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The 2024 World Intelligence Expo showcased a humanoid robot named Xiao Qi, captivating visitors at the National Convention and Exhibition Center in Tianjin. This event highlights China’s significant advancements in generative artificial intelligence (AI), where the country has emerged as a global leader in patent filings.

A recent United Nations report reveals that from 2014 to 2023, China filed an impressive 38,210 generative AI patents. This figure is substantially higher than those filed by the United States, which totaled 6,276. Other countries trailing behind include the Republic of Korea with 4,155 patents, Japan with 3,409, and India with 1,350.

Generative AI, which encompasses technologies that create content like text, images, music, and videos, represents a significant portion of the AI patent landscape. These patents now constitute 6% of all AI patents globally. The report from the UN World Intellectual Property Organization underscores the rapid pace of innovation and the significant potential within this field.

Leading Innovators in Generative AI

Among the top ten global inventors in generative AI are prominent Chinese companies such as Tencent, Ping An Insurance, and Baidu. Here is a breakdown of the top patent holders:

Company & Number of Patents

Tencent – 2,074

Ping An Insurance -1,564

Baidu – 1,234

Chinese Academy of Sciences – 607

IBM- 601

Alibaba Group – 571

Samsung Electronics – 468

Alphabet – 443

ByteDance- 418

Microsoft – 377

Strategic Developments

China’s strong patenting activity is part of a strategic effort to catch up with U.S. tech leaders such as OpenAI, Microsoft, Alphabet’s Google, and Amazon in developing large language models (LLMs). OpenAI’s ChatGPT, which gained widespread attention in November 2022 for its humanlike responses, prompted Chinese tech giants like Alibaba and Baidu to launch their own competitive LLMs.

In May, China announced a three-year “action plan” to enhance standards in AI chips and generative AI, and to increase national computing power. This initiative aims to drive both technological and economic progress, positioning China as a key player in the AI industry.

Market Opportunities

According to Wei Sun, a senior consultant in artificial research at Counterpoint Research, “China has a largely untapped market for consumers and business industry partners to innovate and apply generative AI technologies across different sectors using specialized data sets.” Sun noted that China’s focus on real-world applications of generative AI could potentially lead it to surpass the U.S. in this area.

Diverse Applications

The UN report also highlighted the dominance of image and video data in generative AI patents, with 17,996 inventions, followed by text (13,494) and speech or music (13,480). By analyzing these trends, the agency aims to help policymakers guide the development of generative AI for the benefit of all.


China’s leadership in generative AI patents highlights its rapid technological progress and strategic ambitions in the AI sector. As the global AI landscape evolves, China’s advancements will play a crucial role in shaping the future of AI applications across various industries.

photo source: Google

By: Montel Kamau

Serrari Financial Analyst

4th July, 2024

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