China looks to boost robotics with international help

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刘鹤:中国将在开放环境下推动机器人产业发展 – Caixin

What happened: Liu He, Vice Prime Minister of China, gave a keynote speech during the country’s World Robot Conference. He said China welcomes international investment and cooperation in the country’s huge robotics industry, and that the country will foster the development of the industry in an open environment. Liu said a growing aging population and tech market’s demands call for more robotics innovation supply.

Why it’s important: Liu has released some vague but interesting signals here. His words seem like an acknowledgment of China’s current behind-the-leader position in world robotics industry, and a tacit response to trade tension, during which the US frequently criticizes the country’s protectionist stance. Meanwhile, apart from tech and industrial demands, Liu mentioned the ageing population and a market targeting the elderly. Robotics’ application in the market will increase service efficiency, and will be an alternative labor supply to the country’s declining population growth.