CNBC: China’s factories automate as worker shortage looms

Apr 9, 2021

Factories in China are turning to technology to tackle a pending labor shortage. Part of the reason why the factory digitalization trend is set to pick up is that the cost of sensors for gathering data on how well machines are operating has dropped significantly over the last 10 years, said Leo Li, partner at consulting firm Oliver Wyman and head of automotive, manufacturing and industrial products for Greater China. As a result, a factory can detect production problems more quickly and resolve them — with fewer workers. “Today’s factories are completely different from the past,” Li said, according to a CNBC translation of his Mandarin-language remarks. “The number of so-called blue-collar (workers) has dropped dramatically — there are more ‘knowledge’ workers. Efficiency is rising more and more.”

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