China Patent/trademark News in the Second Half Year of 2016


Sustainability vital to innovation, supporting businesses (2016-12-30)

Superior tech, stronger brands needed (2016-12-30)

China's high-speed rail on fast track in technology innovation and application (2016-12-29)

Patents and regulation increasingly crucial to China's growth abroad (2016-12-28)

Intellectual property awards recognize inventors, designers (2016-12-28)

Advanced U.S. products used in China's manufacturing sector (2016-12-28)

China-made smartphones win greater market share in 2016 (2016-12-28)

Chinese software to help detect reserves (2016-12-27)

Exhibition to showcase customs offices success (2016-12-21)

Moving on up the value chain (2016-12-20)

Firms fined for cashing in on BMW logo (2016-12-20)

China to set up national-level IPR court of appeals (2016-12-17)

Punitive damages (2016-12-16)

Chinese professor develops non-intoxicating wine (2016-12-16)

Artist uses sand for success (2016-12-15)

Chinese firm denies stealing wave-power tech (2016-12-14)

Autonomous vehicle tech leads industrial innovation (2016-12-14)

Beijing court hands down highest ever compensation order (2016-12-14)

A shopping extravaganza of intellectual property (2016-12-13)

Quality over quantity in patent stakes, says expert (2016-12-09)

Standardization, quality control key to global growth of TCM (2016-12-09)

Top court upholds Jordan's IPR over sportswear firm (2016-12-09)

Shangshang eyes development of high-tech cable (2016-12-08)

Rice farmers go on home-buying spree, driven by rising profits (2016-12-08)

Apple argues for ban on iPhone 6 to be lifted (2016-12-08)

Trial over Apple patent controversy opens in Beijing (2016-12-08)

Awards see new designs honored (2016-12-07)

Govt to improve protection via big data technology (2016-12-07)

Tecent QQ sues Chinese government for denying signature sound's trademark (2016-12-07)

China issues first white paper on traditional Chinese medicine (2016-12-06)

China partners with the world in industrial design (2016-12-05)

Automated future is at your service (2016-12-02)

Court case win boosts overseas presence for pharma company (2016-11-30)

Philips shines a light on initiative (2016-11-29)

Mobile, intelligent and ready to fulfil people's daily needs (2016-11-28)

Fanning the flame of innovation (2016-11-25)

New TCM to tackle antimicrobial resistance (2016-11-25)

Savvy successor revitalizes brand (2016-11-25)

Tiny magnet-controlled device improving diagnosis process (2016-11-24)

Ionization tech offers higher quality air purification and cleaning products (2016-11-24)

Pharma biz big in new area (2016-11-24)

Patent applications near 3 million in 2015, spurred by Chinese innovations, UN reports (2016-11-24)

TouchPal fights for intellectual property (2016-11-23)

Anniversary celebrates system's growth role (2016-11-23)

Medicine developer brings international links to China's HIV fight (2016-11-21)

Chinese company at the forefront of cancer prevention (2016-11-21)

Innovating for branding, expansion (2016-11-21)

Toward the top of the AI heap (2016-11-17)

Qualcomm expanding businesses in China on gaming, 5G (2016-11-17)

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump lost lawsuit over his trademark in China, Twice (2016-11-15)

Shanghai traditional medicines making a return (2016-11-11)

Shangtex to focus on expansion and boosting innovation (2016-11-11)

Biotech leader continues fast innovation (2016-11-11)

Zhanjiang-made luxury yachts cruise world oceans (2016-11-10)

Agritech fair focuses on practical uses, internet integration (2016-11-09)

Manufacturing on micron scale shows huge computing progress (2016-11-09)

U.S. opens patent probe into mobile device holders (2016-11-08)

Breakthrough in shale oil extraction technology triples production (2016-11-07)

XIPOM's metal 3D printer obtains patent for invention (2016-11-07)

2016 China Trademark festival opens in Kunshan (2016-11-03)

Patent data platform built for entrepreneurs and innovators (2016-11-03)

'China's Silicon Valley'seen losing its luster (2016-11-02)

Patent-intensive businesses lead economic growth (2016-11-02)

WIPO distance-learning program boosts access (2016-11-02)

New technology fuels Shanghai's IP success (2016-11-02)

Decision will mark shift in GUI protection (2016-11-02)

WIPO expects China to become 2nd biggest int'l patent applicant in two year (2016-11-01)

Chinese mobile app startups set sail for overseas markets (2016-10-28)

New Industrial Alliance Promotion Association established (2016-10-28)

2016 Beijing Innovation and Entrepreneurship Week opens in E-Town (2016-10-28)

Expert advice helps boost IP dispute settlement rate (2016-10-27)

Universities push the envelope of technology (2016-10-24)

Europe as engine of new growth (2016-10-21)

AI to spur R&D in service robot industry (2016-10-21)

Innovation highlighted at the World Robot Conference 2016 (2016-10-21)

Ghosts in the machine (2016-10-19)

Chinese scholar designs new animal breed law (2016-10-18)

China's Silicon Valley hosts more 'angels' and 'unicorns' (2016-10-17)

Chinese firm denies stealing wave-power tech (2016-10-14)

Chinese start-up implements 'VR-gets-social' concept with 4G-ready goggles (2016-10-14)

Zhongguancun to construct international scientific and innovative center (2016-10-14)

Apple to open R&D center in Shenzhen in 2017, foster Chinese developer talent (2016-10-12)

China's VR innovation should catch up to investment (2016-10-11)

Apple seeks to lure customers (2016-10-11)

Chinese company sue Dutch retailers for copy product (2016-10-06)

Know your patent pitfalls (2016-10-05)

Yangcheng Lake opens 20th Crab Culture and Tourism Festival (2016-09-29)

Removing the stigma of HIV/AIDS (2016-09-27)

Experts gather to discuss global graphine industry (2016-09-26)

BeiJiaotong University experts build their vision for the future (2016-09-23)

Beijing to further intellectual property protection (2016-09-23)

Napa Valley trademark wins legal battle (2016-09-21)

Protection advances supply-side reforms (2016-09-21)

Cultivation of Tibetan medicine through innovation (2016-09-20)

Profit of BOE may reach 100 million yuan (2016-09-19)

Chongqing safeguards intellectual property rights (2016-09-18)

Patents vital for Northeast China's development plan (2016-09-14)

Strength that's only an atom deep (2016-09-12)

Scientists use light to manipulate liquids, potentially enable at-home medical tests (2016-09-09)

'Earning 100 million yuan' company founded after richest man's words go viral (2016-09-08)

NPC: TCM requires greater protection (2016-09-07)

2016 Intl Graphene Innovation Conference to kick off in Qingdao (2016-09-07)

The name game (2016-09-07)

I-M-WAY sets out to offer clear path to tech upgrading of traditional industry (2016-09-06)

Treating gastric cancer with a medical capsule like no other (2016-09-04)

Saving lives with science (2016-09-04)

China's ground zero for scientific innovation (2016-09-04)

Innovation, reform to revive global economic vitality (2016-09-04)

Hengtong has overseas ambitions (2016-09-02)

Alibaba pushed to block phonies (2016-09-02)

China eyes multiple S&T breakthroughs in 5-year plan (2016-09-01)

Hengqin's vision takes lead in push for more commercialization (2016-08-31)

Energy patents get better connected with new center (2016-08-31)

Consumer goods' quality to improve (2016-08-26)

Academic calls for research focus (2016-08-26)

China's Silicon Valley reports rise in patents, R&D investment (2016-08-25)

Wuxi Hanhe Aviation lands two national awards (2016-08-24)

Qihoo 360 dials into govt market (2016-08-24)

China's Xiaomi to enter U.S. smartphone market soon (2016-08-24)

New solar cells ready to be made (2016-08-23)

Chinese scientists discover molecules to repair organs (2016-08-21)

Trademark application acceptance site opened in Shenyang (2016-08-19)

Investors making a play for VR startups (2016-08-19)

LeEco and its smartphone affiliate Coolpad seek bigger market share (2016-08-19)

E-Town contributes to medical development (2016-08-18)

Business world looks to turn sporting memes into gold (2016-08-17)

China climbs to top 25 innovative economies (2016-08-16)

Chinese investors seek overseas VR (2016-08-12)

Rare earths firms go high tech to tap world market (2016-08-10)

IPOS office aims to open global market to Chinese innovators (2016-08-10)

Insiders give new patent fee policy a cautious welcome (2016-08-10)

Database offers joined-up solution (2016-08-10)

China sets R&D targets for 2020 (2016-08-09)

Forum plots path to more innovative economy (2016-08-03)

New channels to speed up filings (2016-08-03)

Anti-piracy, plagiarism fair game at entertainment expo (2016-08-03)

Chongqing Changan autos aid Baidu with data collection (2016-08-02)

Canadian doctors use novel Chinese heart valve to save patients (2016-08-01)

Lights add 'unforgettable' scenes to visitors' night life (2016-07-29)

Huawei Korea faces tax audit amid patent lawsuits against Samsung (2016-07-28)

Capital poised to become robotics hub (2016-07-28)

Officials call for closer IP ties among Belt and Road nations (2016-07-27)

Experts warn of spike in graphene patent cases (2016-07-27)

China promotes easier trademark registration (2016-07-26)

Huawei plans to beef up its R&D (2016-07-26)

Experts identify conditions for success in IP (2016-07-22)

China speeds bullet train exports to aid cooperation (2016-07-22)

Samsung sues Huawei in China for patent infringements (2016-07-22)

Chinese scientists develop new metal 3D printing technology (2016-07-22)

World’s telecommunications giants battle for a tech standard worth billions (2016-07-22)

Building IP-friendly Belt and Road (2016-07-21)

China's progress in innovation 'quite remarkable': WIPO Director General (2016-07-21)

China emphasizes global innovation exchanges (2016-07-21)

Chinese HPV vaccine in final stages of clinical testing (2016-07-21)

President of Xinhua News Agency meets with chief of World Intellectual Property Organization (2016-07-19)

Beijing court files first internet trademark dispute (2016-07-17)

China has approved its first sound trademark (2016-07-14)

Huawei moves to safeguard its patents to crack the US market (2016-07-13)

China begins crackdown on online IPR infringement (2016-07-13)

Turning clever ideas into market leading products (2016-07-13)

China's mobile manufacturers quickly catching up with big names (2016-07-11)

Mongolia company enables self sufficiency in steel tubes (2016-07-07)

Huawei sues Samsung, T-Mobile to protect its IPR (2016-07-07)

Court upholds original decision over injunction (2016-07-06)

Apple sued in China over film copyright (2016-07-05)

Sanhua HVAC business heating up (2016-07-04)

LeEco forays into electric cars, partners Formula E team (2016-07-04)

Shanghai’s infamous fake market on its last legs (2016-07-02)

China rides biotech wave (2016-07-01)

Hwatsing: China’s CMP tech propeller (2016-07-01)



Sustainability vital to innovation, supporting businesses (2016-12-30,China Daily)

The Sino-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City, or the SSGKC, a strategic collaboration project between China and Singapore, will promote sustainable development to better serve businesses' demands in the region.

"We will not measure business performance by just looking at short-term economic profits. We will focus on fostering our pillar industrial clusters, and support companies' R&D and intellectual property protection," said Ng Kok Siong, CEO of Sino-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City Investment and Development Co Ltd, the master development company behind the SSGKC.

"We will strive to attract more universities, research institutions and innovative talents, as well as to strengthen product innovation and patent registration and protection in the SSGKC," he said.

