Pandemic Can’t Stop the Growth of IP Filings in China

China saw an increase in patent filings, more efficient intellectual property services, and stronger IP protection last year despite the novel coronavirus outbreak. The continued growth of foreign IP applications shows the confidence of foreign investors in the Chinese market as well as China’s progress in IP protection and the business environment.

 

Japan, the United States and Germany topped the list of the most patent filings in China last year, according to China’s National Intellectual Property Administration (NIPA).

The country granted 530,000 patents for inventions in 2020. It brought the total number of valid invention patents on the Chinese mainland to 2.21 million, said Hu Wenhui, spokesman for the National Intellectual Property Administration.

According to China Daily, since 2019, China has promulgated a series of laws, regulations and IP protection guidelines, including the Foreign Investment Law, to create a fairer, more transparent and predictable business environment for foreign investors.

“This continued growth of foreign IP applications shows the confidence of foreign investors in the Chinese market as well as China’s progress in IP protection and business environment,” said Dong Tao, a law professor at Beijing International Studies University.

For the third consecutive year, China-based telecoms giant Huawei Technologies, with 4,411 published PCT applications, was the top corporate filer in 2019. It was followed by:

 

  • Mitsubishi Electric Corp. of Japan (2,661)
  • Samsung Electronics of the Republic of Korea (2,334)
  • Qualcomm Inc. of the U.S. (2,127)
  • Guang Dong Oppo Mobile Telecommunications of China (1,927)

 

Filings are supported by generous subsidies provided by local governments.  For example, Shanghai city provides 50,000 RMB in subsidies (~$7,100 USD) for each foreign patent granted (up to five) through a PCT application.  Further, the Pudong District of Shanghai and the Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park each provided 100,000 RMB in rewards for foreign patent grants (the policies have since been removed from their respective websites).

 

WIPO’s head, Francis Gurry, told a news conference China’s success was “down to a very deliberate strategy on the part of Chinese leadership to advance innovation and to make the country a country whose economy operates at a higher level of value.

The “extraordinary volume” of IP applications reflects the importance of intellectual property in the contemporary economy, he said. IP applications are mainly driven by innovation and globalization, by the policy focus on innovation around the world, and the fact that innovation is increasingly the battleground for economic advantage, he explained.

Technology and Innovation in China’s Path to 2035

 

Figures from the China Semiconductor Industry Association show that China’s IC industry recorded double-digit growth in the first nine months of 2020. The industry’s sales topped 590.5 billion yuan ($91 billion) during the period, up 16.9 percent year-on-year. More than 40 percent of sales came from the IC design sector.

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Know all the information regarding the statutory minimum wage rise in Shanghai from July 1, 2021

Employment Contract Conflicts With the New AZ Employee Rights

Shanghai will increase its statutory minimum wage from 2,480 yuan ($383) to 2,590 yuan per month from July 1, bringing it to one of the highest levels in the country, local authorities announced on Wednesday. The hourly minimum wage will increase from 22 yuan to 23 yuan, according to the municipal human resources and social security department.

The legal minimum wage is the lowest amount which employers may pay to employees for work performed within the legal standard working hours, or specific working hours in accordance with their employment contract.

 

According to South China Morning Post, concerns over rising costs and the trade war with the United States may be hastening the exit of firms from China, but that has not stopped four provincial-level administrations from raising their monthly minimum wage for local workers this year.

 

So far, in 2021, the provinces of Jiangxi, Heilongjiang, Shaanxi,  Xinjiang, and Tibet as well as the cities of Beijing and Tianjin have raised their minimum wage standards. Meanwhile, the province of Jilin and the city of Chengdu stated they would adjust their minimum wages this year.

 

Currently, Shanghai has the highest monthly minimum wage among 31 provinces (RMB 2,480/US$382 per month) and Beijing has the highest hourly minimum wage (RMB 25.3/US$3.9 per hour). Six regions – Shanghai, Guangdong, Beijing, Tianjin, Jiangsu, and Zhejiang – surpassed the RMB 2,000 (US$308) mark in their monthly minimum wage standards.

 

Shanghai will increase its statutory minimum wage from 2,480 yuan ($383) to 2,590 yuan per month from July 1, bringing it to one of the highest levels in the country, local authorities announced.

 

Shanghai, like Beijing, has updated the minimum wage in line with the high cost of living each year since 2015. Guangdong province and other prosperous regions update minimum wage levels less frequently. It is the first time the city has raised its statutory minimum wage since the outbreak of COVID-19.

 

Regional governments in China aim to find a balance between increasing wages for low earners and keeping business costs down.

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