US trade war weakens China’s position as global leader in automation and robot manufacture



He Huifeng and Iris Deng | South China Morning Post

Production among China’s robotics manufacturers is slowing as the trade war with the United States hits many of the industry’s biggest customers.

There is great uncertainty for the sector’s outlook. The US and China agreed a truce at the weekend that avoided a scheduled increase in tariffs, but tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese imports to the US remained.

“China’s robotics industry is showing weakness from the impact of the trade war on the electronics industry, which is one of the most important customers of robot makers, accounting for one third of the sales,” said Nikkie Lu, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence. “China accounts for 70 per cent of the world’s electronic production capacity, and the trade war is weighing on their investment decisions in industrial robotics.”

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