Chinese Company Moves To Replace 90% Of Its Workforce With Robots

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

I’m not one of those people who thinks robots taking over menial labor from human employees is a bad thing. On the contrary, I think such a displacement could ultimately prove very positive for the species. Nevertheless, the short-term pain and suffering that this could cause for displaced workers and their families likely will have tremendous negative repercussions to the societies that are most affected in the near and intermediate-term.

Since robots entering the workforce is probably one of the most significant economic trends in the decades ahead, we should all start thinking about how to deal with what will be a major adjustment for hundreds of millions, if not billions, of people.

From the South China Morning Post:

Construction work has begun on the first factory in China’s manufacturing hub of Dongguan to use only robots for production, the official Xinhua news agency reported.


A total of 1,000 robots would be introduced at the factory initially, run by Shenzhen Evenwin Precision Technology Co, with the aim of reducing the current workforce of 1,800 by 90 per cent to only about 200, Chen Xingqi, the chairman of the company’s board, was quoted as saying in the report.


Robots are set to take over in many factories in the Pearl River Delta, the area of southern China known as the ‘world’s workshop’ because of the huge export manufacturing industry there, as labour shortages bite and local authorities face the need to spur innovation to counter the economic slowdown.


Since September, a total of 505 factories across Dongguan have invested 4.2 billion yuan in robots, aiming to replace more than 30,000 workers, according to the Dongguan Economy and Information Technology Bureau.


By 2016, up to 1,500 of the city’s industrial enterprises will began replacing humans with robots.


The provincial capital, Guangzhou, has set a goal of fostering a robot-manufacturing industry with an output value of more than 100 billion yuan by 2020, as well as automating more than 80 per cent of the city’s manufacturing production.

I haven’t written much on this topic, but I did highlight a very powerful video last year in the post, Humans Need Not Apply – How Robots Will Take Over the Economy. Here’s the video once again:


Hopefully we won’t replace all these lost jobs with what David Graeber calls “bullshit” jobs.

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gwar5's picture

Moar row boughts.

Latina Lover's picture

Let's ask the Chinese to replace Congress with Robots.  They will vote and act the same but at least they will not steal and whore, unlike the current lot of congressional criminals.

ParkAveFlasher's picture

If the Chinese ever invent a robot to hit ctrl-P, the jig is up!

walküre's picture

Every robot gets a condo in a ghost town as signing bonus

Antifaschistische's picture

Agriculture automation has come a long way, but until we have robots picking every fruit and vegetable grown in California, Arizona and Florida.....I'm not impressed.

One Day Only's picture

Bring on that Chinese middle class!!

Eeyores Enigma's picture

 If anybody doesn't need robots..I thought the chinks were essentually robots already...I mean robots would be MOAR expensive, not cheaper..


(no chineese people were offended in the making of this comment)

KnuckleDragger-X's picture

Well the Chinese government has more or less been pushing the population into the cities as cheap labor in the factories, so what now? A huge unemployed population packed together is asking for trouble of the kind that the government has been working hard to suppress. Of course half their military funding is for internal forces, which they are gonna need.....

CrazyCooter's picture

Because of China's one-child policy, if I am not mistaken their workforce is basically cresting and will start to shrink as the years go by.

How this system stays balanced is probably a fairly messy affair - economy growing, labor pool shrinking, automation replacing labor, etc.



Antifaschistische's picture

Perhaps I'm older than everyone else on ZH.....but for the youngsters, I'll tell you, the "robots will replace all humans" scary story has been around for 35 years.  Change is slow...humans adapt, and humans build robots.    Yes, there's no reason why a high end vending machine can't replace everyone at Starbucks...but that technology already exists, and we still have humans...    Now, get a machine to do something hard (no offense intended to the Baristas)  like picking strawberries and then I'll be impressed.

