Chinese Factory Loses 90% of Its Workforce to Robots

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Top Tier Gear USA

factory robot

Ever since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001, the US has had millions of manufacturing jobs outsourced to the growing nation. But what most American’s don’t realize is that many of these Chinese workers also feel cheated by this arrangement. They’re just as frustrated with us, because they can’t afford the products that they build for the American consumer. Over the years, this resentment has fueled a surge of labor strikes and demands for better pay for these workers.

So it should come as no surprise that factory owners are more than willing to automate these jobs. While American workers have good reason to be pissed about having their jobs shipped overseas, in the very near future they’re going to find themselves in the same boat as every other blue-collar worker in the world. Their jobs won’t be outsourced to other countries, they’ll disappear entirely. Hundreds of employees with the Changying Precision Technology Company just experienced this trend firsthand.

The Changying Precision Technology Company factory in Dongguan has automated production lines that use robotic arms to produce parts for cell phones. The factory also has automated machining equipment, autonomous transport trucks, and other automated equipment in the warehouse.

There are still people working at the factory, though. Three workers check and monitor each production line and there are other employees who monitor a computer control system. Previously, there were 650 employees at the factory. With the new robots, there’s now only 60. Luo Weiqiang, general manager of the company, told the People’s Daily that the number of employees could drop to 20 in the future.

The robots have produced almost three times as many pieces as were produced before. According to the People’s Daily, production per person has increased from 8,000 pieces to 21,000 pieces. That’s a 162.5% increase.

The increased production rate hasn’t come at the cost of quality either. In fact, quality has improved. Before the robots, the product defect rate was 25%, now it is below 5%.

This is the world we live in now. The days of being able to receive decent pay for a difficult, but simple job, are pretty much over. So if you have a job that doesn’t require creativity in some way, consider yourself warned. These jobs can and do disappear overnight, and if you don’t have some skill that will be viable in the future, the robots will leave you in the dust.

But I digress. The big question that is on my mind, is how will a nation like China absorb the ramifications of this trend. While the US has some very severe issues with income inequality, even our poorest workers often still earn much more than most workers around the world. When our manufacturing base started hemorrhaging jobs, we still had some distance to fall.

China however, never became wealthy from absorbing these jobs. Sure, the government and their financial elite reaped plenty of benefits, but most of their people are still very poor. They’re not going to experience what the American worker experienced in the 19th and 20th centuries. Their factory workers will never reach the point where they will be able to make a middle class wage from a blue-collar job. Those jobs will disappear before that happens.

Not only is China’s debt fueled economy unraveling, and not only has their one child policy all but guaranteed a future with more seniors than their system can support, but hundreds of millions of their young workers won’t have any of these manufacturing jobs to carry them through. What then? Will they do what America has been struggling to do for several decades? Will they try to make the transition from being a manufacturing juggernaut, to being a service economy? And if they do, how much more will these jobs pay?

Those questions should inspire dread among America’s current workforce. The vast majority of our jobs are now in the service sector. If China turns into a service dominated economy, how many of those jobs will we lose?

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Contributed by Joshua Krause of The Daily Sheeple.

Joshua Krause is a reporter, writer and researcher at The Daily Sheeple. He was born and raised in the Bay Area and is a freelance writer and author. You can follow Joshua’s reports at Facebook or on his personal Twitter. Joshua’s website is Strange Danger .

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  • Gil G

    Well that sucks. If Chinese workers can be easily replaced by robots what is there for the rest of us?

  • Undecider

    Maybe China can distract themselves with a regional war. What else are all those people going to do? China could also open the floodgates for emigration. If you want to leave, leave!

    • sunshine

      No then they’ll come here! We already have far too many as it is. Perhaps they could step up their colonization of Africa and do the job right this time around, since the West failed.

      • They already own property here, they’ll just occupy it. But the occupiers won’t be those replaced by robots, they’ll be those who will replace us with robots, next.

        • sunshine

          And our “betters” are fools for allowing it.

          • They won’t be here anymore, so it won’t affect them in their chalets in Switzerland, where they’ll sit, laughing at us. We’ve been the fools for putting up with them for decades.

          • sunshine

            That’s a really good point and very true.

    • Roddy Pfeiffer

      Chinese have been free to travel for many years. Americans don’t realize that the vast majority of Chinese citizens have decent lives. The middle class is growing. The poor have made the biggest gains, and of course they seem to pump out another millionaire every 27 seconds.The vast majority of them believe their leaders are making the right decisions.

  • tomw

    Henry Ford once said ” I want my workers to be able to afford to buy the product they make”

    • Guillotine_ready

      Too bad it is not that way any more

    • sunshine

      He was one of the greatest Americans…knew exactly who was to blame for the sorry state of the world.

      • tomw

        A politician he was not. that is for sure.

        • He had some very good friends who were politicians, like Senator Prescott Bush, who arranged for Ford to build manufacturing plants in Germany to make vehicles for the Third Reich military buildup, which Bush also arranged the financing for, along with the IBM punchcard machines to track those in the concentration camps. And, no, Bush was never impeached, indicted, or prosecuted for the treason he committed, in case you are wondering where his son and grandsons learned to get away with the same things.

          • tomw

            Were there trade sanctions on Germany before the war broke out?