The SSGKC will be keen to invest directly in some promising high-tech companies as a way to maintain the city's long-term growth in upcoming years, according to Ng.

"We are different from traditional developers (that simply sell or lease properties to companies). Investing in high-growth companies will be a trend," Ng said.

Starting in 2010, the SSGKC has long been committed to building a strong foundation to serve its long-term growth goals.

The region covers 123 square kilometers and has become a front-runner in IP protection in China. It actively learns from and adapts Singapore's experience in IP rights protection, in order to develop the city into a model IP protection hub.

"We will not make this a success if we cannot effectively protect businesses' IP rights in the SSGKC," Ng said.

The city obtained approval from the central government in July to conduct comprehensive IP reform to better support China's industrial upgrade and transformation.

In May, the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore established its first overseas representative office in the SSGKC, aimed at better linking Singaporean IP service providers with Chinese innovative companies.

"Chinese companies will be able to enter overseas markets, especially those in Association of Southeast Asian Nations member economies, much more rapidly and efficiently if their IP is registered in Singapore," said Ng.

Apart from IP protection, the SSGKC has been serving as a global platform to link businesses with global markets and to promote the commercialization of research results.

The Sino-Singapore International Joint Research Institute, a platform established by parties including Nanyang Technological University in Singapore and South China University of Technology in the SSGKC, was agreed upon in Singapore in 2015.

The research institute mainly supports businesses involved in next-generation electric vehicles and intelligent urban transportation, nutrition and food science, sustainable urban development, pollution control and environmental restoration, as well as biomedical materials and medical instruments.

The SSGKC signed a memorandum of understanding with Siemens China in July to develop the Smart Eco Technology Demonstration Center, the company's first Asia-Pacific urban sustainability hub. The move was intended to support the SSGKC's smart and eco-city initiatives.

The 7,000-square-meter center, scheduled to be completed in 2020, will enable global smart and ecological solution providers to exchange ideas on new technologies in sectors such as integrated building control systems, intelligent transportation, renewable energy and green technologies.

The SSGKC saw its basic infrastructure largely completed at the end of 2016. Some 230 high-tech companies had settled in the SSGKC with total registered capital of 29.4 billion yuan ($4.2 billion) by the end of November.

The city has become a major gathering place for innovative companies.

"Knowledge-based industry is a key feature of the SSGKC," Ng said. "Traditional manufacturing businesses will not be approved in the area due to its land use restriction."

Looking ahead, the SSGKC plans to upgrade its educational, medical and community service systems to better serve global clients.

It has also implemented measures to stabilize property prices around the city, so that professionals can settle down in the SSGKC with significantly less financial burden, he said.

Development drive

The Sino-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City, or the SSGKC, has become an iconic project of Sino-Singaporean cooperation.

Its expansion plans over the next 20 years are designed to house a residential population of 500,000 and to provide a harmonious "living, working, learning and leisure" environment.

The city is a 50-50 joint venture between the Guangdong Development District and Ascendas-Singbridge, a Singaporean sustainable urban development solution provider.

A model for economic transformation and industrial upgrading in China, especially in promoting intellectual property protection, the SSGKC also plays a vital role in supporting Chinese businesses seeking expansion opportunities in the countries and regions involved in the Belt and Road Initiative.

It is home to 230 leading businesses, including Procter& Gamble and Siemens, and plans to attract more than 2,000 new high-tech companies from around the world by 2020.

Positioned as a unique, vibrant and sustainable area that is highly attractive to professionals and knowledge-based industries, the SSGKC focuses on developing six pillar industries: new energy and clean technology; advanced manufacturing; biotechnology and pharmaceuticals; cultural and creative industries; IP protection and services; and next-generation information and communication technology.

The area is located a 35-minute drive from the Guangzhou city center in Guangdong province. The metro line 14 Knowledge City extension will connect the area with other parts of Guangzhou at the end of 2017.

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Superior tech, stronger brands needed (2016-12-30,China Daily)

China has advocated innovation as a way to renew growth in the volatile global economy. Innovation will also act as a signal to the rest of the world that China is joining the ranks of the industrialized countries, which have historically relied on innovation to drive their growth.

Advances in science are an important source of innovation. With continuous and heavy investment in research and development by both the government and high technology companies over the several decades, China's innovation capabilities are growing at an accelerated pace, and a number of technological breakthroughs have emerged.

Examples of such high-tech companies include Tencent, one of the largest Internet companies in the world; Huawei, the largest telecommunications company in the world; and CRRC Corp, the largest railway vehicle manufacturer in the world. As these examples indicate, in some areas Chinese companies have completed their journey from catching up to leading the innovation race at the cutting edge of scientific development.

Significantly, China has outperformed other emerging economies, such as India and Brazil, in innovation. According to the latest Global Innovation Index released jointly by Cornell University, INSEAD and the World Intellectual Property Organization, in 2016, China joined the ranks of the world's 25 most-innovative economies. Switzerland, Sweden, the United Kingdom, the United States, Finland and Singapore were in the lead. This is the first time a middle-income country has joined the highly developed economies that have historically dominated the top of the GII.

This remarkable achievement has attracted much attention from Western scholars and policymakers, who are trying to understand the key ingredients that characterize the Chinese model of innovation. However, even within China, there is no clear definition of what the Chinese model is. The rise of high-profile e-commerce companies such as Alibaba and the on going problems it has with counterfeit goods only confound matters further, resulting in questions as to whether any truly innovative model actually exists in China.

A related question is the trajectory of innovation, as the country aspires to move upward to join the advanced economies. There is a strong sense of urgency in China to move upward rather than stagnate, which has caused excitement and fear in equal measure among scholars, companies and policymakers.

The country is once again at a crossroads, as it was more than 30 years ago when the opening-up policy and reform first began. But this time China needs a very different set of capabilities to succeed. After three decades of double digit growth, propelled by the combination of an abundant supply of cheap labor and large flows of inward foreign direct investment, growth is slowing and stagnating as these advantages disappear.

In November 2016 I attended a research forum on innovation. Like many forums in China, it raised important questions and provided a platform for knowledge-sharing. This article is an attempt to reflect on these discussions and provide some initial thoughts based on my research findings.

In the past 30 years, China's technological development has evolved from learning through technology transfer, reverse engineering and imitation to disruptive innovation and customer-led innovation. These models relied on rapid technological learning and absorption capacity and created value for Western clients as original-equipment manufacturers and for their domestic customers who demanded low-cost products with strong functionality.

This development trajectory has been examined thoroughly and understood by most Western scholars studying China. However, as leading Western companies such as Ericsson and Facebook wake up to the shocks of Huawei becoming the world's top telecom supplier, Tencent's versatile social network platform WeChat competing for the dominant position, and the use of robots to deliver parcels by Shunfeng Courier Services, Western scholars are puzzled as to why some Chinese companies such as Huawei, Tencent and CRRC can break away from the traditional path-dependent trajectory of development to become truly innovative companies on the world stage.

To solve this puzzle, one has to turn to the unique geographic, demographic and cultural formation of the country. It would be over-simplistic to describe China as a single market with 1.4 billion consumers. It would be equally ignorant to comprehend the country merely as a combination of dissimilar and disconnected regions. Despite their similarity in terms of the size of territories, it would be misleading to compare the US market with the Chinese market. The different layers of income and population density of Chinese cities and towns, combined with the cultural characteristics of interdependence, inner drive and tolerance, create a unique ecosystem that opens up multiple opportunities for Chinese companies to compete based on differential advantages.

For example, for many Chinese companies low cost is the main competitive advantage. These companies have access to low-cost labor as well as a sufficiently large segment of domestic customers who are cost-conscious. However, Chinese companies have sufficient economies of scale and scope to experiment in different geographic regions and in different market segments to gradually proceed up the quality ladder and fulfill different needs, from utilitarian to hedonic.

Companies like Huawei applied the strategy internationally by starting in developing markets like Africa and gradually moving to advanced regions like Europe. Having achieved a leading position globally, companies like Huawei will need to rely more on basic scientific research in areas such as artificial intelligence to keep competitors at bay.

In addition, as the country's economy is slowing down and with air quality worsening and regulations tightening, many companies are investing abroad to deploy excess capacity, manage risk and access global market opportunities. This requires Chinese companies to work in a very different institutional and cultural environment, which requires a different set of core capabilities, including innovative capabilities, coordination capabilities, marketing communication capabilities and corporate social responsibilities.

Another challenge facing the Chinese economy is the role of government. Historically, the Chinese government has played a key role in terms of policy incentives and financial investment in developing innovation capabilities. However, the results have been very mixed, with state-owned enterprises, research institutes and universities benefiting most from these incentives, whereas private enterprises have very limited access to resources.

The recent policy of the government has been to change from the top-down planned approach to a bottom-up entrepreneurial approach. This is a significant policy shift, but for it to become embedded it needs a new ecosystem in which access to finance by private and startup companies can be provided.

More fundamentally the country's education system needs a total revamp as it is outdated and geared toward passing exams rather than nurturing creative talent.

Finally, and most important, after 30 years of accumulated wealth, the new Chinese middle class and its need for hedonic satisfaction and affirmation of self-identity can no longer be ignored. This segment of society will be the new engine for growth as the desire of its members to perfect themselves in all areas of their lives is insatiable and they are the most discerning customers in terms of quality, style and taste.

This is particularly challenging for the traditional model of innovation, where the focus is on reducing cost and increasing efficiency rather than on superior quality and emotional connection with customers. This is a huge gap for China, and so far it has been filled almost entirely by Western brands such as Apple, BMW and Hermes, to name just a few.

This is because, while the demand side has shifted from low cost to high-quality products, the supply side is still trapped by a low-cost production model, resulting in a mismatch between demand and supply. The value of innovation is to identify and satisfy the latent needs of sophisticated customers in China and worldwide.

This requires both the tangible asset of intellectual property and intangible asset of brands. Looking around, the most innovative companies are also the best known brands and this is no coincidence. It is in this respect that the gap between China and the West is most pronounced.

According to Interbrand's 2016 best global brands ranking, the top 100 most-valued brand positions are almost completely occupied by Western brands, with the exception of Huawei (No 72) and Lenovo (No 99).

Statistics differ, but overall they agree that, although the quality of output varies, China has significantly increased its R&D spending and the number of IPR and scientific publications. However, China significantly lags in terms of the number of global brands.

Brand-building requires a different mindset from that of low-cost production. A brand not only provides new functions but also tells a story that is meaningful and memorable, thus communicating unique value and ensuring customer loyalty.

Brands are the embodiment of culture and rooted in heritage and history. They require confidence in one's cultural identity and history. China's economic success has brought about renewed confidence and interest in Chinese culture. Therefore, it is time to develop strong brands. A strong brand brings out the best of the culture of its country of origin, thus increasing the soft power of the country and its influence in the world stage.

A new ecosystem of innovation is therefore required to break the path of dependency on the traditional innovation model to combine technological superiority with strong brand building.

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China's high-speed rail on fast track in technology innovation and application (2016-12-29,Xinhua)

With leading technology innovation and application, high-speed rail has become a symbol of Made-in-China and going-global products, said a white paper released by the State Council Information Office on Thursday.

"China's technologies for high-speed, alpine, plateau and heavy-haul railways have reached the world's advanced level," said the document titled "Development of China's Transport".

