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Chinese enterprises among world's foremost in patents, R&D investment

By Zhao Shiyue | | Updated: 2021-02-19 17:16
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A robot catches the attention of a visitor at the 12th China International Patent Fair held in Dalian, Liaoning province in December, 2020. [Photo/CHINA DAILY]

China has demonstrated strong capability in the international patent sector, with the number of patent filings expanding year-on-year and Chinese enterprises making world leading investments in R&D, greatly boosting the country's tech-driven economic transformation, National Business Daily reported.

Nearly 59,000 patents were filed by China in 2019 via the World Intellectual Property Organization, surpassing the total filings of the United States, which held the top spot for more than four decades.

In the main category of WIPO's system of registering international patents - the Patent Cooperation Treaty or PTC — Chinese telecom giant Huawei filed 4,411 applications, ranking first in the world for three consecutive years.

Smart phone makers Oppo, display panel manufacture BOE Technology and Pingan Technology Group also won spots in the top 10 list of international patent filers for 2019.

A total of 13 Chinese companies were ranked in the top 50, WIPO's data showed.

Domestically, Chinese companies showed fierce competition in patent applications.

In 2019, the number of Huawei's patent filings hit 4,510, while Sinopec and Oppo ranked second and third, respectively, with 2,883 and 2,614 applications.

The tech giant maintained its first place in the first half of 2020, filing 2,772 patents, followed by Oppo and BOE Technology, data from China State Intellectual Property Administration indicated.

Apart from patent applications, investment in R&D is also regarded as an indicator of a company's core competitiveness.

EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard, an international report by the European Commission, analyzed the top 2,500 enterprises in the world by annual R&D investment.

The number of Chinese mainland companies enrolled continued its upward trend for seven consecutive years, from 199 in 2014 to 536 in 2020, surpassing that of the EU for the first time and ranking second in the world last year.

With 16.71 billion euros in R&D, Huawei won third place in the ranking, following Alphabet and Microsoft.

In the 2020 top 100 list for R&D investment globally, Chinese companies also took 10 spots, including Alibaba, Tencent, Baidu and ZTE, demonstrating China has played an indispensable role in world technological research and development, said National Business Daily.

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