Forbes: Forget The Markets, Robots Are China’s New Worry

China is worried. The robots are coming, and they could threaten the country’s rise as a global power.

Manufacturing is one of China’s most important industries. As of 2014, industry (which includes manufacturing) contributed 42.6% to China’s GDP. And on the world stage, China accounts for almost 25% of global manufacturing. The reason for China’s dominance is cheap labor costs: As of 2009, compensation was less than $5 an hour. But things are changing.

First, wages in China are rising. From 2007-2012, manufacturing wages in the country increased by 18% each year. Second, robots are new competition. They have a one-time upfront cost, almost no downtime, more efficiency and, most importantly—no wages.

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The World's First Book On The Geopolitics Of Artificial Intelligence

For the past 70 years, geopolitics has been defined by oil, natural gas, defense and much more. Now, geopolitics is being defined by technology. And, AI is the most important. Nations of all shapes and sizes are looking to AI to give them an economic and geopolitical edge. Everything from ethics to bias to warfare will be defined and redefined by the geopolitics of AI. See why nations are competing over a technology that nobody fully understands but everybody wants.

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