Service bots becoming a familiar sight at public facilities in China

By Folake Dosu  |  February 21, 2019

robots-customer-service-China

For customer service, robots are gaining popularity at public facilities and banks in China. Nikkei Asian Review reports that smarter technology is a must for these innovations to take hold.

The outlet describes Xiao Si, a humanoid robot installed at the Public Legal Service Center in Dalian, a northeastern Chinese city, to help customers find lawyers and access legal services.

“This reporter, speaking Chinese, told Xiao Si he was looking for a lawyer, while pressing a button on the robot's chest. After a pause, a long message appeared on the screen: "It is easy to find a lawyer, but it is important to find the right person for the case," the message read.”

“This reporter, speaking Chinese, told Xiao Si he was looking for a lawyer, while pressing a button on the robot's chest. After a pause, a long message appeared on the screen: "It is easy to find a lawyer, but it is important to find the right person for the case," the message read,” says Nikkei Asian Review.

The outlet reports that the service robot market is soaring in China in response to a labor pinch, growing an estimated 27% compared to the previous year to 12.3 billion yuan ($1.81 billion) in 2018, which is still more than double the size of three years earlier. 

The shortage in the working labor population has led the government to abandon the one-child policy, but employers in China are still struggling to fill their ranks, making robots attractive in the service sector.

Nikkei Asian Review also points out the use of robots at China Construction Bank, which has installed a robot at its Shanghai branch for loan application processing and cash withdrawals. Additionally, two robots working on behalf of China Railway monitor surveillance at the Shenyang Station in northeastern China.

While robots are increasingly common, the technology still has a long way to go. The outlet notes how limited the service robots can be and how their value in serving customers still remains to be determined. 

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