Swarmee's picture

Advances in microprocessing, computer vision, and rapid prototyping are quickly closing the gap between promise and realization with robotics. As for those strawberries? Well, there's a lot of people working that specifc problem, these are from 2013:

"This is not the first project involving such use of robots in agriculture, but it may be the most ambitious. A Spanish company, Agrobot, sells a robotic strawberry harvester that locates the berries, analyzes each fruit, and determines whether it’s ready for picking based on its size and color, and similar work also focusing on strawberries has been conducted in Japan. The British firm CMW Horticulture sells a crop-spraying robot for greenhouses and nurseries."

It may not be quite ready yet, but it's certainly coming. All it would take is one massive worker strike (pick any reason, maybe even an outbreak) where fields are left to rot and suddenly the cost-benefit of moving to automated harvesting could shift radically.

Atomizer's picture

We can force the robots to vote using diebold voting machines. Weeeeeeeee. We can have some fun fucking with those droids. 

jdtexas's picture

China not replacing scum bag lawyers.....the world can't get enough of em


China’s Biggest Law Firm To Merge With Western Multinational Law Firm Dentons

Tek Kinkreet's picture

Everyone needs to be paid for the increase in productivity these robots enable, we also need to be paid back for the 300% increase in productivity stolen from us thus far. People should be working fewer hours with more pay instead of the opposite. The technology needed to this point was developed by our tax dollars over generations, the .001% should not be the only ones profitting, they are stealing. We could move into a class 1 society instead of a slave society. They are fooling themselves if they think they will be able to build walls high enough to avoid the mobs. Greed and hubris has always been their downfall.

crisrose's picture

Nothing stopping you from building your own robot.  Nothing except your greed, stupidity and laziness that is.

Tek Kinkreet's picture

Keep licking bankster ass, I have other plans.

crisrose's picture

I'm no fan of bankers.  But without that fiat money there would be no technology for you to lay claim to.

A strong back and a low IQ don't cut it in the modern world.  Be grateful you had your time in the sun.

Tek Kinkreet's picture

I have 2 degrees and am responsible for at least 10 innovations in my industry, all from which I saw absolutely no benefit. It all goes to the employer. This only to have my job phased out partly by my own innovations, they have no loyalty. If you aren't trolling, you are certainly kissing bankster ass having that attitude. You seem to think it's alright for public taxes to develop technology and have all that handed over to some corporation run by some politician's good buddy so he can sell us things for which we already paid. You are supporting crony capitalism and the slavery that comes with it and are not even smart enough to realize you are doing it. It's the exact same set up as the FED, making us borrow our own money and pay interest on it.

crisrose's picture

Then you should have stepped aside and *sold* it to your employer instead of giving it away for free.  Unless you innovated on their dime - then it belongs to your employer.

The Fed doesn't make you borrow anything.  Federal Reserve Notes aren't 'ours' - it's currency of a private bank.    

US coins are interest free.  Use them.


Tek Kinkreet's picture

Meh, you were better in Lord of the Rings.

williambanzai7's picture

Replace the robots with robots...

Skateboarder's picture

How many robots does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Probably just one, but it doesn't give a fuck whether the lights are on or not.

walküre's picture

The movie "Robots" is one of my favorite animated movies. Way ahead of its time...

samsara's picture

"Why be YOU,  when you can be NEW?"


BLOTTO's picture

Well that's just it.


They want us emotionless like a robot. Transhumanism - like a Borg.


Danny Glover (PBA drug commercial): 'Do you ever sometimes laugh and then cry?'

A: Yes, its called having emotion's you stupid cunt.


HonkyShogun's picture
HonkyShogun (not verified) williambanzai7 May 7, 2015 1:41 PM

Replace the robots with robots...

Yes they did.


Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Just planning for Agenda 21, per my prior1,2 comments


[1] Wed, 04/22/2015 - 13:41 | 6018766  Kirk2NCC1701

     ... it would likely eliminate the dumbest 80% out of the gene pool, so that the fucking Neanderthals could no longer propagate.

