China’s 100 most innovative companies in 2017 named in annual report by Clarivate Analytics

China’s 100 most innovative companies in 2017 named in annual report by Clarivate Analytics
by Clarivate Analytics
China accounts for six out of ten patents published world-wide as innovation shifts to electronics and hi-tech industry from automotive, domestic appliances and electric power generation

BEIJING, November 7, 2017 – China’s most innovative companies have been identified in the 2017 Top 100 Chinese Innovators report launched today by Clarivate Analytics, the global leader in providing trusted insights and analytics to accelerate the pace of innovation.

Innovation quality can generally be measured by the success rate – the number of granted patents out of patent applications.

The second annual report focuses on China’s 100 most innovative enterprises which span 24 diverse industries with emphasis on hi-tech industries, and names 25 honorees again from 2016. They are joined by 25 new enterprises this year.The 2017 report identifies a shift towards a domination of companies in hi-tech industries such as Electronic Components, Communications Equipment and Media Internet, in contrast to the dominance of the automotive, domestic appliances and electric power generation and supply industry in the 2016 report.  The full list of innovators spans a wide range of engineering sectors including General and Special-purpose Machinery, Automotive and Electrical Equipment, and other areas such as Consumer Goods and Healthcare.This second report created by Clarivate is based on rigorous analysis of four main criteria, using data from its Derwent World Patents Index comprising:

  • Patent volume
  • Patent-grant success rate
  • Invention influence – how often the organization’s invention is subsequently cited by other companies in the patenting of their inventions over the most recent five years
  • Global reach – the ration of inventions filed for protection in countries outside China versus the total volume for that period.

The analysis covers companies in mainland China only and excludes Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan. The scores for each of these metrics are merged to produce a combined score for each organization analyzed.

China has seen a steady increase in R&D expenditure as a proportion of GDP over the past decade 2006-2015 from 1.37% in 2006 to 2.07% in 2015, an increase of 51%. In the same period, the total number of patented inventions rose from 85,000 in 2006 to 1.67 million in 2015, an astounding increase of over 1850%. China now accounts for six out of every 10 patents published worldwide (sources: OECD, Derwent World Patents Index). Turning to basic and applied scientific research which forms the foundation of the innovation lifecycle, China’s overall research output has grown significantly in recent years. Globally, the country’s share of research papers increased in 14 fields as tracked by Clarivate Analytics Web of Science between 2007 and 2016.

Here are some of the report’s key findings:

  • The 2017 Top 100 Chinese Innovators list is grouped into *four tiers according to the weighted scores from the criteria used to evaluate innovation performance for the purpose of visualizing innovation strength and competitiveness of these companies. All 25 Tier 1 companies from 2016 are listed this year, which demonstrates their consistent innovation strength and that innovation is a long-term process.
  • This year’s list sees 25 new enterprises from across diverse industry sectors headed by Consumer Electronics and Electronic Components. This again emphasizes the increasing role that electronics is playing in innovation across many industry sectors as China and the rest of the world transition towards smarter technologies, the Internet of Things (IoT) and Industry 4.0.
  • Only 12 of the total 31 provinces of China are represented in the list, indicating that innovative Chinese companies are still concentrated in the eastern region of the country, compared to 15 provinces in 2016.  Beijing, the capital of the country, is again clearly the innovation hub with 42 companies on the list. The next most innovative province is Guangdong in southern China with 27 corporations, six more than in 2016. Shanghai, Shandong, Zhejiang, Anhui, Henan and Jiangsu all perform strongly.
  • Globalization analysis clearly shows again that most of the Chinese Top 100 innovators remain focused on protecting their innovation in domestic markets. This is evidenced by the fact that 73 of the Chinese Top 100 organizations have invention patent portfolios for 2012-2016 comprising 90 percent or more which are filed in China only.
  • However, a significant proportion of companies are becoming increasingly global in outlook headed by ZTE who has 66% of their 2012-2016 invention portfolio filed outside China. ZTE is followed by Huawei (65%), AMEC (63%), Alibaba (56%) and BOE Technology (38%). These companies are all leading players in the global hi-tech electronic components, communications, consumer electronics and media internet industries and clearly show China’s growing global influence in these areas.


