China tops generative AI patents, with 38,000 in past decade

  • China leads the generative AI patent race, filing over 38,000 patents in the past decade, far surpassing the US.
  • China’s dominance in AI patents highlights rapid technological advancement but raises concerns about the quality and ethical implications of AI developments.

Ranking first in the AI patents race, China filed over 38,000 generative AI inventions during the past decade. Booming AI patents indicate more creativity is needed by the industry. However, the quality and ethical issues of AI products should be further considered. Ultimately, quality is more competitive than quantity.
–Ashley Wang, BTW reporter

What happened

China ranks top in generative AI patent applications, with six times more patents than the US, the second-ranking country, demonstrating China’s creative power. The World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) reported that over 50,000 patent applications for generative AI have been filed in the past decade, with a quarter of them in 2023 alone. China has filed over 38,000 patents from 2014 to 2023, surpassing the US to claim the top shot.

Generative AI leverages vast datasets to produce new, coherent content across various mediums and applications, boosting convenience and efficiency in multiple industries ranging from manufacturing to healthcare. Prominent companies like China’s ByteDance, Alibaba Group, and Microsoft’s backer OpenAI are among the top applicants.

Also read: 3 ways to build your own AI model

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Why it’s important

China’s dominance in generative AI underscores its aggressive progress in technology, supplementing and benefiting global technological development. However, the competitive GenAI market seems prosperous only in quantity rather than quality, i.e., the fast-growing speed doesn’t match its quality. WIPO officials caution that the quantity of patents does not necessarily reflect their quality or market value. Despite having the largest number of patents, the most notable AI models, such as OpenAI’s GPT-4 and Gemini, come from the US.

Apart from the scarcity of cutting-edge AI products, the booming AI industry also raises concerns about job displacement and the ethical use of AI-generated content. The long-term impact of these patents remains to be seen, as the technology continues to evolve rapidly.


Ashley Wang

Ashley Wang is an intern reporter at Blue Tech Wave specialising in artificial intelligence. She graduated from Zhejiang Gongshang University. Send tips to

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