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China Becomes One of the Top 5 U.S. Patent Recipients for the First Time

  • Chinese inventors received 28% more patents between 2016-2017
  • Increase in innovation is part of Chinese government strategy
A worker assembles a circuit board at the Huawei Technologies Company Ltd. factory in Shenzhen.

Photographer: Grischa Rueschendorf/Bloomberg

Chinese companies have increased the number of U.S. patents they’ve received by tenfold in less than 10 years, another sign that the world’s second-largest economy is succeeding in its strategy to transform from Silicon Valley’s factory to a powerhouse of research.

Chinese inventors received 11,241 U.S. patents last year, a 28 percent increase over the same period in 2016, according to a report released Tuesday by IFI Claims Patent Services, a unit of Fairview Research LLC. That propels the nation into the top five recipients for the first time, behind the U.S., Japan, Korea and Germany, but ahead of Taiwan.