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The Chinese companies putting IP at the heart of their corporate strategies

The IPBC China gets underway tomorrow in Beijing and one of the highlights of the event will be the dinner on Monday evening during which we will honour the China IP Champions: those Chinese companies whose intellectual property management and value creation strategies stand comparison to those of acknowledged global leaders.

An IAM team based in our Hong Kong office undertook the research project to find the Champions between July and October of this year. The aim was to identify Chinese corporates and other institutions that are focused on maximising the value of their IP and integrating IP into overall business strategies. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that such research has been undertaken in China.

The team approached the research from both quantitative and qualitative angles. For quantitative considerations, it looked at domestic and foreign filings, litigation activity, licensing and M&A transactions and cooperation agreements. On the qualitative side, the research incorporated a number of in-depth interviews and a nomination process that reached out to domestic Chinese IP professionals, as well as those in the global IP community who had extensive dealings with Chinese domestic companies. They were asked to give their views on the marketplace generally in China, as well as what is being done with IP in specific Chinese companies. We spoke to dozens of high-level corporate IP managers, private practice lawyers and attorneys, and other IP consultants.

At the end of the process we had identified 33 companies – far fewer than we had been expecting at the outset. The fact that we have ended up with a comparatively low number indicates that - despite exponential growth in the number of patent and trademark filings in China, as well as a surge in IP-related litigation and the government’s undoubted focus on encouraging Chinese businesses to embrace IP - the idea of a strategic approach to IP value creation has yet to take hold in the country.

While this lack of corporate commitment to the IP agenda confirms that much work remains to be done, those companies selected as IP Champions exhibit impressively sophisticated awareness, and some are already global leaders. They see IP as a means by which they can build overall value, gain competitive advantage and drive revenues. As a result, they show other Chinese companies just what can be achieved when a commitment to IP is placed at the heart of corporate thinking.  

There is a lot more analysis and detail about the research process in issue 57 of IAM, which published yesterday. Our subscribers can get to read all that. However, for everyone,  following are the companies we have identified as China’s IP Champions:

aigo Digital Technology Co Ltd

Industry sector: Consumer electronics

Headquarters: Beijing

Alibaba Group

Industry sector: Internet, e-commerce

Headquarters: Hangzhou

Baidu Inc

Industry sector: Internet

Headquarters: Beijing

BYD Co Ltd

Industry sector: Information technology, automotive, new energy

Headquarters: Shenzhen

Chery Automobile Co Ltd

Industry sector: Automotive

Headquarters: Wuhu, Anhui

China Electronics Corporation

Industry sector: Information Technology

Headquarters: Beijing

China Kweichow Moutai Distillery Co Ltd

Industry sector: Beverage

Headquarters: Renhuai

China Mengniu Dairy Co Ltd

Industry sector: Dairy

Headquarters: Hohhot

China Mobile Ltd

Industry sector: Telecommunications

Headquarters: Beijing

China Petrochemical Corporation (Sinopec Group)

Industry sector: Oil and gas

Headquarters: Beijing

Datang Telecom Technology & Industry Group

Industry sector: Telecommunications equipment

Headquarters: Beijing

Founder Group

Industry sector: Information technology, pharmaceuticals

Headquarters: Beijing

Goldwind Science & Technology Co Ltd

Industry sector: Wind power

Headquarters: Beijing (founded in Urumqi, Xinjiang)

Gree Electric Appliances Inc of Zhuhai

Industry sector: Household appliances

Headquarters: Zhuhai

Haier Group

Industry sector: Household appliances

Headquarters: Qingdao

Huawei Technologies Co Ltd

Industry sector: Telecommunications

Headquarters: Shenzhen

Hutchison MediPharma Ltd

Industry sector: Pharmaceutical

Headquarters: Shanghai

Lenovo Group Ltd

Industry sector: Computer hardware

Headquarters: Beijing; Morrisville, North Carolina, United States

Li Ning Co Ltd

Industry sector: Sportswear, sports equipment

Headquarters: Beijing

Midea Group

Industry sector: Home appliances

Headquarters: Shunde

Mindray Medical International Ltd

Industry sector: Medical devices

Headquarters: Shenzhen, Guangdong

Netac Technology Co Ltd

Industry sector: Consumer electronics

Headquarters: Shenzhen, Guangdong

PetroChina Co Ltd

Industry sector: Oil and gas

Headquarters: Beijing

Sany Group

Industry sector: Heavy equipment

Headquarters: Changsha

Shanda Interactive Entertainment Ltd

Industry sector: Interactive entertainment

Headquarters: Shanghai

Simcere Pharmaceutical Group

Industry sector: Pharmaceutical

Headquarters: Nanjing

Tasly Group

Industry sector: Pharmaceutical

Headquarters: Tianjin

TCL Corporation

Industry sector: Consumer electronics

Headquarters: Huizhou

Tencent Inc

Industry sector: Internet

Headquarters: Shenzhen

Tsingtao Brewery Co Ltd

Industry sector: Beverage

Headquarters: Qingdao

XCMG Group

Industry sector: Heavy equipment

Headquarters: Xuzhou

Zhejiang Geely Holding Group

Industry sector: Automotive

Headquarters: Hangzhou

ZTE Corporation

Industry sector: Telecommunications equipment

Headquarters: Shenzhen


Joff Wild
IAM Magazine
01 December 2012

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