The rise of Horgos, China’s new robot manufacturing hub

The rise of Horgos, China’s new robot manufacturing hub

Very few people have ever heard of Horgos, a small ‘ghost’ town on the China-Kazakhstan border. But now Horgos is making the headlines as China’s new robot manufacturing hub.

Horgos Boshihao Electronic, a company registered in Shenzhen, announced it will move the plant to Horgos and starts robot production workshop in May. Founded in 2014, Horgos has already been branded as the first new city of China’s Belt and Road project. Horgos is set to foster trade between 65 countries alongside the New Silk Road and become “a huge new city of the future at the intersection of two civilizations”, according to its promotional video.

The new plant will produce about 10,000 robots every year. “80% robots will be released for service sector and 20% for industrial purposes”, Min Jianbao, company’s manager, told Xinhua media agency.

Horgos Boshilao Electronic wants to leverage the town’s location as its robot export hub to trade with Russia and the CIS, Middle East and Europe. Horgos became the second Europe-China rail link via Kazakhstan in the late 2012 shortening the travel time between Urumqi and Almaty by almost 25% to 30 hours. Forbes reports that “approximately 65 trains, amounting to 6,200 TEU, per month are currently being transshipped through Horgos Gateway”. The five-year-plan is to process a million TEU worth of cargo per year — “enough to rank them with some big sea ports in the world”.

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