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China's Digital Economy Fuels Surge in Patent Growth

China's ongoing commitment to innovation and its openness to global collaboration position it as a key player in shaping the future of the digital world.

China's digital economy is surging with new patents.
Credit: Dmitry P/Flickr

BEIJING, CN – In an era where innovation is key to economic progress, China has taken significant strides in developing its digital economy, as evidenced by the remarkable growth in patent filings in core industry sectors. According to the latest announcement by the country's intellectual property regulator on Wednesday, China's focused investment in the digital economy has not only fostered innovation but has also led to a substantial increase in the number of invention patents.


Impressive Growth in Invention Patents


The year 2022 marked a milestone in China's patent history, with a reported 296,000 invention patents granted in core sectors of the digital economy, representing 42.6 percent of the country's total patent volume. This figure showcases an annual average increase of 22.6 percent since 2016, outpacing the growth rate of total granted invention patents in the same period by 1.5 times.


Ge Shu, a senior official of the National Intellectual Property Administration, highlighted these statistics during a press conference, emphasizing the nation's commitment to fostering an environment conducive to technological advancement and innovation.


Regional Patent Distribution and Global Participation


The distribution of these patents is predominantly concentrated in major economic regions. By the end of 2022, the Yangtze River Delta, the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, and the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region accounted for a significant 71.3 percent of the 1.273 million valid invention patents in the core industries of the digital economy. This regional concentration underscores the vital role these areas play in driving China's tech and digital sectors forward.


Furthermore, Ge Shu noted a positive trend in international participation in China's digital economy. The number of foreign companies applying for invention patents in these sectors has risen from 6,418 in 2016 to 7,613 in 2022. This increase reflects China's growing influence and integration into the global technological landscape, attracting interest and investment from international entities. By the end of 2022, patent holders from 95 countries and regions owned 327,000 invention patents in these critical industries.


A Significant Contributor to National GDP


The burgeoning digital economy in China is not only a hub for innovation but also a substantial contributor to the nation's GDP. In 2022, the digital economy's scale expanded by 10.3 percent year on year, reaching an impressive 50.2 trillion yuan (approximately 6.99 trillion U.S. dollars), and accounting for 41.5 percent of the country's total GDP. This significant contribution underscores the digital economy's role as a cornerstone of China's economic structure.


Digital Economy Going Forward


China's remarkable growth in the digital economy and its impact on patent development set a precedent for other nations aiming to harness technology for economic advancement. The nation's ongoing commitment to innovation and its openness to global collaboration position it as a key player in shaping the future of the digital world. As China continues to expand its digital footprint, it is poised to play a pivotal role in the global tech landscape, driving change and innovation for years to come.

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