The increasingly rapid adoption of industrial robots on Chinese production lines is set to hasten the fall in manufacturing employment. Among companies that intend to purchase robots in the coming 12 months, 72.7% said this would mean job losses, according to a Financial Times Confidential Research survey conducted across manufacturing centers in Guangdong. Industrial automation is seen as both an answer to China’s falling working age population and a path to greater efficiency. The government is aiming for a “robot density” of 150 units per 10,000 workers by 2020, up from 49 in 2015. Of the 30 companies surveyed, 77.4% said the costs associated with installing robots on production lines were recouped within three years. 41.9% estimated they had spent more than Rmb10m ($1.5m) on robots for their factories, while 38.7% said their purchases were subsidized by the government.