          • Imposed after the close of WW1, but US Senators can ignore those too.

          • tomw

            So we had sanctions on Germany and Japan before WWll ,while they say we were isolationist. Looks like sanctions really don’t work.

          • Sanctions have always worked best in getting the sanctioned busy working around them. The elites just keep on keeping on because sanctions don’t affect them like they do the peasants, who get innovative, like the Cubans did 50 years ago.

          • tomw

            You could say that the sanctions placed on Japan , caused the attack on Pearl Harbor. From what I heard, our government just put a whole new round of sanctions on Russia. This coming from a president that said sanctions do not work.

          • The president and emperor had a meeting where they were told they had two choices, attack us or be starved to extinction. They choose the first option and we monitored their encrypted messages so we’d know exactly when to shut off our radar so the troops would be surprised when they attacked. All of the ships in Pearl Harbor were slated for decommissioning, so it became a junkyard. The japanese had been trying to negotiate a peace treaty when we nuked Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing some of our own POWs and most of the Christians in Japan. Then we were willing to accept the very terms they’d been offering for months.
            Robert Stinnett gives all the details in “Day Of Deceit: The Truth About FDR and Pearl Harbor.”

          • I am gonna get that book. Great info!

          • Roddy Pfeiffer

            No. Those were all legal business moves. Hitler was Man Of The Year on the front of Time Magazine for pulling Germany out of poverty.

          • I don’t believe he was speaking against Germany, I could be wrong though.

      • And socialized and schemed with them, unless they were Jews.

    • James

      Henry Ford said. The workers are quitting as job is boreing on the line. To retrain a new man every 6 months cost to much. Raise there wage to make the better ones stay. And ask the press to give it a spin.

  • Guillotine_ready

    The traditional idea of work for an employer and making yourself dependent upon their willingness to employ you and making your income their decision is over. And it is about time.
    Money started out as a means to access your wealth that was stored in a vault without carrying your gold around. Then it became the accepted currency convertible to gold and now it is just toilet paper you are the source of fiat currency’s value. There is nothing else backing it. So the whole control charade of using money to control the people will be crashing to earth soon.
    It is time to do what you know how to do and use whatever skills you have for your own benefit and not an employers. What ever the employer pays you is a small percentage of what your effort makes them anyway.
    Let them have robots and sell their products overseas and just ignore the americans who built their companies through their effort, sweat and tears. We have better things to do with our time, like beginning the new economic model we will live with. The old one already died, all the promises made were really lies as we see, so let’s worry about ourselves and forget these greedy bastards anyway

    • “Money started out as a means to access your wealth that was stored in a vault without carrying your gold around.” Not so much, the gold IS the money. CURRENCY was invented to eliminate the need to carry around heavy gold and silver.

      • Free market capitalism exists but it is outright illegal.

        • I’d like to know by which law, which I’ve never seen or read. When the economy consists almost entirely of communism and fascism, it is difficult to see any capitalism which exists, but it does, in small, protected pockets, few of which are in the western world anymore.

          • I have no idea what law they cite, I’d like to know too but I’m not asking them 🙂

          • It is probably what can be called ad hoc law, that which is made up on the spot to get one into custody, where they can find legitimate black letter law to file charges on.

          • Exactly!

  • Gearmoe

    The replacement of robotics for people will come back to haunt us all. The numbers look great, the bean counters jump for joy, but they are dead wrong. If you remove people from the equation, where are the people? An efficient robotic company, so what?

    • What the bean counters are missing is history. Yes, you can make products cheaper with robots. No, the people you laid off when you replaced them with robots won’t be buying those inexpensively made products with the money they aren’t making anymore. Robots require more highly trained people to keep them working, but only a fraction of them as compared to the number they replaced. Since there are comparatively fewer highly trained robotics technicians around, it may cost as much to hire them to install and maintain the robots as it cost to pay the humans the robots replaced.

      • …and the parasite kills the host.

        • arahn

          So few people even realize we DON’T have a “free market capitalism.” Almost everything you buy or sell is heavily regulated and must have permit (permission) attached!

        • At least the parasite is made extinct in the process, making the former host a martyr for which we can be thankful.

  • sunshine

    There’s a story about this, called “Manna” by Marshall Brain. You can read it on his website and I recommend it highly because it seems to be the most likely way humans and robots will interact, and what will happen to humans. Scary!

  • Roddy Pfeiffer

    The only reason America hasn’t lost service jobs is that they must

    be done locally. Fixing cars, cleaning houses, repairing homes, all that is safe for now.

  • James

    There was a labor shortage in China. Wages went up to 3 bowls of rice a day and a day a week of with a dollar to spend. As there economy has crashed this will probably end soon. As they will return to working cheaper than a robot. But I do remember reading about the good old day’s. When a good slave would set you back $50,000 or more unlike today when you can buy one for $500. Such is the price of man against machine in production. I remember when wages here were $5 a day for yard work. Today it is $10 a day. A push mower and electric weed trimmer are starting to replace the yard boy at that wage. Think about it. Both made in China by the way.

  • Mike

    Just wait until McDonalds and places like them start using robots to flip burgers, then we will see the ILLEGAL INVADERS and the BLACKS riot together due to lack of jobs. Just goes to show you, NEVER MAKE A CAREER OUT OF A MINIMUM WAGE JOB.