China Innovation: No Big Deal, Right?

June 22, 2021

I spotted a short news item in Nikkei Asia called “China Beats US in Patent Filings for Second Straight Year.” The main point is:

China is number one in patent filings.

“Patents,” you say. “These are science fiction or legal hand waving.”


I found it interesting that both the US and Germany slipped in the rankings. Germany was knocked out to the fourth spot by South Korea. Japan hangs in at third.

The write up states:

Chinese applicants submitted 68,720 patent requests last year, up 16% from 2019 despite the coronavirus pandemic, according to data from the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). China’s Huawei Technologies, the world’s leading telecommunications equipment manufacturer, remained the top applicant for the fourth straight year. The U.S. remained in second place, with filings inching up 3% to 59,230. The numbers show clear signs of peaking out. Both the administrations of President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump have found fault with China’s infringement of intellectual property rights and forced technological transfers. The battle for hegemony in advanced technology will likely ramp up.

I like the word hegemony. One doesn’t see it too often in US news write ups. Is there any correlation with education in these data?

Stephen E Arnold, June 22, 2021


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