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Dongguan to Accelerate Replacement of Factory Workers with Robots

Posted: 06/27/2014 8:00 am

robot manufacturing The City of Dongguan has passed a resolution that will accelerate the replacement of human labor with robots throughout the city, reports the Dongguan Times.

Called the “Promotion of Dongguan Enterprises to ‘Switch from Human to Machine Labor’ Plan (2014-2016)”, the resolution looks to replace human workers with robots through the implementation of 1,000-1,500 projects in factories throughout the city by 2016.

The resolution targets companies with concentrated labor requirements, or companies that are tech-oriented.

READ: Shenzhen Firm Continues Trend of Replacing Human Labor with Robots

The resolution seeks to open two to three dedicated robot industry parks by 2020, and anywhere from six to eight robot facilities in concentrated neighborhoods. The plan is said to be valued at over RMB 700 million.

While not a law, the resolution strongly urges Dongguan companies to begin adopting technological advancements as part of their production. Companies seem to be responding favorably to the plan. Ninety-two percent of Dongguan factories are in favor of replacing human labor with robots, the report says. Forty-nine percent of Dongguan factories have already cut 10% of their labor, while 20% have cut over 30% of their labor.

READ: Strikes on the Rise as Workers Set to Be Replaced by Robots

The idea of robots replacing human workers is hardly a new phenomenon in the Pearl River Delta. Guangzhou passed a similar resolution which aims to have 80% of all manufacturing production performed by robots by 2020.

A recent rumor that Foxconn plans to hire 100,000 extra workers to accommodate production of the next iPhone has fueled speculation its Shenzhen location will be the site of the record-setting hiring boom. Whether the rumor is true or not, any new recruits at Foxconn will have to contend with the million robots that are set to join the assembly line by the end of this year.

Meanwhile, as Dongguan and other PRD cities look to decrease their labor force, 17 million new residents are expected to settle in rural cities around Guangdong as hukou resident restrictions are relaxed.


Photo: Dongguan Times

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