Amid the sprawl of drab, dusty concrete factories in Shunde district in the southern Chinese city of Foshan, one gleaming new structure stands out.
The 40,000 square metre (430,000 square feet) factory, designed by an American architect, cost 120 million yuan (US$17.5 million) to build and is expected to triple Jaten Robot & Automation’s annual production to 10,000 robots.
Just a few miles away, work is under way on an 800,000 square metre, 10 billion yuan industrial estate that will house three ventures between Chinese appliance maker Midea and German robotics firm Kuka, which Midea bought in 2016. The new complex will have the annual capacity to produce 75,000 industrial robots by 2024.
Jaten and Midea are among the biggest players helping to make Foshan – a city of 7 million people best known as the home of the Cantonese style of lion dance and kung fu – the hub of China’s robotics industry.