This is firmly Chinese turf, dominated by Tencent, Alibaba, Baidu, Tsinghua Unisplendour and 360 Security Technology. Since the tech giants operate across a wide spectrum of connected and digitised ecosystems, their focus has been reflected in their IP activity, which includes HMI, AI and machine learning, networking and security, and cloud and content management.
While the likes of Tencent and Baidu are significant innovation players in their own right, they have also benefitted from the fact that internet behemoths such as Google and Facebook are barred from China. That is not to say that this space is completely devoid of overseas players; Microsoft and IBM boast significant patent holdings, while Sony, LG and Samsung also feature.
Table 1. Software/internet players from top 100
|Company name||Chinese grants (patents only)||Country of origin|
|360 Security Technology||4,791||China|
Table 2. Software/internet technology trends
|Top trends||Top players||Active grants||Top players 2019-2020||Active grants 2019-2020||Key areas||Other key players|
|Human-machine interaction-based devices||Tencent||642||Tencent||414||NLP, machine learning, facial/voice/gesture recognition, real-time communication||BBK Electronics, Samsung, Xiaomi|
|GUI-based functions||Microsoft||735||Tencent||360||GUI-based display, virtual character motion control, GUI-based controls, multi-dimensional gaming||Xiaomi, ZTE, LG Corp, Huawei|
|Network management and security||Tencent||1,595||Tencent||923||Combination networks training, push-based services, web-based technology distribution, data integrity intrusion detection system, security testing, user authentication||Huawei, BBK Electronics, Xiaomi, ZTE, Intel|
|Baidu||537||360 Security Technology||246|
|Information access and content management||Tencent||2,113||Alibaba||1,277||Digital data processing system, information retrieval, indexing/web crawling, content management (website), hypervisor-specific management, software deployments/updates, spatial or temporal dependent retrieval, social networking||Huawei, Sony, Alphabet, Samsung|
|Baidu||1,405||360 Security Technology||423|