Local restaurants and hotels have been increasingly using server robots since the outbreak of COVID-19. It is estimated that about 70% of these robots are made in China. Last year, there were around 5,000 server robots, but this number is expected to nearly double to 10,000 units this year.
The main reason why many businesses choose to purchase or rent China-made service robots is because they are cheaper than the ones made in Korea. The price of server robots can range from 10 million won to 100 million won, and on average, China-made robots are more than 20% cheaper.
The Chinese government has been supporting its robotics industry with incentives, which has made China-made robots more competitive in terms of pricing. The Korean government also offers subsidies, but these mainly benefit buyers rather than developers.
There are no clear regulations to regulate the quality of cheaper Chinese robots, which has led to concerns about safety. Korean experts believe that the government should provide more support for the robotics industry to enhance its competitiveness.
Despite the challenges, Korean robotics makers are working to improve their products and services. Large tech companies like LG and KT are ramping up efforts to enhance quality and scale production in the coming years.
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