Railway and highway construction technologies have overcome world-level geological challenges such as plateau permafrost, and expansive soil and sand. The construction of the Qinghai-Tibet Highway and Qinghai-Tibet Railway has been completed and they have been opened to traffic, said the white paper.

"High-performance railway equipment technologies with proprietary intellectual property rights, represented by high-speed railways and high-power locomotives, have reached the advanced world level, with some of them leading the world," it said.

Information and communications technologies, such as big data, cloud computing, Internet of Things and mobile Internet, have been widely applied in transport, and combined online and traditional business models are thriving, said the white paper.

In addition, the white paper said China is quickening the pace of Chinese enterprises' "going global" with China exhibiting a strong competitive edge in the areas of railway building, transport projects and port operation.

Besides high-speed rail, China's key construction technologies for offshore deepwater ports, improved technologies for large estuary waterways and long waterways, and construction technologies for large-scale airports are leading the world, said the white paper.

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Patents and regulation increasingly crucial to China's growth abroad (2016-12-28,China Daily)

Throughout the process of going global, Chinese enterprises have increasingly emphasized intellectual property protection and adopted intellectual property strategies according to their own situations, said executives of some IP-intensive companies in Guangdong province.

ZTE Corp, a major Chinese information and communications technology provider based in Shenzhen, has regarded IP as a key strategy in its innovation-driven growth for many years, according to Shen Nan, vice-president and chief IP officer of the company.

He said ZTE has filed nearly 70,000 patent applications to date, with more than 25,000 patents being authorized by authorities around the world.

"The numbers mean that we are one of the leaders in terms of IP, not only in the ICT industry, but also in the nation," Shen said, adding that the company is also a leader in some specific fields worldwide.

He said ZTE was recently rated No 1 in the field of Internet of Things worldwide by the Intellectual Property Office of the United Kingdom.

In 2015, the company ranked third in international patent applications via the Patent Cooperation Treaty, a rank it held for six consecutive years, Shen said.

Recalling the past two decades of IP operations, Hu Yi, chief IP counsel at ZTE, said the company has accumulated rich experiences and evolved from a defensive position into an active player and even a setter of regulations.

"At first, we were not familiar with IP-related laws and rules, we didn't even know what IP was," Hu said.

However, he said, IP is an issue that nobody can avoid in overseas operations. Hu said ZTE is the Chinese enterprise that has faced the largest number of IP disputes in the past few years, including more than 180 lawsuits overseas and about 60 at home.

"We have more IP disputes overseas because we are a global company," Hu said, explaining that ZTE now has more business revenue coming in from overseas than from China.

Along with its growing strength in IP development and overseas operations, ZTE has increased its competence in dealing with international IP disputes.

"As ZTE itself is the holder of a large number of patents, we are in a better position to hold dialogues and cooperate with other overseas patent holders," Hu said.

"We now perform better in markets with stricter IP regulations," Hu said, adding that the markets are more helpful for enterprises like ZTE who focus on innovation and IP protection.

Executives of China Star Optoelectronics Technology, a leading Chinese liquid-crystal display manufacturer based in Shenzhen, said their company also highlights cooperation in international IP operations.

The company, which was founded in 2009, has filed nearly 19,000 patent applications in the past several years and is now the holder of more than 4,480 authorized patents.

Che Hanshu, vice-president of CSOT, said the LCD market was dominated by South Korean and Japanese players for about a decade until facilities in China were launched by CSOT and Beijing Oriental Electronics in the late 2000s.

"As a latecomer, we emphasize self-development, respect intellectual property rights and observe laws and regulations more than anybody else," Che said.

He said the company is now a major LCD provider for renowned overseas TV manufacturers such as Samsung and Sony.

"We are all major patent holders in the global LCD industry," Che said, adding that CSOT and its partners have developed an effective IP cooperation system based on cross-licensing of patents.

"We haven't had a single IP dispute in the international market to date," Che stressed.

Meizu Technology, a major smartphone and mobile phone manufacturer based in Zhuhai, took another approach in its international IP operations.

According to Liu Qun, vice-president for the company's legal affairs, smartphones are the most patent-intensive sector as more than 100,000 invention patents are involved in a single unit.

He said this makes the industry more sensitive to IP disputes.

"We have filed more than 1,000 patent applications annually in recent years, but this is still a small number," Liu said.

Liu said Meizu is now actively dealing with overseas disputes with "reasonable, constructive dialogues".

"We hope justice organizations in various countries, including China, can be more innovative in solving IP-related disputes. We have seen progress, though, such as new measures to solve the repeated charging of patent licensing fees," Liu said.

His advice to China's fledgling players is to avoid entering certain overseas markets with strict IP regulations until they have become more competent in IP development and more familiar with overseas rules and laws.

China has become a major power in the world's IP sector, as the number of its patent applications reached 1.1 million last year, according to a recent report by the World Intellectual Property Organization.

This was the first time that a nation's patent filings surpassed the 1 million benchmark, said the report, adding that China had topped the WIPO ranking list of patent applications for five consecutive years.

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Intellectual property awards recognize inventors, designers (2016-12-28,China Daily)

The State Intellectual Property Office announced the annual winners of China's top patent awards in Beijing on Monday.

In cooperation with the World Intellectual Property Organization, "we present the WIPO-SIPO Awards for Outstanding Chinese Patented Inventions and Industrial Designs to rights owners, inventors and designers who have made marked contributions to patent creation, use, protection and management", SIPO Commissioner Shen Changyu said at the ceremony.

Selected from more than 1,150 candidates from around the country, more than any previous year in the event's history, five received gold awards for their industrial designs and 20 inventions and utility models, a type of patent featuring a shorter valid term and less stringent requirements.

They cover a wide range of sectors, including energy, chemicals, metallurgy, autos, rail transportation, telecommunications, robotics, aircraft and spacecraft, biopharmaceuticals, medical equipment and electronics.

The award-winning projects together generated 30.4 billion yuan ($4.38 billion) in profits.

Among them is technology developed by the Beijing Institute of Spacecraft System Engineering, part of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp.

The patented technology from the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System research program was created to prevent spacecraft collisions in the case of intensive launch, said Yang Hui, a BeiDou chief designer.

"It has expanded China's proprietary BeiDou navigational network to a higher level," she said.

As one of the industry's core researchers, the institute has developed more than 100 spacecraft and undertaken R&D tasks concerning the Bei-Dou system, manned space flight and lunar exploration. It was granted more than 770 patents this year alone.

Another gold winner, a new type of coke dry quenching technology - also known as CDQ technology - developed by ACRE Coking and Refractory Engineering Consulting Corp has been implemented in more than 100 coking facilities in China and abroad.

A pillar of the chemical and metallurgical industries, the coking sector was traditionally known for its heavy pollution and resource consumption.

The technology has helped to reduce emissions by 13 million tons of carbon dioxide and 130,000 tons of sulfur dioxide, said Yu Zhendong, chairman of the company.

By 2015, the water it saved amounted to 62 million tons and the saved electricity could accommodate the yearly domestic power consumption of a city of 5 million people, Yu said.

"Technological and industrial revolutions are one of the hardest to control, yet we have to face them," he said. "That is the motivation driving us into proprietary IP research and technological innovation."

WIPO data shows that China ranked top of the world in patent, trademark and industrial design applications last year.

Industrial designs worldwide increased by 21.3 percent in 2015 from a year earlier, mainly driven by the robust growth in China, which contributed roughly half of the globe's total, said Wang Binying, deputy director-general of WIPO.

Commissioner Shen said China has become the first country whose annual invention patent filings exceeded 1 million. Its valid invention patent inventory has also surpassed the 1-million benchmark, making China the third country after the United States and Japan to do so, he added.

"The high-quality core patent output does not only lie in the height of innovation, but is also related to multifaceted factors including protections' effects, uses' benefits and management capabilities."

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Advanced U.S. products used in China's manufacturing sector (2016-12-28,Xinhua)

Nation aims to upgrade technology through opening-up

Advanced products made in the U.S. such as ultrasonic welding machines are used in China's manufacturing sector, which experts said is normal due to the developed manufacturing sector in the U.S.

Experts noted that China is upgrading its industries to catch up with Western countries but needs to continue to open up its economy.

A lithium-ion battery maker based in East China's Fujian Province told the Global Times on condition of anonymity that the company uses ultrasonic welding machines made in the U.S. because of "their high quality."

Chinese smartphone maker OPPO Electronics Corp also told the Global Times that some of its phones use chips from U.S.-based Qualcomm Inc, but the company declined to give details.

Qualcomm signed a Chinese Patent License Agreement with domestic high-tech company Gionee Communication Equipment Co on Tuesday, covering third- and fourth-generation services.

Under the agreement, Gionee gets a royalty-bearing patent license to develop, produce and sell 3G WCDMA and CDMA2000 and 4G LTE complete devices for use in China, according to an announcement on Qualcomm's website.

It's normal to see these products made in the U.S. exported to China, experts noted.

"On the one hand, as the world's largest manufacturing country, China has greater demand for advanced equipment. On the other hand, with most basic manufacturing industries being transferred to other nations, the advanced manufacturing sector boomed in the U.S.," Mei Xinyu, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation under the Ministry of Commerce, said Tuesday.

China still lags behind in terms of avionics and engines, which means that the country has to import such items, He Weiwen, an executive council member at the China Society for the WTO, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

The first domestic large passenger aircraft - the C919 - uses engines from General Electronics, and other crucial components including avionics, flight control systems and hydraulic pressure systems are provided by UK and French suppliers, according to a report on Commercial Aircraft Corp of China's website in November.

"The segment of U.S.-made mechanical and electrical products involving transportation vehicles, electric appliances and equipment was 37.5 billion yuan ($5.40 billion) in the first nine months of 2016, compared with 42 billion yuan from Japan during the same period," He noted.

In 2015, U.S. exports to China totaled $116.2 billion, dropping 6.1 percent year-on-year, U.S. Department of Commerce-affiliated website reported in September 2016.

However, some of China's advanced products such as harbor machinery are competitive in the world arena, Mei said.

"For example, Shanghai Zhenhua Port Machinery Co had a global market share of 75 percent to 85 percent in the harbor machinery sector in 2016. Generally speaking, China's equipment manufacturing production accounted for one-third of the world's total in 2013. In recent years, the proportion has been rising," Mei explained.

The State Council, China's cabinet, announced the "Made in China 2025" initiative in May 2015, in a bid to restructure domestic manufacturing by attaching importance to high-tech machinery and goods and reducing labor-intensive production.

China aims to raise domestic production of core components and materials to 40 percent by 2020 and 70 percent by 2025, as stated in the document.

China should continue to open up its economy to attract advanced technology and talent, and import high-end products to learn from developed economies and upgrade its manufacturing sector, He noted.

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China-made smartphones win greater market share in 2016 (2016-12-28,People's Daily)

As the largest market for smartphones, China has seen a decreased market share held by leading phone-makers including Apple and Samsung in 2016, with domestic brands being the biggest beneficiaries of these drop-offs, Economic Information reported on Dec. 28.

Samsung's market share dropped by 14.2 percent in the third quarter of 2016, the company's worst performance to date, which has mainly been attributed to widespread battery explosions of Samsung phones over the past year. But there's no guarantee the brand will return to the top even if it survives its current crisis.

Meanwhile, Samsung's foreign peer, Apple, has also failed to maintain its earlier performance. With steadily decreasing sales, China has lost its title as Apple's second largest market. One factor in this decline may be insufficient innovation. Experiencing "iPhone fatigue," more and more Chinese customers are now moving to domestic brands.