[2] Wed, 05/06/2015 - 12:51 | 6066183 Kirk2NCC1701

     ... If the Top 10% owns 83% of Wealth assets, then what do TPTB need the Bottom 90% for -- in an age of dwindling resources, natural space, tech and automation?

walküre's picture

The Nazis had this idea of a genetically mutated master race and I don't think the research has ever stopped. Former high ranking Nazis were shielded by US authorities to continue the work.

BeaverCream's picture

Too much history channel for you son.

g'kar's picture

They made it a reality in the "Wolfenstein" game series.

Tom Servo's picture

Machines building machines... oh my!


Cangaroo.TNT's picture

All those robots will need butlers, maids, and servants.

pods's picture

This is going to go over well. Invite gabillions of peasants to filthy cities then replace them with robots.



djsmps's picture

They predicted this years ago. Soon all humans will be able to lead a life of leisure while the robots do all the work.

Osmium's picture

If the robots are doing all the work, why would we need all these humans?

NoWayJose's picture

We need humans to fight wars so that we can destroy robot factories in someone else's country, while protecting the robot factories in our own country!

agent default's picture

Yeah, we cannot allow a robot factory gap to develop.

crisrose's picture

Wars are only needed to deflate the supply of peasants and inflate the debt supply to support the peasants who aren't wiped out in the war.

I see world peace on the horizon.  

Sudden Debt's picture

You give them 900 dollars a month, enouh to survive but not enouh to marry and have children. 

You keep that up for another 50 years and the population will have brought itself down in such a way that revolutions just can’t happen anymore.

And you’ll get a utopia on top that will have a wonderfull life. Those who own the robots.

but that will not be small companies. It will be just a few who own a billion robots each.

and they won’t care if inflation is 20% a year because of money printing to keep the poor fed. Their income will do so to. All they’ll care about is having a faster and smarter robot than the other guy.

so, in the next 20 years it might be a problem, in 50 years there won’t be enouh people arround to care anymore.

i_call_you_my_base's picture

Hope that's sarcasm. The productivity gains will all go to the 1%ers and everyone else will live on government funding or in outright squalor.

agent default's picture

And who will the 1% sell their factory products to?

slyhill's picture

They'll make a robot for that too

Tek Kinkreet's picture

They expect it all to crash and when it does, they will have control of all resources. All of these bubbles are them farming people and reaping the profits. If you want those resources, you will pay while they live like kings...until the plebs storm the castle.

astoriajoe's picture

here's another prediction.

State provides all our state-determined needs.

One child allowed for those couples/women chosen in special lottery program.

agent default's picture

You mean if you lose you have to have one.  Along with a wife.


Here's another prediction: In less than ten generations (closer to five) most women will have adopted a zero-child policy 'voluntarily' and will be militant about it towards other women.

If we adopted a zero-child policy today we would still have enormous problems but of course the requisite political science isn't there. 'The System' would collapse overnight. The lottery wouldn't be acceptable to the 'elite', but it would work in theory. A global one-child policy would be a fair compromise. For an interesting peek at the potential dystopia, watch the film Children Of Men.

I will be very interested to read what The Pope has to say about go-forth-and-multiply this summer...

Abbie Normal's picture

If 90% decide not to have babies, there won't be much beyond the 15th generation.


That is probably true, but there won't be much, if any, after nuclear WW3 or catastrophic climate change. Sooner rather than later there will likely be a small club and we won't be in it. Do we go there proactively with dignity or via the tried and true (and horrific) Neolithic method? Either way, if we make that transition successfully then perhaps humans will again be able to go-forth-and-multiply. It would undoubtedly be an extremely automated/robotic/AI world. One big happy family?

"I don't have faith in Faith. I don't believe in Belief

 You can call me faithless, you can call me faithless

But I still cling to Hope and I believe in Love

And that's faith enough for me, and that's faith enough for me."

RUSH / Snakes And Arrows / Faithless / 2007