Shentong Express, the first Chinese delivery company to go public, released a video from their factory floor, and it is a window into the future for companies like this.
SPOILER: It contains minimal carbon-based life.
A representative of Shentong Express told the South China Morning Post that the robots cut their costs in half and improved efficiency by about 30%. These machines are self-charging and have the ability to work 24/7, but Shentong Express is only using them for about six or seven hours per day right now.
China’s workforce is slowly being obliterated by robots, as Foxconn—one of Apple’s chief suppliers—replaced 60,000 workers with automated machines last year alone. The Chinese government set a target of 100,000 robots to be produced every year by 2020. The inevitability of the future is inarguable, and no amount of government initiative will be able to replace jobs which produce larger returns and operate at a higher efficiency when done by automated machines.
Donald Trump campaigned on the premise that immigrants with a different skin color than his base were stealing their jobs. He was right that foreigners are stealing 20th century work, and that they look and sound different from traditional Americans, but he was wrong about the species they belong to. We joke a lot about our future robot overlords, but one glance at the video above demonstrates the uncomfortable truth hidden in that repartee—the robots really are beginning to take over, and there’s nothing we can do about it.
Jacob Weindling is Paste’s business and media editor, as well as a staff writer for politics. Follow him on Twitter at @Jakeweindling.