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China tech

China's tech spending surges as it strives to be robotics superpower

Beijing aims for 70% of all robots in the country to be made at home by 2025

SHANGHAI -- China began its decades-long economic ascent as the "workshop of the world" by taking advantage of cheap labor. Now it is spending big to swap those factory workers for high-tech robots.

The country's investment in smart manufacturing in 2018 surged 46% on the year to 69.6 billion yuan ($10.1 billion), according to Marketing Intelligence Resource, a Beijing-based research firm specializing in industrial products. Smart manufacturing employs robotics, automation and other technologies to increase productivity and cut labor costs.

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