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China goes on shopping spree for industrial robots

Japanese companies crank up production as automation demand soars

Industrial robot sales in China totaled 67,000 units in 2015, about 30% of the global market.

TOKYO -- Chinese factories are eagerly enlisting robots to address worker shortages and automation needs, prompting Japanese manufacturers to scramble to boost output.

Robots made by Kawasaki Heavy Industries are busy rapidly working metal at a factory in Ningbo, a port town three and a half hours from Shanghai. After appliance parts maker Xinlu took on robots for press processing at its plant, the company slashed the workforce from 10 workers per line to just one.

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