41% of these robots.
The automotive industry is the second largest customer industry. Annual installations grew strongly, setting a new peak level in 2021 and continued to do so in 2022 (73,363 units; +26%). 54% of the global installations in the automotive industry took place in China. The share of robots supplied by Chinese manufacturers in the Chinese automotive industry was 17%.
Robot installations in the metal and machinery industry were down by 16% to 30,932 units in 2022. This was 11% of total installations in China. Chinese robot suppliers had a market share of 77% in this segment.
The Chinese economy is reportedly slowing down, but according to the IFR’s Quarterly Survey Q2/2023, turnover growth in Asia, which is largely determined by the Chinese market, remains very high. Due to prolonged lead times, many orders of 2022 are being shipped in 2023.