China is buying the newest manufacturing equipment.
In China (now the third largest Asian robot market), robot investment is still booming, with 5,800 units installed in 2006, an increase of 29% on the previous year. Here, alongside the automotive sector, demand is increasing in the electronics and rubber and synthetics industries.
At the end of 2007 about 1 million industrial robots were working in factories worldwide according to the initial 2007 results. About 118,000 new industrial robots were supplied worldwide in 2007, 5% more than in 2006. In 2008, The automotive industry is continuing robot investment in the growing markets such as China, India, Southeast Asia, Russia, Eastern Europe and South America to increase capacities. The non-automotive sector will continue to increase their robot investments, especially the metal and machinery industry, the glass/ceramics industry, the semiconductor industry, the photovoltaic industry and the furniture industry. Small and medium enterprises will become first time robot users, due to attractive prices and intelligent easy to use systems. The high quality and environmental standards are forcing all manufacturing industries especially in countries such as India, Russia or China to modernize their plants in order to be
competitive on the global market.
Robot investment was still booming in China in 2007, the third largest Asian robot market, with 6,600 units supplied in 2007, an increase of 14% on the previous year. Here, demand is increasing in all industries, including the automotive sector. Total supplies in the United States grew by 12% to 16,600 units and in Canada by 67% to 2,900 units. In Japan, the largest robot market in the world, sales increased slightly by 2%, at 38,100 units.
It not just cheap labor but the faster speed and flexibility of building in China.
So as robotics improve China is adopting that technology. Plus if robotics are going to win that Japan has the lead not the USA.
For Service Robots there are no accurate 2007 figures. In 2006 WorldRobotics.org estimated that there are about 35,000 service robots for professional use and 3.6 million service robots for personal/domestic use will be sold worldwide in the period 2007 – 2010.