Since the first quarter of 2016, shipments of Chinese smartphones for the first time surpassed the totals of Apple and Samsung. Statistics from global market intelligence provider TrendForce showed that production of Chinese smartphones reached 600 million in 2016, accounting for 45 percent of the global total.

In addition to marketing, Chinese brands are also devoting energy to new technologies. For instance, some Chinese phone-makers are already leading in technologies such as 5G, artificial intelligence, virtual reality and 3-D images.

With the rise of Chinese brands comes frequent patent litigation between Chinese producers and their foreign competitors. For this reason, analysts said domestic brands must systematically study international patent licensing and build their own patent portfolios as quickly as possible.

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Chinese software to help detect reserves (2016-12-27,China Daily)

China has independently developed a software for resources exploration that aims to raise the operational efficiency of oilfields and coal mines, a process which promises to break the monopoly of international companies in the sector.

The software, call iPreSeis, is an application using seismological waves to image and quantitatively predict oil and other reserves.

The idea of developing such software was initiated in 2003. After more than a decade, the Research Institute of Petroleum Exploration and Development-under the China National Petroleum Corporation, the country's largest energy developer-announced the success of the innovation.

Zhao Bangliu, chief engineer of the exploration and production subsidiary of CNPC, said the company had already applied this software in many of its overseas oilfields.

"We are open to share this technology with both domestic and foreign companies, not only in the oil industry, but also coal and nuclear companies where it can be used for locating resources predicting reserves," he said.

Owing to different conditions in oilfields, it was hard to estimate the cost reduction of oil exploration by using the new software, but the price of the software itself was 60 percent lower than similar foreign products, Zhao said.

According to the institution, iPreSeis is covered by several national invention patents and it is considered a crucial achievement in China's onshore petroleum and natural gas exploration technologies.

In a deep oil exploration block in a domestic geological basin, the drilling success rate surged to more than 86 percent from the previous 60 percent after using the software, CNPC said.

Yu Baocai, deputy general manager of CNPC, said the oil industry was facing falling prices, higher production costs and lower resource quality globally.

"Energy explorers need to make greater efforts to extract resources in difficult areas and try to find resources through innovative technology," he said.

"The need for scientific innovation is now more urgent than at any time in the past."

Li Yan, an energy analyst at consultancy Shandong Longzhong Information Technology Co, said the new technology would be helpful for predicting the quantity of the underground oil resources, which would raise production efficiency.

However, China's domestic resources policy doesn't encourage large-scale oil developments because of the prevailing conditions in the international crude market, which means that this technological advance would not raise the total national production anytime soon, he said.

"In fact, affected by the weakening global crude price, China's domestic crude output is predicted to fall 6 percent to 7 percent year-on-year in 2016, which is the first drop in the past five years," Li said.

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Exhibition to showcase customs offices success (2016-12-21,China Daily)

The Exhibition Center for Customs Intellectual Property Protection in Qingdao, Shandong province, opened to the public last week, to showcase the IP enforcement achievements of Chinese customs and to increase IP awareness.

Located in the Qingdao Huangdao customs office, the new center covers more than 1,100 square meters. It is designed to be more than an exhibition area, as it is also a service and exchange platform, as well as a research institution.

It is the second such center to be established nationwide, following the first in Yiwu, Zhejiang province, which opened in October 2013.

There are three permanent exhibition halls in the center: hall one focuses on China's IP protection strategy; hall two introduces how the IP protection system works, and the history and achievements of law enforcement cooperation; and hall three is an area for training, interaction and discussion.

One of the highlights of the exhibition is a trademark featuring the image of a standing rabbit, used by a needle shop in Jinan, Shandong province, during the Song Dynasty (AD 420-479). It is recognized as the earliest trademark in China's available historical records.

Items on show include cargo that violates IP rights and was recently seized by customs offices around the country. In addition, the exhibition makes use of virtual reality and holographic technologies, with LED displays and search equipment installed, allowing visitors to inspect and interact with the products.

Local officials said the customs offices, as an essential law enforcement power, play an important role in cross-border IP protection.

"The Qingdao exhibition center will become an education base for the rule of law, and will host international meetings and training programs organized by the customs offices," said Zhang Shujie, director of the law and regulation department of Qingdao customs office.

The Chinese customs forces have established cooperation with more than 130 countries and regions around the world, signing over 170 mutual enforcement aid agreements. It has registered more than 50,000 IP entries, ranking highest in the world.

The first IP customs registration certificate, with the serial number "T95-00001", is displayed in the exhibition center.

Customs offices around the country have launched 220,000 IP protection campaigns since the cross-border IP protection system was established in 1994, benefiting more than 12,000 rights owners.

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Moving on up the value chain (2016-12-20,China Daily)

Intelligence and innovation form backbone of future development

Beijing is shifting its manufacturing industry toward more sustainable, innovation-driven development, according to local officials.

"We are accelerating changes in industrial development and optimizing the structure of the local economy with an emphasis on cutting-edge technologies and high-tech businesses," Wang Anshun, mayor of Beijing, told local media on a tour of inspection of Fangshan district in mid-July.

He encouraged local manufacturers to move up the value chain, make breakthroughs in key technological fields and turn from "Beijing-made" toward "Beijing-created".

Beiren Group has been instrumental in the city's industrial restructuring move.

The company, founded in 1952, is a leading printing equipment manufacturer with more than 100 patents in the industry and exports to some 30 countries and regions.

In response to the municipal government's call for industrial upgrading and restructuring, Beiren relocated its traditional printing production facilities to other cities and began its foray into robotics in Beijing in 2015.

The company is developing an intelligent robotics park in Beijing with a planned total area of 320,000 square meters at a cost of 2.2 billion yuan ($316.8 million).

The facility will be mainly comprised of a robotics research institute and an exhibition center to serve as the permanent venue of the World Robot Conference.

"It is an innovation park, rather than an industrial park," Zhang Peiwu, Party chief of Beiren, told Beijing Daily, adding that innovation is reflected in every step along the industrial chain.

It takes a long time to develop an intelligent robot, from research and development to production, which can be a torment, Zhang said.

"In contrast, at the robotics innovation park, the creative ideas proposed by designers in the incubator space can quickly become real products thanks to the engineers working here and production facilities, which together greatly reduce industrialization's time and cost," he said.

Robot4U Tech (Beijing) showcased its product lineup at the World Robot Conference in October, which has been widely used in the construction of smart cities, airports, banks, supermarkets, conferences and exhibitions and energy production.

The company's robots were selected by the Ministry of Science and Technology to be displayed at a national technological achievement exhibition in Hong Kong in September and Macao in October, according to the company.

Integrated circuits are key to developing information industries. A shortage of state-of-the-art facilities to produce IC chips, which are seen as a criterion to assess a country's technological competitiveness, has long been a bottleneck in China's industry growth, insiders said.

Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp in the Beijing Economic-Technological Development Area, also known as Beijing eTown, is seeking breakthroughs in the sector.

The company took first prize at Beijing's Science and Technology Awards with a project of ultra-scale IC flash memory technology and its industrialization in 2014.

Wu Hanming, one of the officials in charge of the project, told Beijing Evening News that it had achieved localization of key electronic components.

"The technology has been used in a wide range of electronics, including digital TVs, computers and cellphones, which have accounted for more than a quarter of the domestic market and enabled smartphones' prices to drop by hundreds of yuan," Wu said.

Local governments have also fine-tuned their tactics for attracting investment to the city's development.

Microsoft recently acquired Nokia's cellphone business and decided to move out from an industrial park in the area, once Nokia's most advanced cellphone production center, according to the area's administrative committee.

Beijing Automotive Group, also known as BAIC, signed an industrial cooperation agreement with the administrative committee in January and pledged to leverage its global resources to develop a globally influential technological innovation center for new energy vehicles.

At a total cost of 12 billion yuan, the BAIC R&D park remains under construction, but is expected to boost the upgrade of related sectors - such as advanced machinery manufacturing, information technology, renewable energy batteries and new materials - after it is completed.

The first national innovation center in the manufacturing industry opened in Beijing at the end of June.

The center, which focuses on developing new types of batteries and increasing their capacity and efficiency, is exploring new mechanisms for open, coordinated and proprietary innovation, Sui Zhenjiang, deputy mayor of Beijing, said at the facility's inauguration ceremony.

Government data shows that the capital's modern manufacturing industry, including biopharmaceuticals and auto sectors, reported a 7.2 percent year-on-year increase in industrial output in the first half of this year, contributing a new record of more than 51 percent of the city's total industry.

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Firms fined for cashing in on BMW logo (2016-12-20,Xinhua)

Two companies, and the founder of one of them, have been ordered to pay automaker BMW a total of 3 million yuan ($432,000) for registering trademarks similar to the German company's, the Shanghai Intellectual Property Court said yesterday.

Zhou Leqin, one of the accused, established Deguo Baoma Group (Int'l) Holdings Limited — which translates as German BMW Group (Int'l) Holdings Limited — in China in July, 2008, and together with this company purchased and registered the trademark "BMN," with a logo distinctly similar to the German BMW's, the court said.

The trademark was then authorized for use by a local fashion company called Chuangjia — the other company fined by the court — and has been used on products including clothes, shoes and bags. Chuangjia further modified the trademark over the years to become even more similar to the authentic BMW logo.

The products have been sold widely since 2009 with Deguo Baoma promoted through franchisees with the BMN trademark. The court said the accused infringed BMW's trademarks registered in China by taking advantage of its reputation.

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China to set up national-level IPR court of appeals (2016-12-17,Xinhua)

A senior Chinese judge on Friday said the Supreme People's Court (SPC) is considering a national appeal court specializing in intellectual property rights (IPR).

Tao Kaiyuan, vice president of the SPC, made the remarks during a conference in Beijing.

"[We] shall make the establishment of a national-level IPR court of appeals a national strategy," Tao said, adding that the SPC will come up with a more detailed plan after consultation.

A leading group comprised of senior judges will coordinate judicial reform in IPR cases in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, she said.

Chinese courts heard 133,863 IPR cases in 2014, 19.5 percent more than the year before, according to a judicial IPR white paper.

Specialized IPR courts were established in 2014 in Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai leading to a significant improvement in IPR regulation.

According to Tao, the three courts have heard more than 30,000 cases in the past two years.

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Punitive damages (2016-12-16,China Daily)

The State Council, China's Cabinet, recently approved a guidance document on strengthening protection for intellectual property rights. The document proposes stiffer punishments for infringements of intellectual property rights and a higher ceiling for compensation.

According to the guidance, malicious infringements will face punitive damages, in order to increase the cost of intellectual property right infringements and deter violations.

Punitive damages shall be decided by the court with the amount of compensation exceeding the actual loss involved.

Lawmakers in China have proposed the adoption of punitive damages for a long time, and they are now being discussed as part of the revisions to the Trademark Law, Copyright Law and Patent Law.

Experts say that in awarding punitive damages the judge will have the discretion to set the compensation amount for intellectual property right infringements under certain conditions, but the specific stipulations such as how to decide whether it is a malicious infringement or repeated infringement are still under discussion.

Fighting against intellectual property right infringements is essential in order to create a healthy environment for innovation.

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Chinese professor develops non-intoxicating wine (2016-12-16,People's Daily)

Wang Lihua, associate professor in the College of Chemistry & Materials Science at South-Central University for Nationalities, has developed a wine that does not cause imbibers to become intoxicated.

