China has seen a rapid growth of patents sought by people from countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative over the past decade, mainly related to digital technologies, a report issued by the China National Intellectual Property Administration said on Tuesday.
The report shows that the number of patent applications originating from BRI countries in China increased to 29,000 in 2022 from 18,000 in 2013, when the initiative was launched by China's central leadership.
In the past 10 years, applications were submitted in China from 115 BRI countries. Most came from South Korea (178,000), followed by Italy (24,000), Singapore (15,000), Austria (11,000) and Luxembourg (3,000), the report said.
Those patent applications were mainly related to technologies such as semiconductors, computer technology and digital communications, it added.
Meanwhile, the number of patents applied for and published by Chinese enterprises in other BRI nations increased to 15,000 in 2022 from 2,000 in 2013, and these also primarily had to do with digital technologies, according to the report.
Of the Chinese applicants, most came from Guangdong province, followed by the Yangtze River Delta region and the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, it added.
According to a white paper titled "The Belt and Road Initiative: A Key Pillar of the Global Community of Shared Future," which was released by China's State Council Information Office last week, China has established IP cooperation relationships with more than 50 partner countries and international organizations whose goal is to create an innovation and business environment in which the value of knowledge is duly respected.