Said Bob Stembridge, principal patents analyst, Clarivate Analytics, “Innovation quality can generally be measured by the success rate – the number of granted patents out of patent applications. A comparison shows a slight fall in the success rate of obtaining granted patents of 4.9% amongst this year’s Chinese Top 100 innovators compared to 2016. This reflects a trend which Clarivate has observed globally towards focusing more on the quality vs quantity of protected innovation, and hence fewer applications proceeding through prosecution to become granted patents. This could be due either to patent offices raising the standard required to obtain granted patent rights, or it could be due to organizations abandoning lesser-quality inventions earlier. Either way, this results in a higher quality of innovation in lesser volume.”

Commenting on China’s innovation-driven development, Linda Guo, managing director of China for Clarivate Analytics, said, “As the world’s second largest economy after the US and the largest commodity exporter, China continues to drive economic growth through its implementation of its ‘National Strategic Framework for Innovation-Driven Development’, supply-side structural reform and implementation of the Belt and Road initiative. During this long-term transformation, Chinese enterprises also need to overcome challenges such as issues of market access, competition, policy and intellectual property rights.  At Clarivate, we have a long tradition of helping our customers accelerate their innovation with our trusted insights and analytics. We look forward to helping Chinese enterprises succeed by protecting their intellectual property and supporting their innovation development.”

The report used patent information and data collected from the Derwent World Patents Index and Derwent Patents Citation Indexbetween 2012 and 2016. The report is available for download in both Simplified Chinese and English.
Download the English report here. Click here to download the Simplified Chinese report

Clarivate Analytics Top 100 Chinese Innovators 2017 (Listed in alphabetical order by English organization name)