According to Wang, it is the ethanol in wine that causes drunkenness. So he developed the wine by controlling the time and amount of ethanol flowing into the blood. A test showed that after 1.5 hours, only one in nine people drinking the wine were measurably drunk. Wang has applied for a patent for his creation.

Wang explained that he added a special edible substance to ordinary liquor, causing the formation of gel in the stomach. The majority of ethanol in the wine was fixed, thus reducing the ethanol's access to the blood. When drinking such wine, the substance is degraded by microbes in the alimentary canal, or excreted through the large intestine.

Wang also set up a wine tasting with his students. One student said Wang's wine kept the flavor and texture of regular wine, though it was more viscous.

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Artist uses sand for success (2016-12-15,China Daily)

As with many artistic discoveries, they are often stumbled upon by accident. It is said that renowned Dada artist Man Ray first created the solarization process by accidentally switching the lights on for a brief second in his darkroom.

Similarly, Zhanjiang artist-cum-businessman Chen Rong has stumbled across a new way of bringing sand paintings to life, and in the process created a successful business – Panzheng Cultural Communications.

By mixing cheap sand with metal wires, instead of a more expensive glaze, Chen is able to create painted enamel works with a great range of color and vibrancy.

The new process allows for art works to be produced at much lower costs, without sacrificing the aesthetic quality.

Chen first opened a workshop in early 2014, passing on his skills to his apprentices and further evolving his unique technique.

At first, the workshop struggled to turn a profit and became burdened by heavy debt, but Chen was not to be deterred, and despite fracturing his leg in an accident that same year, he carried on painting and teaching.

"I love sand painting so I stuck with it," says Chen. "I had to find new ways to increase output."

By mid-2014, the workshop was producing an array of works such as waterproof and relief paintings. With the help of the government, Chen established Panzheng Cultural Communications in Zhanjiang's scientific enterprises incubator in late 2014. At the incubator he received professional guidance and advice on integrating local features and cooperating with travel agencies, putting him on the right track.

By the end of the year, Chen had obtained two patents and sold paintings in Singapore, Australia and the US.

To expand the online business, Chen signed a cooperative deal valued at 5 million yuan ($726,850) with a Shenzhen-based design company, designating it as its only sales agent.

"It's far from being a complete success just yet," says Chen. "But I will continue striving for it. My goal is to sell Zhanjiang-featured sand paintings far and wide so people can find out more about this great city."

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Chinese firm denies stealing wave-power tech (2016-12-14,Xinhua)

Device designs similar around the world

China's leading State-owned shipbuilding group on Thursday called "groundless" a Guardian newspaper report which claimed the company stole wave-power technology from a Scottish company.

The Monday report said the Chinese company allegedly stole information from four or five laptops in March 2011 of Scottish company Pelamis. So innovative was the company that it had been visited by a 60-man delegation led by China's then vice-premier only two months before, the report said.

The No. 710 Research Institute of the Chinese Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC) said in a statement sent to the Global Times on Thursday that the accusation is totally groundless.

"The wave-energy product Hailong 1 is based on many years of independent research and development by CSIC, and it is the first wave-power generating device that suits China's conditions," the institute said.

Max Carcas, Pelamis' business development director until 2012, told the Guardian that the similarities between the Scottish and Chinese products were striking.

However, the institute said there are huge differences between the Hailong 1 and the Pelamis' version in terms of design.

First, Hailong 1's pontoon is 20 meters long but Pelamis' is 40 meters long, and Hailong 1 has two pontoons with one connecting piece but Pelamis' has five pontoons with four connecting pieces, said the statement.

Second, "Hailong 1 is for the independent islands' power supply in China, so its design focuses on the stability of generating under one to three meters wave height as well as the survival capability in storms. Pelamis' device focuses on generating capability in big waves."

"Wave-energy device designs around the world are similar, and it is absurd for them to accuse CSIC of stealing their concept," an anonymous doctoral candidate of Tsinghua University's Department of Hydraulic Engineering told the Global Times.

The report said that neither the UK nor Scottish governments plans to challenge China over the patent, because Calum Macfarlane, a spokesman for Wave Energy Scotland, said that "The IP [intellectual property] is not protected in China."

However, Xu Xinming, a Beijing-based lawyer specializing in intellectual property rights (IPR), argued that a product infringes on IPR only when its technical characteristics resemble those of another product in its patent claim.

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Autonomous vehicle tech leads industrial innovation (2016-12-14,China Daily)

Businesses worldwide are using patents to plant the seeds of the fully self-driving car industry of the future

Autonomous driving technologies have become a "clear leader" in terms of innovative activity in the automotive sector, said industry insiders.

Autonomous driving involves navigating a vehicle without input from passengers through the use of sensory, control and navigation equipment.

"Currently, about 40 percent of the cost of a car is for electronic components. In the future, an autonomous car will have thousands of electronic components dealing with data," said Zhu Shaobin, a lawyer from Finnegan, a global intellectual property law firm.

Zhu predicted there will be "no battle" for patents, as the industry heavyweights that own most of the intellectual property have equal market power and mutual competition.

He suggested that Chinese enterprises should apply for patents that have a solid market in order to form a real constraint on competitors.

Between January 2010 and October 2015, there were more than 22,000 unique self-driving inventions globally, according to the 2016 State of Self-Driving Automotive Innovation, a report unveiled earlier this year by Thomson Reuters' IP & Science business, now known as Clarivate Analytics.

The trend is predicted to continue.

According to the report, Japan holds the world's leadership position in autonomous driving innovation, as Toyota Motor leads the pack, followed by Denso, Bosch, Nissan Motor and Honda Motor.

The report was compiled based on analysts' study of the total number of unique inventions issued in published patent applications and granted patents from Jan 1, 2010, through Oct 31, 2015.

A technology roadmap of energy-saving and new energy vehicle technology released by the Society of Automotive Engineers of China showed its outlook for the country's industry.

By 2020, vehicles with driver assistance or partial autonomous driving capacity should have a 50 percent market share of the auto market. By 2025, there will be 15 percent market share for highly autonomous driving vehicles and by 2030, fully autonomous driving vehicles should have a 10 percent market share.

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has set up pilot bases for automatic driving in Beijing, Shanghai and other cities. In addition, an innovation center for the national network of intelligent automobiles is on the way, said Hao Jianqing, an official at the ministry.

Meanwhile, tech businesses dabbling in the automotive sector continue to attract attention.

Apple announced its ownership of a new patent last week, which allows automatic driving vehicles to avoid collision of arbitrary shapes via a remote sensing system at a detecting rate of 60 times per second.

Following a number of tech companies and automakers such as Google, Ford Motor, Tesla Motors and Mercedes-Benz, the United States chipmaker Nvidia was recently approved by the California Department of Motor Vehicles to test its unmanned vehicle on public roads.

Up to now, six states in the US have passed bills allowing unmanned vehicles to drive within the speed limit of 30 kilometers per hour.

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Beijing court hands down highest ever compensation order (2016-12-14,China Daily)

In a patent ruling made by the Beijing Intellectual Property Court last week, the defendant was ordered to pay a total of 50 million yuan ($7.2 million) in damages to the patent rights owner, the highest amount since the court was founded in November 2014.

It is also the first ruling in which the court clarified how the attorney fees were charged.

Both the plaintiff, Watchdata Co Ltd, and the defendant, Hengbao Co Ltd, are manufacturers of USB keys used as electronic authentication devices in financial services.

Watchdata filed the lawsuit in February 2015. It said that Hengbao had developed and sold many USB key products to "scores of banks across China", using its patent called "physic identification method and electronic device" without its authorization.

It requested the defendant cease its infringement and asked for compensation of 49 million yuan, plus 1 million yuan in litigation costs.

Hengbao claimed that the questioned products and physic identification method in online bank transfers were not under the protection of Watchdata's patent.

The court organized a collegial panel of judges and assessors, which ruled in favor of the plaintiff. The judicial committee decided to calculate the compensation by multiplying the sales volume of the infringing products by the reasonable profit of each patented product.

Investigations found the specific sales volume of the infringing products to 12 banks nationwide, which led to actual damages of about 48.1 million yuan.

The court also confirmed that Hengbao had provided infringing products to another three banks, but was unable to acquire sales data from the banks or the company.

"Hengbao refused to hand in related data because it might lead to consequences against its interests," said He Xuan, the presiding judge of the case, in an interview with China Central Television.

Based on common practices, the court presumed that the illegal profit from selling the devices to the three banks was at least 2 million yuan.

The court also supported the demand of the litigation cost, commonly known as attorney fees, considering the necessity of hiring agents, the difficulty of the case and the actual contribution of the lawyers.

For the first time, the Beijing Intellectual Property Court recognized the above three factors as the principles to judge attorney fees.

Chen Jinchuan, deputy director of the court, said they have been enhancing IP protection by greatly increasing compensation from rights violators, especially those committing bad faith and repetitive violations, so that the cost of IP infringement will no longer be low.

"The market is the best frame of reference to determine the value of IPs," he said.

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A shopping extravaganza of intellectual property (2016-12-13,Xinhua)

Double 12 Day, Dec. 12, is another online shopping extravaganza after Singles's Day on Nov. 11 in China, but for some shoppers, their cart is not full of fancy clothes or electronic gadgets, but intellectual property (IP)., an IP exchange, is using the day to offer entrepreneurs discounted intellectual property services, earning the event the name "IP-Aware Festival." has been described as the Uber for intellectual property, as it connects vendors with registered IP resources with startups in the market to buy. Firms or individuals interested in robotics, for example, need only search for the term and select the desired patents they want to buy.

"Just like all other assets, IP can be a tradable commodity -- by commercializing IP and creating a free exchange market for it, we can maximize its value and ensure resources are allocated to where they are needed the most," said Zheng Ziqun, co-founder and vice president of WTOIP.

As China shifts toward an innovation-driven economy, it is becoming more pressing for firms to be IP-aware, and businesses such as WTOIP are looking to profit from this shift.

According to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), China's patent office received over 1.1 million filings in 2015, the first office in the world to receive over a million applications in a single year. Trademark and industrial design applications filed in China also beat all other countries.

WTOIP recently co-hosted a conference with the incubator IP-aware Valley. At the conference, startups and entrepreneurs were busy networking with local IP authorities and IP holders.

"It is a common misconception that Chinese companies don't respect IP as much as their foreign counterparts," said Xu Zhihong, vice director of CCE Oasis Technology Corp., a private clean energy firm.

"As China secures a larger share of the global market, domestic companies must work to international standards, IP protection is one of these standards," said Xu.

Xu said his company will sell their own patents on as well as use the platform to find patents that fit their needs.

So far, WTOIP has over 3 million registered IP resources including patents and trademarks, and generated turnover of 5 billion yuan (about 724 million U.S. dollars) in 2016, 10 percent from international IP transfers.

On Dec. 12 alone, total turnover was around 300 million yuan, according to WTOIP. While this is mere peanuts when compared with the 120.7 billion yuan made by Alibaba on Single's Day, Zheng Ziqun said the "IP shopping extravaganza" is more of a symbolic event.

"We want to send a clear message: you could turn a profit simply by selling things online in the past, but if you want to survive the next decade, you have to be IP-aware." Zheng said.

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Quality over quantity in patent stakes, says expert (2016-12-09,China Daily)

China should brush up on intellectual property (IP) protection to propel innovation-led economic growth, as this would encourage higher quality patent filings, according to an international law firm.

The Chinese mainland set a record in patent applications in 2015, becoming the first economy in the world to file more than 1 million patent applications in a single year, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) said last month.

