China’s 100 most innovative companies in 2017 named in annual report 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)

Organization Province/ City Industry Tier
Aviation Industry Corporation of China Beijing Aerospace I
Baidu Beijing Media Internet I
Beijing Electronics Holding Co., Ltd. Beijing Electronic Components I
*BOE Beijing Electronic Components I
BYD Guangdong Automotive I
China Electronics Corporation Beijing Electronic Components I
China Mobile Beijing Telecom Services I
China National Chemical Corporation (ChemChina) Beijing Petroleum & chemical products I
China Resources (Holdings) Co., Ltd Beijing General I
Coolpad Group Limited Guangdong Consumer Electronics I
Datang Telecom Technology & Industry Beijing Communications Equipment I
Geely Zhejiang Automotive I
Goertek Inc. Shandong Consumer Electronics I
Haier Shandong Domestic Appliances I
Hisense Shandong Domestic Appliances I
Huawei Guangdong Communications Equipment I
Legend Holdings Beijing Computer Hardware I
SANY Hunan General and Special-purpose Machinery I
Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC) Shanghai Electronic Components I
Shanghai Electric Shanghai Electrical Equipment I
TCL Guangdong Domestic Appliances I
Tencent Guangdong Media Internet I
Wuhan Research Institute of Post and Telecommunications Hubei Communications Equipment I
Zoomlion Heavy Industry Science and Technology Hunan General and Special-purpose Machinery I
ZTE Guangdong Communications Equipment I
AAC Technologies Holdings Inc Guangdong Consumer Electronics II
Alibaba Group Holding Limited Zhejiang Media Internet II
Baowu Steel Shanghai Primary Metals II
Beijing Automotive Group Co., Ltd. Beijing Automotive II
China Electronics Technology Group Corporation Beijing Communications Equipment II
China International Marine Containers (Group) Co., Ltd. Guangdong Other Transport Equipment II
China North Industries Group Corporation Beijing General and Special-purpose Machinery II
CRRC Corporation Limited Beijing Other Transport Equipment II
Founder Beijing Computer Software II
Gree Guangdong Domestic Appliances II
Guangzhou Radio Group Guangdong Communications Equipment II
Kingfa Sci. & Tech. Co., Ltd. Guangdong Non-metallic Materials II
*Kuang-Chi Guangdong Consumer Electronics II
MIDEA Guangdong Domestic Appliances II
*Mindray Guangdong Medical Devices II
*Oppo Guangdong Consumer Electronics II
Qihoo 360 Technology Co.,Ltd Beijing Media Internet II
Shanghai Huali Microelectronics Corporation Shanghai Electronic Components II
*Shengyi Technology Guangdong Electronic Components II
*Sichuan Jiuzhou Electric Group Co.,Ltd. (JEZETEK) Sichuan Consumer Electronics II
Sinopec Beijing Petroleum & chemical products II
*Skyworth Guangdong Consumer Electronics II
Tsinghua Tongfang Beijing Computer Software II
Tsinghua Unigroup Beijing Computer Software II
XIAOMI TECHNOLOGY CO., LTD. Beijing Media Internet II
Anshan Iron & Steel Group Corporation Liaoning Primary Metals III
Broad-ocean Guangdong Electrical Equipment III
Chery Holdings Anhui Automotive III
*China Communications Construction Company Ltd. Beijing Construction III
China General Nuclear Power Group Guangdong Electric Power Generation & Supply III
*China Iron & Steel Research Institute Group Beijing Primary Metals III
China Metallurgical Group Corporation Beijing Primary Metals III
China National Building Materials Group Corporation Beijing Non-metallic Materials III
China National Nuclear Corporation Beijing Electric Power Generation & Supply III
China National Offshore Oil Corporation Beijing Petroleum & chemical products III
China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) Beijing Petroleum & chemical products III
CHINT Group Corp. Zhejiang Auxiliary Power Equipment III
*CITIC Group Beijing General III
*Comba Telecom Guangdong Telecom Services III
*ENN Group Hebei Petroleum & Chemical Products III
*HAN’S LASER Guangdong General and Special-purpose Machinery III
Huahong Group Shanghai Electronic Components III
O-FILM Guangdong Electronic Components III
*Positec Jiangsu General and Special-purpose Machinery III
*Sanhua Holding Group Co., Ltd Zhejiang General and Special-purpose Machinery III
Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (Group) Shanghai Automotive III
Shenhua Group Beijing Electric Power Generation & Supply III
Shougang Group Beijing Primary Metals III
Sinochem Beijing petroleum & chemical products III
State Grid Corporation of China Beijing Electric Power Generation & Supply III
Aluminum Corporation of China Limited Beijing Primary Metals IV
*AMEC Shanghai Electronic Components IV
Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Co.,Ltd Anhui Automotive IV
*Beiyang Group Shandong General IV
*China Banknote Printing and Minting Beijing Printing IV
*China Energy Engineering Co., Ltd Hubei Construction IV
China Guodian Corporation Beijing Electrical Equipment IV
China Railway Construction Corporation Beijing Construction IV
China Railway Engineering Corporation Beijing Construction IV
China South Industries Group Corporation Beijing General and Special-purpose Machinery IV
China Southern Power Grid Co., Ltd. Guangdong Electric Power Generation & Supply IV
Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, Ltd. Shanghai Aerospace IV
*Feitian Chengxin Science and Technology Co. Ltd. Beijing Computer Software IV
General Research Institute For Nonferrous Metals Beijing Primary Metals IV
Haiyangwang Lighting Technology Co Ltd Guangdong Auxiliary Power Equipment IV
*Jiang Su Heng Rui Medicine Co.,Ltd. Jiangsu Pharmaceuticals IV
Konka Group Co.,Ltd Guangdong Domestic Appliances IV
*Nationz Technologies Guangdong Electronic Components IV
Print-Rite Holdings Limited. Guangdong Consumer Goods IV
Shandong Heavy Industry Group Shandong General and Special-purpose Machinery IV
State Power Investment Corporation Beijing Electric Power Generation & Supply IV
*Sungrow Anhui Electrical Equipment IV
*Visionox Beijing Consumer Electronics IV
*Xiangtan Electric Manufacturing Group Co., Ltd. (XEMC) Hunan Electrical Equipment IV
Xuzhou Construction Machinery Group Co.,Ltd Jiangsu General and Special-purpose Machinery IV

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