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Shipments jumped 27 percent to about 90,000 units last year, a single-country record and almost a third of the global total, and will nearly double to 160,000 in 2019, the International Federation of Robotics estimates.
The blazing pace hasn’t dented Chinese wages - yet - but it might influence the global economy, according to a recent report by Bloomberg Intelligence.
Automation may drive productivity gains and export competitiveness, but the rising use of robots also threatens to exacerbate domestic income inequality, undermining consumption. And that could spill out beyond the country’s borders, economists said.
“By turbocharging supply and depressing demand, automation risks exacerbating China’s reliance on export-driven growth — threatening hopes for a more balanced domestic and global economy,” BI economists Tom Orlik and Fielding Chen wrote.
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