Most of the 1.1 million filings by mainland enterprises were from the telecoms, computing, semiconductors and medical technology industries.

The number of patent registrations submitted by mainland companies is more than the top three runners-up combined. The US was second with 578,000 applications, followed by Japan (325,000) and South Korea (214,000).

"While the Chinese mainland continues to drive global increases, IP use grew in most countries in 2015, reflecting its increasing importance in a globalized knowledge economy," WIPO Director General Francis Gurry said last month.

The number of patent applications shows that China is gradually transforming into an innovative-led economy amid rising worldwide demand for intellectual property rights, with focus on fostering research and development to stimulate economic growth by reinforcing protection for IP rights.

But, international law firm DLA Piper Partner Edward Chatterton cautioned that the number of patent filings is not the sole benchmark in measuring the mainland's innovative capability.

"The large quantity of these applications does not necessarily suggest all the filings are of quality," said Chatterton, who's also the company's co-head of intellectual property and technology in Asia.

Some of these applications can be attributed to local companies responding to patent subsidies provided by the government, according to Intellectual Property Watch.

Chatterton said the quality of patent applications is mainly enshrined in two aspects.

"Firstly, most of the mainland patent applications are done domestically and the number of overseas filings by mainland companies is significantly lower than that of enterprises from Japan and South Korea. Patent application on a per capita basis is also significantly lower than those of the US, Japan, South Korea, Germany and Switzerland," he said.

WIPO Chief Economist Carsten Fink agreed, saying: "If you look at its patent filings per head of population, there are still fewer patents being filed there (China) than in the US. There is clearly a discussion out there as to what is the quality of mainland patents."

According to WIPO, Chinese enterprises lodged 42,000 patent applications outside its borders, with most filed domestically. This compared to 238,000 overseas patent applications by US companies, with China also lagging behind Japan and South Korea.

Another weakness of China's patent applications is that any income generated is often not related to IP protection.

"Revenue derived from licensing and other forms of technological payments on the mainland are still low compared with the US," Chatterton said.

"Technology exported to the Chinese mainland tends to be research and development items that are utilized as a basis for manufacturing, rather than being utilized for generating licensing incomes."

To encourage more Chinese enterprises to file patents overseas, Chatterton said they must be able to see the benefits of doing so.

"This relates to the central government's ability to reinforce IP protection in the country and enterprises' capability to reap revenues derived from technological innovations," he said.

Chatterton said much more needs to be done in relation to IP protection in China.

"The recurrent problem of bad faith trademark filings remains one of the biggest challenges for IP owners on the mainland, as does the relatively weak protection given to trade secrets," he said.

"The mainland should look into using the existing provisions of the Trademark Law to reduce the number of bad faith filings, and focus on improving the quality, rather than quantity, of patent filings."

About 2.9 million patent applications were filed worldwide last year - up 7.8 percent from 2014. This is higher than the 4.5-percent growth rate in 2014, according to WIPO data. The three top areas of innovation worldwide were computer technology, electrical machinery and digital communication.

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Standardization, quality control key to global growth of TCM (2016-12-09,Xinhua)

Experts urged to provide convincing proof of effectiveness

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is gaining recognition around the world as an increasing number of TCM researchers win global awards, but still it is not widely accepted in the international medical system and standardization is key for wider acceptance, experts told the Global Times Thursday.

In October 2015, Chinese medical scientist Tu Youyou won the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discovering qinghaosu (artemisinin), used to treat malaria. In 2012, hematologists Wang Zhenyi and Chen Zhu were awarded the Seventh Annual Szent-Gyorgyi Prize for Progress in Cancer Research for combining the Western medicine ATRA and the TCM compound arsenic trioxide to treat acute promyelocytic leukemia.

Besides progress in the academic realm, people overseas are also getting to know more about TCM. This summer, TCM drew the world's attention when Olympics gold medal winner Michael Phelps was reported to be using cupping to relieve tension in his muscles.

People have started to believe that medical science should also focus on maintaining health instead of merely treating diseases, which has boosted the demand for TCM globally, said Zhang Boli, director of the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences.

TCM now has a presence in as many as 183 countries and regions. A total of 103 countries and regions have approved the use of acupuncture and moxibustion and 18 of them have included these treatments in their medical insurance provisions, according to a TCM white paper released by the State Council Information Office on Tuesday.

And some TCMs have been registered in countries such as Russia, Cuba, Vietnam, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates, it said.

However, despite this progress, TCM is still not widely accepted in the international system of medical science and medicines.

"Although institutions in Europe and the US have started to study TCM… it is still not considered a mainstream method of treatment by Western medical science," Zhang told the Global Times, adding that TCM is only popular in some countries in Southeast Asia.

Zhang said that the Chinese TCM sector should provide convincing proof about the effectiveness of TCM and standardize TCM production in line with modern scientific practices.

Liu Changxiao, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, said that compared with TCM, treatments like acupuncture and cupping are easier to find acceptance abroad. But overseas drug authorities still have concerns on the quality of TCM, for problems such as excessive heavy metal or pesticide residue, he told the Global Times.

He added that quality control and standardization of TCM components' cultivation and production are key for further overseas recognition.

Domestically, the sector is growing rapidly under government support. To date, 60,000 TCM and ethnic minority medical drugs have been approved, and 2,088 pharmaceutical enterprises that have been approved by the Good Manufacturing Practice of Medical Products are manufacturing Chinese patent medicines, according to the white paper.

The output of the TCM pharmaceutical industry was 786.6 billion yuan ($114.36 billion) in 2015, accounting for 28.55 percent of the total generated by the country's pharmaceutical sector, the white paper said.

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Top court upholds Jordan's IPR over sportswear firm (2016-12-09,Xinhua)

China's top court on Thursday ruled that three trademarks registered by Fujian-based Qiaodan Sportswear have violated basketball legend Michael Jordan's rights.

The Supreme People's Court (SPC) on Thursday overturned two decisions made by Beijing courts and asked the State Administration for Industry and Commerce to issue a ruling on the disputed trademarks.

Jordan is known as "Qiaodan" in Chinese.

"I am happy that the Supreme People's Court has recognized the right to protect my name through its ruling in the trademark cases," Jordan said in an e-mailed statement cited by Bloomberg. "Chinese consumers deserve to know that Qiaodan Sports and its products have no connection to me."

Qiaodan Sportswear, however, said the ruling would not interfere with the company's operations. Of the 68 disputed trademarks the company has filed, the SPC has ruled in favor of the firm in 50 of them.

The company told that the three trademarks are defensive trademarks and therefore would not stop the company from using the Chinese characters "Qiaodan" in its products or advertisements.

A defensive trademark is applied by a well-known trademark owner for goods or services that are not intended to be used, to prevent other traders from using it.

The company also said it plans to go public, the 21st Century Business Herald reported.

Rare victory

Although Jordan's court victory has limited impact, the ruling is rare for foreign brands in China, where companies, including Apple and New Balance, have often come out on the losing end of trademark disputes.

"Because a trademark is an integral part of intellectual rights, the SPC decision will serve as a good example, proving that China will protect every company's or individual's intellectual property rights (IPR) in accordance with Chinese laws," Xu Xinming, a Beijing-based lawyer specializing in IPR told the Global Times.

Jordan accused Qiaodan Sportswear of using his name without authorization, as he believes "Qiaodan" to be a Chinese transliteration of "Jordan," but the Trademark Appraisal Committee rejected Jordan's 2012 appeal in 2014 to cancel the company's trademarks.

After the Beijing No.1 Intermediate People's Court ruled against him in 2014, he appealed to the Beijing High People's Court, which also rejected his claim in July 2015.

Last month, China released a State-level guideline on providing better protection for property rights, stressing the need to intensify IPR protection.

The guideline also vowed to raise the amount of compensation for IPR violations, creating a punitive damages system to protect IPRs, including copyright and patent rights.

"Before the punitive damages system, the amount of compensation used to be very low under the principle of compensatory damages, meaning, the punishment was inadequate in curbing infringements," Zhao Zhanling, a legal counsel with the Beijing-based Internet Society of China, told the Global Times.

"In many cases, the compensation could not even cover the plaintiff's legal fees, which encouraged violations," Xu noted.

Identifying fakes

An information system will be established to identify counterfeit products, which will tarnish the credit record of violators, and their penalties will be made public, according to the guideline.

"The credit records will forever follow the violators, effectively serving as a warning to others that the punishment is not limited to one-time compensation, but will affect you for a long time," Xu said.

The guideline also provides for a bigger role for IPR courts in China, unifying rulings on offenders, be they civil, criminal or administrative cases.

China's revised Trademark Law, set to strengthen intellectual property protection, took effect in May 2014, and an amendment passed by the country's top legislature in August 2014 raised the compensation ceiling for trademark infringement to 3 million yuan ($0.44 million), six times the previous limit.

The Beijing Administration for Industry and Commerce on Wednesday revealed 10 major cases of IPR infringement and counterfeit goods to the public. Among the cases, two companies were busted for illegally using Olympic symbols, and the violators were fined as much as 3.72 million yuan.

According to Wang Shan, the head of the agency's trademark department, Beijing has ruled on 1,819 IPR infringement cases and counterfeit goods, 41 percent more than last year.

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Shangshang eyes development of high-tech cable (2016-12-08,China Daily)

Jiangsu Shangshang Cable Group, the top cable producer in China, aims to develop more high-tech products to meet customer demand and gain a cutting edge amid intense global competition.

The company, based in Liyang, Jiangsu province, now masters more than 30 of the world's most advanced cable technologies. It has established a national postdoctoral research station and won more than 180 national patents so far.

Shangshang has the world's most advanced extra-high voltage cable production equipment and 17 advanced production lines for various kinds of cables. Its products are exported to more than 80 countries and regions, including the United States, Australia and Singapore.

According to the company, its annual sales between 2011 and 2015 exceeded 10 billion yuan ($1.45 billion). Its president, Ding Shanhua, who is in his late 60s, has worked for the company since 1983. He and his team invented China's first mine signal cable in 1985, which doubled the company's profits in the same year.

It also spent 20 million yuan to import equipment in the 1990s to guarantee the quality of the medium voltage cable invented by the company.

Ding later shifted to nuclear cables after recognizing the market demand, and managed to produce various kinds of them.

In 2013, the AP1000 third-generation nuclear cable developed by the company was put into use. Shangshang has mastered some of the most advanced technologies since then, and is investing heavily in the development of new nuclear cables.

"Sales of nuclear cable are increasing by 1 billion yuan every year," said Ding. "We are developing fourth-generation nuclear cables and trying to find the proper material, which should be resistant to radiation, high temperatures, pressure, and can be used for many years."

Besides nuclear cables, the company has also developed other special cables, the sales of which now account for 30 percent of the company's total.

In 2006, a pagoda in a temple in Changzhou, Jiangsu province, caught fire. Though the pagoda was seriously damaged, workers found that the Shangshang cables used in it were still functional and the light on the top of the pagoda was still shining.

Also in 2006, the copper price soared soon after Shangshang won a $30 million bid for a Singaporean power company. It would face a loss totaling 60 million yuan if it continued to honor the contract terms.

It did and suffered a loss of 20 million yuan due to the drop in the price of copper, but it won a loyal customer and has cooperated with the Singaporean company since then.

In 2007, when many areas of East China's Zhejiang province were suffering from freezing weather, Ding held an emergency meeting right after he saw the news on TV. He ordered a contingency plan to prevent damage and repair the cables for the local grid company and sent workers and materials immediately to Zhejiang province from Liyang.

