China has been generating efforts to upgrade its manufacturing industry into an intelligence based, digitalised model, keeping China at the very top of the manufacturing realm.
The World Economic Forum (WEF) conducted a study in excessive of 1,000 global manufacturing plants in September, which identified nine plants as lighthouse factories, representative of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR).
The 4IR is fusing technologies and blurring the lines between digital, physical and biological. The cyber-physical systems stand as the fourth large step in industrial change and development since the first revolution in the 18th century.
Both big and small manufacturing companies across China are positively embracing the 4IR and opportunities that come within it, using technology as a key transformation period for the industry which is bringing China once again to the forefront of manufacturing innovations.
Already standing as the manufacturing hub of the world, China are ever developing in terms of technology that allows them to stand in power at the centre of the 4IR.
Depending on which reports you read, and believe, the 4IR is set to bring forth technologies that will ultimately decimate human employment, with machinery taking anywhere from 10-50% of jobs currently undertaken by humans. Should that be the case however, it is believed millions of jobs on a worldwide scale are to be created in the robotics sector, focusing on AI and data analysis.
In China however, where the 4IR is taking effect more than any other nation on Earth, AI, robotics, drones and autonomous vehicles are already strong in production. That doesn’t mean to say China will suddenly face an unemployment epidemic, in fact China is set to add around 93 million jobs into its economy by 2037. The majority of these falling into healthcare sectors as there is growing demand to care for an ageing generation as medical advancements go from strength to strength.
With China stands miles ahead in the 4IR, with no definitive signs of the rest of the globe being able to efficiently play catch up, the robotic revolution will be able to soon fuel itself as China starts to service is own economy, rather than the rest of the world’s.
For Western businesses that rely on China to manufacture a variety of goods at low cost, this could have drastic implications for the future of the industry in Western sectors.