China dominates the development of generative AI patents, with Tencent and Baidu leading the way, according to a report by the United Nations.

A report by the United Nations has unveiled that China is at the forefront of advancing generative AI patents, with Tencent and Baidu emerging as prominent leaders in this domain.

China has dominated the global landscape in generative artificial intelligence patents, having filed over 38,000 patents between 2014 and 2023, as indicated by a recent analysis by the UN World Intellectual Property Organization.

This figure stands six times higher than the number of patents filed by inventors based in the United States.

Generative AI, which enables users to create various types of content such as text, images, music, audio, and videos, has seen remarkable growth.

China leads with 38,210 patents, significantly surpassing the U.S. (6,276), Republic of Korea (4,155), Japan (3,409), and India (1,350) in generative AI innovations.

Presently, generative AI patents constitute 6% of the overall AI patents worldwide, showcasing substantial growth potential in this sector.

Geographically, China has taken the lead in the realm of generative AI, outpacing other major tech players such as the U.S. and OpenAI in the development of large language models (LLM) after initially lagging behind.

Top 10 Gen AI patents applicants from 2014 to 2023

Number of patents
Tencent 2,074
Ping An Insurance 1,564
Baidu 1,234
Chinese Academy of Sciences 607
IBM 601
Alibaba Group 571
Samsung Electronics 468
Alphabet 443
ByteDance 418
Microsoft 377

Source: UN

Recognizing the immense potential of AI technologies, China launched a strategic three-year “action plan” in May to enhance standards in AI chips, generative AI, and bolster national computing capabilities, aiming to propel both technological and economic growth.

According to the UN report, image and video data constitute the majority of Gen AI patents, accounting for 17,996 innovations, closely followed by text patents at 13,494 and speech or music patents at 13,480.

By delving into patenting trends and data, the UN seeks to assist policymakers in strategically shaping the future development of GenAI for shared societal progress.

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