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China Far Outpaces America in Bringing Robots to Factories

  • Record 2.7 million robots work in factories around the world
  • U.S. numbers rise 7%; U.K. ranks last among major economies
Production of Trumpchi SUVs at a Guangzhou Automobile Group Co. Plant
Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

The number of robots operating on Chinese factory floors rose 21% last year as the world’s manufacturing powerhouse extended its lead in automation.

China added 140,500 new robots and now holds almost one-third of the global stock, according to a new report published Thursday by World Robotics. The U.S. posted an increase of 33,300 or 7% and ranks fourth behind two other Asian economies, Japan and South Korea.