25 Mar
2021

Sector deep dive: Electronics

Much of the R&D activity in electronics is attributed to foreign companies. Research is particularly active in the areas of display technologies and haptics for smartphones, medical appliances, home appliances, infotainment devices, AR/VR, communication technologies and power management. Communication technologies continue to fly high as more and more devices become connected. Advances can be attributed to the continually evolving R&D tax incentives proposed by the Chinese government to local entities.

Table 1. Electronics players from top 100

Company nameChinese grants (patents only)Country of origin
Samsung Electronics21,297South Korea
LG Corp17,965South Korea
Sony Corporation15,380Japan
Panasonic15,217Japan
BOE Technology13,836China
Hon Hai Precision Industry12,557Taiwan
TCL Technology12,354China
Canon11,161Japan
BBK Electronics10,878China
Hitachi10,741Japan
Toshiba8,714Japan
Seiko8,385Japan
AU Optronics6,324Taiwan
Xiaomi5,760China
Haier5,290China
Apple4,212United States

Table 2. Electronics technology trends

Top trendsTop playersActive grantsTop players 2019-2020Active grants 2019-2020Key areasOther key players
Human-machine interaction-based devices/virtual realitySony368Samsung137HMI devices, optical head mounted displays, augmented, virtual and mixed reality-based devicesMicrosoft, Alphabet, Baidu
Samsung222Sony128
BOE Technology169BOETechnology112
BBK Electronics128BBK Electronics97
LG Corp114LG Corp62
Displays technologies/hapticsBOE Technology4,329BOE Technology1,891Flexible or rollable LED/LCD displays, gesture tracing and control, electro luminescent panels, active matrix electrodes, OLEDS, display device circuitry, touch and gesture-based sensors, control and interface arrangements for touch screen, digitisers, polarisers, touch padsTianma Microelectronics, HKC Display, Visionox
LG Corp2,781TCL Technology1,299
TCL Technology2,597LG Corp820
Samsung2,218Samsung740
Sony1,546Sony Corporation269
Semiconductor devices for appliancesBOE Technology2,994BOE Technology1,304Active matrix displays for LEDs, LCDs, OLEDS, semiconductor components for circuitry, AMLCD driving circuits, optocouplers, colour changing LEDs, semiconductor component arrangementTianma Microelectronics, Visionox, Wuhan China Star Optoelectronics Semiconductor Display Technology Co, Semiconductor Energy Laboratory Ltd.
LG Corp1,501TCL Technology894
Samsung1,442LG Corp448
TCL Technology1,406Samsung341
Sony Corp520Sony126
Molecular electronic devicesBOE Technology1,237BOE Technology619Control arrangements for organic electroluminescent displays, nano components, device passivation/containers/encapsulation, electroluminescent (EL) layer with active inorganic nanostructures, semiconductor device sealing arrangements, medical/surgical equipment componentsToshiba, Semiconductor Energy Laboratory Ltd.
TCL Technologies815TCL Technology599
Samsung798LG Corp263
LG Corp729Samsung230
Sony175Sony61
Wireless communication devicesLG Corp1,121BBK Electronics690Structure or mounting of specific components, portable transmitters and receivers, wireless signal allocation devices, wireless transmission paths, wireless traffic scheduling, resource managementHuawei, Qualcomm, ZTE
BBK Electronics846LG Corp427
Samsung652Apple232
Apple528Samsung218
Hon Hai Precision Industry314Hon Hai Precision Industry111