Huang Yu is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Division of Social Science, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Her research interests include industrial automation and robotisation, science and technology studies, labour studies, agrarian change, and rural development in China.

Robot Threat or Robot Dividend? A Struggle between Two Lines

With China being the world’s largest market for industrial robots, robotisation has become a hot topic in the Chinese public discourse. While media reactions have been polarised between those who fear large-scale displacement and those who emphasise the rise of newly created jobs, there has been little solid research looking into the impact of robotisation on labour market and shop floor dynamics. In this essay, Huang Yu assesses both the ‘robot threat’ and the ‘robot dividend’ discourses, offering some views on how workers should react to the ongoing technological revolution.

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