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International News From the Field: China

Despite early signs of recovery and expansion in various sectors, including robotics, China is experiencing some headwinds. How serious is the country’s economic slowdown? What comes next? For more industry intel and other tidbits, read on.
Sep 19, 2023

China's robot industry maintained its steady expansion in the first half of 2023. The output of industrial robots reached 222,000 sets, an increase of 5.4% year over year, and the production of service robots amounted to 3.53 million sets, up 9.6% from a year ago, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. With nearly 300 companies playing in the robotics manufacturing and application segment, China accounts for 50% of the global installed base of robots, recording a total revenue of $23.28 billion in 2022, with a steady double-digit expansion in the YOY comparison.

According to CMTBA, income for the machine tool industry grew by 3.1% in the first six months of 2023, while gross profit shrank by 16.2% in the same period. New orders for metalworking machine tools grew 0.1%, while inventory is up 11.1% in the YOY comparison. 

According to the National Bureau of Statistics of China, output by large companies of metal-cutting machine tools reached 346,000 units, down 1.7 % YOY, and the output of metal-forming machine tools was 91,000 units, down 19.5 % YOY. Chinese Customs reported imports and exports of machine tools totaling $18.7 billion, down 3.3% YOY, while imports totaled $6.56 billion, down 11.6% YOY. From January to July, FDI inflows reached $111.8 billion, down 9.8% YOY.

The official NBS Manufacturing PMI rose to 49.7 in August 2023 from 49.3 in July, exceeding market forecasts of 49.4. The latest result was the softest drop in factory activity since an expansion in March amid various stimulus measures from Beijing for economic recovery. For now, macro marketing demand is a vital factor that impacts investment confidence in the manufacturing industry.  A few recently announced projects and investment news items are listed below.

  • Hitachi Astemowill invest $849 million to produce automotive parts and components.

  • Volkswagen announced an investment of $464 million to produce lightweight automotive parts.

  • Hubei Rui Gu De Precision CNC Machine Tools will invest $63 million to manufacture heavy-duty precision CNC machines.

  • Shenzhen Everwin Precision Tech announced a new investment of $411 million to build automatic production facilities for precision structural components of EVs.

  • Han Yu Wei Sensor will invest $150 million to produce semiconductor sensors.

  • Jiangxi Hang Xue Refrigeration Equipment will invest $15 million to produce compressors and chillers.

  • Zhejiang Unite Tech announced its decision to invest $15.2 million to produce electric hydraulic control valves.

For more information, please contact Fred Qian at fredqian@AMTchina.org.

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Author
Fred Qian
General Manager - Shanghai Technology and Service Center of AMT
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