OrganizationProvince/ CityIndustryTier
Aviation Industry Corporation of ChinaBeijingAerospaceI
BaiduBeijingMedia InternetI
Beijing Electronics Holding Co., Ltd.BeijingElectronic ComponentsI
*BOEBeijingElectronic ComponentsI
China Electronics CorporationBeijingElectronic ComponentsI
China MobileBeijingTelecom ServicesI
China National Chemical Corporation (ChemChina)BeijingPetroleum & chemical productsI
China Resources (Holdings) Co., LtdBeijingGeneralI
Coolpad Group LimitedGuangdongConsumer ElectronicsI
Datang Telecom Technology & IndustryBeijingCommunications EquipmentI
Goertek Inc.ShandongConsumer ElectronicsI
HaierShandongDomestic AppliancesI
HisenseShandongDomestic AppliancesI
HuaweiGuangdongCommunications EquipmentI
Legend HoldingsBeijingComputer HardwareI
SANYHunanGeneral and Special-purpose MachineryI
Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC)ShanghaiElectronic ComponentsI
Shanghai ElectricShanghaiElectrical EquipmentI
TCLGuangdongDomestic AppliancesI
TencentGuangdongMedia InternetI
Wuhan Research Institute of Post and TelecommunicationsHubeiCommunications EquipmentI
Zoomlion Heavy Industry Science and TechnologyHunanGeneral and Special-purpose MachineryI
ZTEGuangdongCommunications EquipmentI
AAC Technologies Holdings IncGuangdongConsumer ElectronicsII
Alibaba Group Holding LimitedZhejiangMedia InternetII
Baowu SteelShanghaiPrimary MetalsII
Beijing Automotive Group Co., Ltd.BeijingAutomotiveII
China Electronics Technology Group CorporationBeijingCommunications EquipmentII
China International Marine Containers (Group) Co., Ltd.GuangdongOther Transport EquipmentII
China North Industries Group CorporationBeijingGeneral and Special-purpose MachineryII
CRRC Corporation LimitedBeijingOther Transport EquipmentII
FounderBeijingComputer SoftwareII
GreeGuangdongDomestic AppliancesII
Guangzhou Radio GroupGuangdongCommunications EquipmentII
Kingfa Sci. & Tech. Co., Ltd.GuangdongNon-metallic MaterialsII
*Kuang-ChiGuangdongConsumer ElectronicsII
MIDEAGuangdongDomestic AppliancesII
*MindrayGuangdongMedical DevicesII
*OppoGuangdongConsumer ElectronicsII
Qihoo 360 Technology Co.,LtdBeijingMedia InternetII
Shanghai Huali Microelectronics CorporationShanghaiElectronic ComponentsII
*Shengyi TechnologyGuangdongElectronic ComponentsII
*Sichuan Jiuzhou Electric Group Co.,Ltd. (JEZETEK)SichuanConsumer ElectronicsII
SinopecBeijingPetroleum & chemical productsII
*SkyworthGuangdongConsumer ElectronicsII
Tsinghua TongfangBeijingComputer SoftwareII
Tsinghua UnigroupBeijingComputer SoftwareII
Anshan Iron & Steel Group CorporationLiaoningPrimary MetalsIII
Broad-oceanGuangdongElectrical EquipmentIII
Chery HoldingsAnhuiAutomotiveIII
*China Communications Construction Company Ltd.BeijingConstructionIII
China General Nuclear Power GroupGuangdongElectric Power Generation & SupplyIII
*China Iron & Steel Research Institute GroupBeijingPrimary MetalsIII
China Metallurgical Group CorporationBeijingPrimary MetalsIII
China National Building Materials Group CorporationBeijingNon-metallic MaterialsIII
China National Nuclear CorporationBeijingElectric Power Generation & SupplyIII
China National Offshore Oil CorporationBeijingPetroleum & chemical productsIII
China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC)BeijingPetroleum & chemical productsIII
CHINT Group Corp.ZhejiangAuxiliary Power EquipmentIII
*CITIC GroupBeijingGeneralIII
*Comba TelecomGuangdongTelecom ServicesIII
*ENN GroupHebeiPetroleum & Chemical ProductsIII
*HAN’S LASERGuangdongGeneral and Special-purpose MachineryIII
Huahong GroupShanghaiElectronic ComponentsIII
O-FILMGuangdongElectronic ComponentsIII
*PositecJiangsuGeneral and Special-purpose MachineryIII
*Sanhua Holding Group Co., LtdZhejiangGeneral and Special-purpose MachineryIII
Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (Group)ShanghaiAutomotiveIII
Shenhua GroupBeijingElectric Power Generation & SupplyIII
Shougang GroupBeijingPrimary MetalsIII
SinochemBeijingpetroleum & chemical productsIII
State Grid Corporation of ChinaBeijingElectric Power Generation & SupplyIII
Aluminum Corporation of China LimitedBeijingPrimary MetalsIV
*AMECShanghaiElectronic ComponentsIV
Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Co.,LtdAnhuiAutomotiveIV
*Beiyang GroupShandongGeneralIV
*China Banknote Printing and MintingBeijingPrintingIV
*China Energy Engineering Co., LtdHubeiConstructionIV
China Guodian CorporationBeijingElectrical EquipmentIV
China Railway Construction CorporationBeijingConstructionIV
China Railway Engineering CorporationBeijingConstructionIV
China South Industries Group CorporationBeijingGeneral and Special-purpose MachineryIV
China Southern Power Grid Co., Ltd.GuangdongElectric Power Generation & SupplyIV
Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, Ltd.ShanghaiAerospaceIV
*Feitian Chengxin Science and Technology Co. Ltd.BeijingComputer SoftwareIV
General Research Institute For Nonferrous MetalsBeijingPrimary MetalsIV
Haiyangwang Lighting Technology Co LtdGuangdongAuxiliary Power EquipmentIV
*Jiang Su Heng Rui Medicine Co.,Ltd.JiangsuPharmaceuticalsIV
Konka Group Co.,LtdGuangdongDomestic AppliancesIV
*Nationz TechnologiesGuangdongElectronic ComponentsIV
Print-Rite Holdings Limited.GuangdongConsumer GoodsIV
Shandong Heavy Industry GroupShandongGeneral and Special-purpose MachineryIV
State Power Investment CorporationBeijingElectric Power Generation & SupplyIV
*SungrowAnhuiElectrical EquipmentIV
*VisionoxBeijingConsumer ElectronicsIV
*Xiangtan Electric Manufacturing Group Co., Ltd. (XEMC)HunanElectrical EquipmentIV
Xuzhou Construction Machinery Group Co.,LtdJiangsuGeneral and Special-purpose MachineryIV