"Our customers believe in us," said Zhu Hongxiang, a senior management member of Shangshang. "We try to think ahead and provide the best service."

"Innovation, quality-control and good business ethics have brought us this far," Zhu said. "Only by providing the best products and service can we be recognized by our customers."

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Rice farmers go on home-buying spree, driven by rising profits (2016-12-08,People's Daily)

After selling their own paddy rice, many farmers in Wuchang, Heilongjiang province have begun buying homes in the city.

“I have bought a home, and I am accompanying my relative to buy a home. Over 50 percent of the people in my village have bought homes in the city,” a local villager told CCTV.

To enjoy better education, medical resources and transportation, well-off farmers are increasingly investing in homes in urban centers. The large-scale phenomenon has taken many by surprise, including real estate developers.

According to Liu Zifu, vice general manager of Mingjian Real Estate, 70 to 80 percent of the company's home-buyers this year have been farmers.

Wuchang is a famous rice production area in northeastern China. Its unique location and atmosphere are especially suitable for growing high-quality rice. The rice grown in Wuchang is known for its excellent aroma and pure taste.

Dong Dianjiu, a farmer in the village of Chang'an, planted 40 mu (1 mu is equal to 667 square meters) of rice this year. He is confident that the rice will bring him a higher income next year. His confidence originates from a plan of the local government, which aims to increase the value of the local rice industry from 18 billion RMB to 50 billion RMB in five years. If the plan is successful, Dong is in for a raise of approximately 40,000 to 50,000 RMB.

Dong noted that the government has implemented a series of measures to ensure the authenticity and quality of Wuchang rice. Government authorities have instituted a monitoring system that oversees every stage of rice production. Farmers are only allowed to buy authentic rice seeds using their own ID cards, and chemical fertilizers and high-residue pesticides are banned.

Yi Yanchen, head of the local agriculture bureau, said they even appplied for a sort of national trademark for Wuchang rice. In addition, 10 million RMB has been invested in building a traceability system for the rice.

This year, the purchasing price for rice produced in Wuchang increased to 5 RMB per kilogram, twice that of ordinary rice. The purchasing price for organic rice is 8 to 10 RMB per kilogram. With these prices, local farmers can earn over 3,000 RMB for one mu of paddy rice.

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Apple argues for ban on iPhone 6 to be lifted (2016-12-08,Xinhua)

Tech giant Apple argued in a Beijing court on Wednesday that its iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus mobile designs do not copy a Chinese product and should be allowed to be sold on the Chinese mainland.

On May 10, the Beijing Intellectual Property Office halted sales of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus because it was believed that the Apple mobile phone models infringed the design patent of a Chinese cell phone model called 100C, produced by Shenzhen Baili Marketing Service Co.

Yang Anjin, attorney of the Shenzhen-based company, said that it applied for the ban after finding that the iPhone models too closely resemble the 100C. The company had been given a patent for the 100C in July 2014, two months before the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus were issued in China, according to Yang.

The intellectual property office said at the time that the differences are too tiny to be noticed by average consumers, and ordered Apple and a reseller of its products in Beijing to stop selling the two models.

Yang Pu, Apple's attorney, said during the hearing at the Beijing Intellectual Property Court that the design of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus has 13 differences compared with the 100C.

"Average consumers can distinguish them easily."

For example, the curvature of the iPhone model's two sides is symmetrical, "which is completely different from the Chinese product," she said. "On this occasion, we don't think we infringed any IP right of the Shenzhen-based company."

It was not reasonable to halt sales of the iPhone models, she added.

The court did not announce a verdict after hearing the case for almost eight hours on Wednesday.

The IP dispute is the latest faced by Apple over the design of its products in China.

Earlier, Apple also sued a Chinese government department and a local company over a patent dispute relating to Apple's Siri product.

In 2012, Apple paid $60 million to a Shenzhen-based maker of computer screens and LED lights to settle a dispute over the iPad trademark on the Chinese mainland.

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Trial over Apple patent controversy opens in Beijing (2016-12-08,Xinhua)

A trial over a patent dispute between Apple and a Chinese phone maker opened Wednesday in Beijing.

Apple and Beijing-based phone retailer Zoomflight are suing the Beijing Intellectual Property Bureau and Chinese phone maker Baili after the bureau demanded Apple and Zoomflight stop sales of Apple's iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models for alleged patent infringement, according to the Beijing Intellectual Property Court.

Previously, Baili accused Zoomflight of selling the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models, which Baili claimed had infringed on the patent of its 100C phone models. The bureau ruled in favor of Baili in May, but Apple and Zoomflight appealed against the ruling.

During the Wednesday trial, the plaintiffs and defendants debated about whether the bureau had gone against legal procedures in the process leading up to the ruling.

The trial lasted about seven hours. The court will announce its verdict at a later date.

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Awards see new designs honored (2016-12-07,China Daily)

After 135 days of evaluating nearly 2,000 candidates, the more than 70 campaign judges finally decided on nine worthy gold award winners at the 2016 China Excellent Industrial Design, the top design award in the nation.

The winning designers received their awards at the opening ceremony of the first World Industrial Design Conference on Dec 2 in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province.

The products included home appliances, textiles, medical equipment, vehicles and smart robots.

Liu Guanzhong, a campaign judge and professor at Tsinghua University, said that the designs increasingly focused on the core industries, such as equipment manufacturing, marking a "praiseworthy shift" seen at this year's event.

"The designs must contribute to the increase of China's industrial strength," he said.

One of the award-winning products, a water purifier from Beijing-based Xiaomi Inc, had already won five international design awards, including the Red Dot Design Award from Germany. It uses an integrated water circuit to prevent leaks and reduce the gadget's size.

The company has filed about 40 patent applications relating to the design.

"Good design should not be placed aside when creating products. It should reflect the communication between designers and consumers," said Fu Yueming, chief designer of Goodbaby Group, a toy and baby product manufacturer.

Fu's award-winning design is a baby stroller that weighs less than 5 kilograms and can be folded within seconds to fit in a 20-inch suitcase, which can be carried on a plane.

Another product recognized at the awards was Haier Group Corp's washing machine that features two vertically installed drums, so that rinsing water from the top drum can be reused in the bottom drum to save water.

Wu Jian, head of Haier's innovative design center, said industrial designs have played an important role in industrial upgrading. "When Haier invests 1 yuan ($0.15) in industrial design, it generates about 200 yuan revenue in return," he said.

A robotic system for minimally invasive surgeries and the interior layout of the MA700 aircraft cockpit also made the list of winners.

The 2016 China Excellent Industrial Design campaign kicked off in July, as the first round of awards to be held since 2012. The three-day World Industrial Design Conference, during which the results were announced, attracted about 500 industry insiders from 50 international organizations.

The Mengqi area in Hangzhou's Liangzhu township is the permanent venue of the conference. It is home to around 70 design companies, having attracted more than 400 professionals and investment of 1.6 billion yuan.

"The key issue for industrial design is intellectual property protection," said Huang Dewei, director of Liangzhu's administrative committee. He said an IP protection center will be built, and the area will become a promotion and trade center for industrial design.

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Govt to improve protection via big data technology (2016-12-07,China Daily)

The government will use big data technology to keep a close eye on online infringements and provide "stringent protection" of patents, according to a new policy released last week.

The State Intellectual Property Office announced the policy on Oct 30, echoing the central government's determination to create an innovation-friendly environment and improve intellectual property protection.

"The authorities will make full use of big data technology to locate infringement clues and inform concerned rights owners, so they can seek judicial or administrative protection," He Hua, deputy commissioner of SIPO, said at a news conference last Wednesday.

"If we find a clue leading to patent infringement in a product in a sales channel, we will uncover its producer," he said.

"The implementation of the policy reflects the government's regulatory role and helps to protect the legitimate interests of rights owners," he added.

Regulatory authorities need to adapt their monitoring to emerging business models and technological progress, according to the policy.

E-commerce, which has seen a growing number of IP infringements in recent years, will be a focus of the regulation, He said.

While IP regulatory authorities across the country investigated 7,600 patent disputes in the e-commerce sector in 2015, a sharp increase from a year earlier, online infringements are seeing maintained momentum, said Lei Xiaoxun, director-general of the patent administration department at SIPO.

Online trading platform operators will face clearer regulations concerning IP protection and are thus encouraged to improve their internal workings of dealing with complaints against counterfeiting, the policy stated.

"We will enhance cooperation with e-commerce portals around counterfeit and piracy risk control, and the discovery of clues about illegal businesses," Lei said.

"We will improve patent enforcement targeted at cross-border e-commerce and promote the integration of domestic and transnational regulation (of online trade)," she said.

Deputy Commissioner He said the authorities might consider streamlined procedures for handling repeated infringements on the same patent to improve efficiency.

More than 10 IP centers are operating around the country for swift authorization and enforcement, he said.

It takes such a center one week to 10 days to grant an industrial design patent, much faster than a couple of months under normal procedures.

In addition, the policy touches on the tricky issue of evidence collection, He noted, adding that it encourages rights owners to explore notary services for evidence preservation.

To ease the burden on rights owners, administrative agencies need to conduct the investigation and collect evidence upon accepting a patent infringement complaint, according to the policy.

Companies and people that reject the investigation will be included on the blacklist in a public credit reference system, He said.

"The new policy aims to address the specific issues that concern the public and is conducive to an innovative mechanism for patent protection," he said.

"We will increase crackdowns on patented technology counterfeits, especially in such sectors as food, pharmaceuticals, environmental protection and production safety," He explained.

Key sectors for patent protection also include the internet, exhibitions and foreign trade, according to SIPO.

Administrative enforcement officials handled more than 87,000 patent disputes during the 12th Five-Year Plan period (2011-15), a nearly tenfold increase from five years earlier.

In 2015 alone, the number of administrative investigations into patent disputes grew 46.4 percent year-on-year to 35,800.

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Tecent QQ sues Chinese government for denying signature sound's trademark (2016-12-07,People's Daily)

China’s Internet giant Tencent has sued the country’s Trademark Review and Adjudication Board (TRAB) after its application to trademark QQ's beeping sound was rejected by the latter.

Tencent QQ, one of the most popular instant messaging software services in China, applied to register the signature “Di-Di-Di-Di-Di-Di” notification sound as its trademark in 2014, which is permitted by China’s Trademark Law as long as the sound can be easily distinguished. Tencent’s application was later turned down by TRAB, with the explanation that the sound was “simple and not creative,” lacking in any distinctive traits.

“We have checked many sound trademarks approved by other nations, including the famous lion roar of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Most sound trademarks last less than five seconds and are quite simple. By TRAB’s standards, they also could not be registered as trademarks,” said Huang Yibiao, a lawyer for Tencent, during the court hearing on Dec. 6.

According to Huang, due to QQ’s popularity in China, the public has already connected the beeping sound with QQ’s services, which means it does possess distinctiveness. TRAB, on the other hand, holds a different opinion. It reiterated that Tencent’s notification sound is merely a repetition of notes, which is not distinctive at all. According to TRAB, the board is very careful about approvals of sound trademarks, with few successful cases so far. The court will release its final verdict at a later date.

Tencent’s accusation has stirred up online debate, with some netizens supporting the company's appeal and others calling it a joke.

“I have been using QQ my whole life. Though the sound is quite simple, it always reminds me of QQ services when I hear it. I think the board should agree to make it QQ’s trademark,” one netizen wrote.

