Biz / Tech

China tops global rankings with most declared 5G patents: report

Zhu Shenshen
Seven of world's top 15 patent applicants are Chinese, and 5G applications by companies like Huawei and ZTE are in the top 10 with Samsung and Qualcomm.
Zhu Shenshen

Owning almost 40 percent of declared 5G patents worldwide, China tops global rankings, a report by the National Intellectual Property Administration says, thanks to booming 5G market demand and top contributors such as Huawei and ZTE.

It's the first time for China to officially release figures for its global 5G patent applications, a key guide to a country's development in the global technology spectrum.

More than 210,000 SEPs, or standard-essential patents, for 5G are currently declared worldwide, involving almost 47,000 patent families. Each patent family is a collection of patent applications covering the same or similar technical content, often declared in several countries and regions.

China has declared 18,728 patent families, accounting for 39.9 percent of the world's total, followed by the United States and South Korea. Chinese tech company Huawei declared 6,583 patent families, accounting for 14 percent and taking the lead among global applicants, according to the Chinese organization's report.

The report also highlighted that, of the top 15 patent applicants in the world, seven are Chinese companies, the others from the United States, Japan, Europe and South Korea.

China tops global rankings with most declared 5G patents: report
Shen Xinyi / SHINE

According to patent consulting firm PatSnap, the top 10 5G applications include four Chinese companies – Huawei, ZTE, OPPO and Vivo – along with overseas giants like Qualcomm and Samsung.

The 5G patent is an essential component in the technology landscape. Giants including Apple and Qualcomm are involved in a long-term lawsuit over certain 5G patents and the methods to charge for them.

The booming 5G market demand in China has also boosted related patent development.

The number of 5G users in China passed a record 400 million in the first quarter of 2022 – one in every four subscribers – the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said in April.

China is building more 5G base stations, developing various 5G phones and kicking off industrial and elderly-friendly 5G services to boost 5G development and the digital economy.

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