China's industrial robot sales drops in 2018

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China's industrial robot market sales shrank in 2018 from the previous year, mainly due to less demand from the automobile manufacturing industry, according to the China Robot Industry Alliance (CRIA).

Industrial robot sales were about 135,000 in China in 2018, down 3.75 percent from the previous year, the first year-on-year decrease since 2013, but annual sales ranked first in the world for the sixth consecutive year, according to the CRIA.

From the perspective of the application industry, the automobile manufacturing industry is still a key application industry, with more than 32,000 robots sold in the industry in 2018, a sharp decline of 25.4 percent year on year, and this is an important factor for the overall decline in sales of industrial robots, according to the CRIA.

Though the sales growth rate of Chinese domestic brand industrial robots has slowed, it still maintains a relatively stable growth level. Foreign brand sales fell sharply, from more than 70 percent of year-on-year growth in 2017 to a year-on-year decline in 2018.

Among the total, sales of Chinese domestic brand industrial robots hit about 43,600 units, up 16.2 percent year on year. Sales of foreign brand industrial robots stood at 92,000 units, down 10.98 percent year on year.

The proportion of Chinese domestic brand robots in total market sales is 32.2 percent, a rise of 5.5 percentage points over the previous year.

The CRIA is a non-profit organization founded in 2013. It has about 380 members so far, involving companies, universities and industry associations.

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