Share this on Twitter Share this on Facebook Share this on LinkedIn Share this on Sina Weibo Share this on Wechat Share this on LinkedIn Credit: BMW/Wikipedia The march of the robots stalled globally last year — except, that is, in China. Sales of industrial robots in the world’s second-largest economy jumped 19 percent in 2020, according to recent data from the International Federation of Robotics, compared with a slight 2 percent decline in overall global sales. The sharp rise has consolidated China’s position as a global leader in automation: even in 2019, before the Covid-19 pandemic hit, the country installed more robots than the next four countries — the U.S., Japan, South Korea and Germany — combined, the IFR data shows. Such figures may intensify fears that millions of Chinese workers are set to lose their jobs to robots, particularly in the manufacturing sector. In fact, using robots is becoming a necessity for many manufacturers dealing with the effects of China’s declining working population and rising wages. The greater challenge for Chinese policy makers may instead be to ensure the country has enough educatedSubscribe or login to read the rest. Subscribers get full access to: Exclusive longform investigative journalism, Q&As, news and analysis, and data on Chinese business elites and corporations. We publish China scoops you won't find anywhere else. A weekly curated reading list on China from David Barboza, Pulitzer Prize-winning former Shanghai correspondent for The New York Times. A daily roundup of China finance, business and economics headlines. We offer discounts for groups, institutions and students. Go to our Subscriptions page for details.