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Chinese Smartphone Manufacturers Boosting Patent Competitiveness
China Excels in 5G Standard Patents
Chinese Smartphone Manufacturers Boosting Patent Competitiveness
  • By Kim Eun-jin
  • November 19, 2019, 12:13
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China holds far more 5G standard patents than Korea.

The Korea Institute of Intellectual Property announced on Nov. 18 that China had 26,893 5G standard patents in the European Telecommunication Standards Institute as of the end of last year, followed by Finland (9,698), the United States (9,154) and South Korea (5,423).

At present, China is making great efforts to grow its 5G industry and establish 5G infrastructures ahead of anyone else. This is because well-established infrastructures will lead to a lot of countries’ requests for technical cooperation, and then it will be able to lead global 5G standardization based on its standard patents.

Chinese smartphone manufacturers have concentrated on various standard patents for use in 5G smartphones. For example, Huawei applied for 10,214 patents in China from 2008 to 2016 and Xiaomi and Oppo applied for 4,447 and 7,277 patents during the same period, respectively. Since 2014, Huawei has applied for more patents in the United States than in China.

Experts’ consensus is that the expandability of the 5G smartphone market is nearly infinite as the industry is not limited to devices but will lead digital innovations in various industries such as equipment and convergence service.

Market research firm IDC recently announced that Samsung Electronics’ global smartphone market share fell from 24.4 percent to 20.8 percent from 2014 to 2018 while Huawei boosted its market share from 5.7 percent to 14.7 percent, only 0.2 percentage points lower than Apple’s. In addition, Xiaomi and Oppo increased their market shares to 8.7 percent and 8.1 percent last year, respectively.

In the Chinese smartphone market, Xiaomi overtook Samsung Electronics in 2014 and Samsung Electronics’ share has dropped from 19 percent to about 1 percent. The South Korean company stopped smartphone production in China this year. Under the circumstances, Chinese smartphone manufacturers are increasing their presence in the global market as well as China based on their patent superiority.