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If there was ever a good time for the robots-taking-over-jobs argument, this may be it. Not just because factory owners don’t want to pay for rising labor costs, but because workers don’t want to gather every day in petri dishes.

Chinese manufacturing is facing a challenge since employees returned to production lines: keeping them on the job. Some companies reported a 90 percent turnover in workforce after the economy started reopening in March, compared with 25 percent to 30 percent in a normal, pre-coronavirus year.

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