By Gu Yekai
As the global center of innovation is shifting to Asia, China has established itself as a leader in global innovation, said Liu Hua, Director of the World Intellectual Property Organization Office in China.
According to statistics, China’s R&D spending grew from 1.03 trillion yuan ($153.76 billion) in 2012 to 2.79 trillion yuan in 2021, ranking second in the world. The R&D intensity increased from 1.91 percent to 2.44 percent during the same period.
The country is the only middle-income economy in the world that has made it into the top 15 on the Global Innovation Index ranking, moving its position from 34th place in 2012 to 12th in 2021.
At present, China is the world’s second-largest digital economy, and it’s also a forerunner in solar photovoltaic, wind power, new display, semiconductor lighting and advanced energy storage industries. The power of innovation is driving every sector of the country.
The achievement of Chinese tech giant Huawei is a miniature of China making major breakthroughs in technological development and innovation in recent years.
At the latest Broadening the Innovation Landscape 2022 forum, the company released a batch of its latest self-developed technologies in areas such as autopilot, industrial Internet, communication network and smartphone. These technologies feature higher performance and lower energy consumption. Some of them have been commercialized, and others will be introduced to the market soon.
Huawei has also achieved stellar performance as an innovative global player. Last year, it had more granted patents than any other Chinese company, filed the most patent applications with the European Patent Office, and ranked fifth in terms of new patents granted in the U.S.
In 2021, Huawei published 6,952 PCT applications, up nearly 1,500 from a year ago, which made it the top filer globally for five consecutive years. As of the end of 2021, the company held more than 110,000 active patents across over 45,000 patent families, over 90 percent of which were invention patents.
The strong innovation vitality couldn’t have been achieved without the firm steps taken by China in intellectual property rights (IPR) protection.
In 2021, China cracked down upon 50,100 cases of patent and trademark infringement, handled 49,800 cases of administrative adjudications on patent infringement and disputes, and launched mediation for 64,800 IPR disputes. In addition, the country also investigated 2,957 counterfeiting crimes and deleted nearly 1.2 million copyright-infringing links.
According to an investigation report, the public’s satisfaction with IPR protection in China grew to 80.61 points.
Last year, the number of invention patents granted on applicants from foreign countries reached 110,000, up 23 percent from the previous year, and over 194,000 trademarks were registered by foreign applicants, up 5.2 percent year on year.
The number of patents granted to applicants from the U.S. rose by 32.1 percent, and the number of trademarks registered by U.S. applicants went up by 17.3 percent.
According to the Business Confidence Survey 2021 released by the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, over half of the respondents considered Chinese IPR law enforcement “good enough” and “very good,” which was unprecedented in previous surveys.
China needs to advance international cooperation on intellectual property to better serve the development of an open economy, said a plan on the protection and utilization of IPR during the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-2025) issued by the State Council. In this period, China will be more active in the global intellectual property governance, and work with the rest of the world to improve the quality of international cooperation on intellectual property.
Intellectual property is a bridge linking innovation and the market, as well as a bond that connects technology and the economy. Thanks to the improved IPR protection and business environment, China has witnessed 100 million new market entities in the recent 10 years.
The country will keep promoting innovation and IPR protection to drive technological progress, industrial upgrading and sustainable development, despite the rising uncertainties in the global economic recovery.