Chinese companies have outpaced their US rivals in the tech patents race, filing more applications in 9 of 10 categories, including artificial intelligence and blockchain, a recent Nikkei study shows. China became the leader in 2017, accounting for 49 percent of total applications. Apart from AI and blockchain, it enjoyed advantages in patent applications for drones, cyber security, virtual reality, autonomous driving, lithium-ion batteries, and regenerative medicine. The only sphere in which China is still trying to catch up to the US is the strategically important quantum computing. However, the report analyzed patents filed from 2000 to 2017, and China has already launched what it calls a “megaproject” for quantum research, aiming to achieve significant breakthroughs by 2030.
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