Tencent revealed last week that it had submitted over 30,000 patent applications worldwide, with over 10,000 successfully granted. This makes it the top-ranked tech company in China by patent applications, and the second among global internet companies, after Google, it claims.
Unsurprisingly for a company its size, Tencent’s patent applications run the gamut of existing and emerging technologies, from instant messaging to email, advertising and payments, music, security, maps and location services, search, cloud, smart hardware, AI, VR, and more.
Research published in March by Nikkei and Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo says that Chinese tech giants are catching up to American counterparts when it comes to innovation.
In an index for “innovative potential,” the researchers found China-based companies scored 62 compared with US companies at 64. Alibaba, Tencent, video surveillance company Hikvision, white goods manufacturer Midea Group, JD.com, as well as Facebook, Alphabet, Amazon, and Netflix were included in the index.
China’s growing capacity for innovation is being driven by a sharp increase in research and development spending.
Over the past five years, top Chinese tech companies grew R&D expenditure by 430% on average, compared with US companies at 290%, according to the report.