Business / Technology

Vanke to use robots in concierge services

(Agencies) Updated: 2015-11-19 07:36

Vanke to use robots in concierge services

Employees walk past a logo of China Vanke at its headquarters in Shenzhen, Guangdong province. [Photo/Agencies]

China Vanke, the biggest property developer by sales in the world's most populous country, is recruiting robots to sweep floors and guard its properties to address a labor shortage and rising wage bills.

As Chinese developers struggle with lackluster sales and tighter industry margins, China Vanke, like many, is looking to premium concierge services to attract customers, and it said robots would provide some of those services.

You can already buy a robot waiter for 40,000 yuan ($6,300) on Alibaba Group's Taobao, China's leading online market place, but Vanke is developing its own, mostly for janitorial, security and transportation services, which are more labor-intensive than the core business of land acquisition, project planning and construction. "We estimate that with today's growth and the changes to China's personnel structure, at least 30 percent of our jobs will be replaced by robots," China Vanke's Chairman Wang Shi recently told a university forum in Hong Kong.

Vanke rolled out a driverless car and a patrol robot earlier this year, and plans to introduce a floor-sweeping robot at the end of this month.

Wang said in August that eight robot chefs already worked in the restaurants that serve its developments. He added that in 2017, it would open a robot-managed hotel in the southern city of Shenzhen.

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