Not everyone agreed, however.

“The beeping is QQ’s online notification sound. Do you know that its offline notification sound is actually human coughing? Would we be banned from coughing if the board approved QQ’s appeal? That would be hilarious,” another netizen wrote.

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China issues first white paper on traditional Chinese medicine (2016-12-06,Xinhua)

The Chinese government published its first white paper on traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) on Tuesday, detailing policies and measures on TCM development and highlighting its unique value in the new era.

"TCM has created unique views on life, on fitness, on diseases and on the prevention and treatment of diseases during its long history of absorption and innovation," said the white paper, Traditional Chinese Medicine in China, published by the State Council Information Office.

As ideas on fitness and medical models change and evolve, traditional Chinese medicine has come to underline a more and more profound value, according to the document.

Boasting the establishment of a TCM medical care system covering both urban and rural areas in China, the white paper said there were 3,966 TCM hospitals, 42,528 TCM clinics and 452,000 practitioners and assistant practitioners of TCM across the country by 2015.

In addition to making contribution to the prevention and treatment of common, endemic and difficult diseases, TCM has played an important role in the prevention and treatment of major epidemics, such as SARS, HIV/AIDS, and Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease, it said. @ The TCM also played an important role in the reform of the medical care system, according to the white paper.

"With relatively low cost, TCM has contributed rather a higher share of services in relation to the resources it is entitled to," it said.

The medical care services provided by TCM institutions in the national total increased from 14.3 percent to 15.7 percent from 2009 to 2015, official statistics show.

In 2015, out-patient expenses per visit and in-patient expenses per capita at public TCM hospitals were 11.5 percent and 24 percent lower than those at general public hospitals, respectively.

China has initially established a modern Chinese medicine industry based on the production of medicinal materials and industrial production and tied together by commerce, said the white paper while noting the rapid development of the TCM pharmaceutical industry.

A number of laws and regulations have been enacted and implemented on strengthening the protection of TCM wild medicinal resources; and artificial production or wild tending have been carried out for certain scarce and endangered resources, according to the document.

To date, 60,000 TCM and ethnic minority medical drugs have been approved, and 2,088 pharmaceutical enterprises that have been approved by the Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) of Medical Products are manufacturing Chinese patent medicines.

In 2015, the total output value of the TCM pharmaceutical industry was 786.6 billion yuan (114.21 billion U.S. dollars), accounting for 28.55 percent of the total generated by the country's pharmaceutical industry, and becoming a new source of growth in China's economy.

Elaborating the country's policies and measures to promote TCM development, the white paper said China has made the TCM development "a national strategy."

A series of major policy decisions have been made and a number of plans have been adopted to promote TCM development since the Communist Party of China (CPC)'s 18th National Congress in 2012.

In 2015, the executive meeting of the State Council, or the Cabinet, approved the draft Law on Traditional Chinese Medicine and submitted it to the top legislature for deliberation and approval, intending to provide a sounder policy environment and legal basis for TCM development.

In 2016, the CPC Central Committee and the State Council issued the Outline of the Healthy China 2030 Plan, a guide to improving the health of the Chinese people in the coming 15 years.

In the same year, the State Council issued the Outline of the Strategic Plan on the Development of Traditional Chinese Medicine (2016-2030), which made TCM development a national strategy, with systemic plans for TCM development in the new era.

The white paper described these plans as "a grand blueprint" that focuses on the full revitalization of TCM, saying they ushered in a new era of development for TCM.

Stressing the innovative development of TCM for health preservation, the white paper said China aspires to enable every Chinese citizen to have access to basic TCM services by 2020, and make TCM services to cover all areas of medical care by 2030.

Meanwhile, the TCM is going global, the white paper noted, saying TCM has been spread to 183 countries and regions around the world.

According to the World Health Organization, 103 member states have given approval to the practice of acupuncture and moxibustion, 29 have enacted special statutes on traditional medicine, and 18 have included acupuncture and moxibustion treatment in their medical insurance provisions.

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China partners with the world in industrial design (2016-12-05,Xinhua)

China Industrial Design Association (CIDA) has reached strategic partnerships with 16 international organizations at the first World Industrial Design Conference, which closed in east Chinese city of Hangzhou on Saturday.

The CIDA signed a package of industrial design MOUs with organizations including International Council of Design, the Bureau of European Design Associations, Turkish Patent Institute and Italian Association for Industrial Design.

Martin Foessleitner, board member of Design Austria, said he was impressed by the initiative of China to host a conference of this level of dimension, and expected more cooperation on industrial design between Austria and China.

Official data show that China has over 5,000 manufacturing enterprises with an industrial design department, and over 6,000 independent industrial design companies. Nearly 300,000 people work in the area.

More than 500 industrial leaders from 43 global design organizations attended the conference.

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Automated future is at your service (2016-12-02,China Daily)

"Your Royal Highness, my name is Run. I have a gift for you. Please push the 'open' button to receive your present." That was the human-like voice of a robot - waist-high, cylindrical, mobile, wearing a bow tie and behaving gentlemanly - speaking to Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, on his recent visit to China.

The robot gave the prince a notebook with an embroidered cover and the royal visitor appeared pleased with both the gift and his new Chinese friend who, avoiding the crowds and obstacles, guided him through the hall to the exhibition stand.

Designed by Yunji Technology, a Chinese startup, Run is the latest in a series of robots that have been impressing VIPs. Pitt, Run's predecessor, had interacted with Premier Li Keqiang and then became an online celebrity.

Yunji has multiple patents for artificial intelligence in China. The company focuses on the development and commercialization of autonomous robots, especially for delivering goods.

Zhi Tao, co-founder and CEO of Yunji, says he believes the key is to make every robot move freely.

"In order to bring robots to the masses, it is important to make them move easily. Once a robot is not fixed to one physical location, just like a human, its ability will be enhanced and then it can serve us better," Zhi says.

"We are committed to making the robots move easily within 1 kilometer for use in both indoor and outdoor scenarios, including hotels, office buildings, shopping malls, hospitals, communities and so forth."

Founded in 2014, the company currently has nearly 40 service robots operating in hotels, offices and office buildings. They work at almost 30 high-end hotels.

Equipped with advanced positioning systems, bellhop can automatically identify and avoid obstacles and people. Once a robot becomes part of the Internet of Things, it can communicate with elevators, move between hotel floors, arrive at the door, notify guests of telephone calls, deliver items they need, such as food, water and towels.

In July, Yunji signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Changcheng Property Group, a leading Chinese property enterprise. The two companies will conduct research on possible applications of service robots in communities.

It is expected such robots will materialize by the end of this year or at the beginning of next year, and become operational in the middle of 2017.

"It is a huge industry," Zhi says. "The Chinese commercial-use robotics market will reach tens of billions of yuan by 2018."

Wang Tianran, an academician at the China Academy of Engineering, told Xinhua News Agency earlier that China's demand for service robots had grown rapidly.

He said that, thanks to strong policy support, there will be more new robots to meet people's daily needs.

In the past, Yunji received funding from iFlytek Co, a Chinese company dedicated to intelligent speech and language technologies.

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Court case win boosts overseas presence for pharma company (2016-11-30,China Daily)

While Shanghai Techwell Biopharmaceutical Co Ltd saw a sharp drop in its market share in Japan due to a patent dispute, winning the legal case helped the previously little-known company to increase its industry influence in the export destination.

"We've learned important lessons regarding intellectual property from the case," said Ji Xiaoming, general manager of the company.

Techwell was founded in 2001, after it was spun off from an industrial research institute into a separate biotechnological research and development center in 1993.

With more than 20 years of biomedicine R&D experience, the company has long focused on providing active pharmaceutical ingredients, also known as APIs, for biomedicines and chemical compounds to drugmakers, said Xie Ying, IP manager of the company.

The turnaround took place in 2008, when Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd, a pharmaceutical giant headquartered in Israel, filed a patent complaint against one of Techwell's clients in Japan, asserting the pravastatin sodium products made by the Chinese company violated its patent rights.

Pravastatin sodium, a medicine developed by a leading Japanese pharmaceutical company for reducing lipid levels in the bloodstream, enjoyed high popularity in Japan.

After the original patent expired, Techwell entered the Japanese market right away as a generic drugmaker and enjoyed brisk growth. Its profits rose from millions of yuan in annual sales in 2003 to tens of millions in 2008. The proceeds from the medicine alone accounted for half of the company's total sales, Ji said.

The case caught the attention of local media at that time because it involved a popular drug, an industrial giant and a controversial issue in the patent sphere, Ji said.

The key issue in the case was whether the method to produce the medicine or the medicine itself needed to be covered in Teva's patent claims, he noted.

If the medicine itself was covered, it means whatever methods taken would infringe on the patent. Otherwise, a different production approach can avoid infringing on the patent, he explained.

"We had confidence in our own microbial fermentation production method, which is different from our rival's," he said. The only concern was the judgment criteria.

The court ruled in favor of Techwell and the court of appeal upheld the decision in 2012, after it organized a special expert panel for discussing the issue.

The case set a rule in Japan that a substance with an unclear chemical structure needs to be defined by its production method. Thus any other method to make it will face infringement risks.

Yet if its chemical structure is clear, as in this case, the method is separated from the substance in the protection coverage.

Despite the favorable result at court, Ji said his company was affected in the market. During the litigation period, many of its clients steered away to avert potential risks.

But after the case, Techwell reestablished its reputation in the industry and increased its influence in the export destination.

"Traditionally, many Chinese businesses tended to keep their treasured technologies as secret as a hidden jewel, which is what we did. Yet the clandestine practice generally leaves them up the creek without a patent," Ji said.

Since then, Techwell has increased its patent filings to more than 240 in China and abroad, with 59 of them granted across eight countries and regions, including the United States, Japan, South Korea and Europe, according to the company.

"Our growing patent stockpile positions us better against international competition. It also helps us to gain more business opportunities, improve our company's image, shield us from infringement risks and expand abroad," Ji said.

With more than 120 staff, the company estimates its sales generation at 368 million yuan ($53.27 million) this year.

"We are extending our product portfolio from APIs to finished pharmaceutical products, facing more challenges in commercial operations," Ji said.

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Philips shines a light on initiative (2016-11-29,China Daily)

Philips Lighting Holding BV, a Euronext-listed company, plans to accelerate its innovative pace and expand its production capacity at its Chengdu research and manufacturing base in Sichuan province to ship more products to countries along the Belt and Road Initiative over the next decade.

He said many of these opportunities come from countries' increasing demand for infrastructure, public services and manufacturing projects, as well as domestic use, especially in fast-growing economies such as Turkey, Kazakhstan, Poland and Qatar.

The trade, service and infrastructure network proposed by the Chinese government in 2013 envisions a Silk Road Economic Belt and a 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, covering about 4.4 billion people in more than 60 countries and regions in Europe, Asia and Africa.

Eric Rondolat, chief executive officer of Philips Lighting, said the company's Chengdu plant is not only supplying light-emitting diode lamps and large-scale illumination for industrial, sport and hospitality facilities to China, but also supplying markets in Europe and many other countries along these two trading routes.

At the transition from conventional to LED lighting continues apace, the Dutch company's LED product sales have kept increasing, and accounted for 56 percent of its total sales in the third quarter of 2016.

"As the main hub for the region, our Chengdu base is also benefiting from the international freight railway route from the Belt and Road Initiative," Rondolat said.

"There is still more market space for us to further explore as we are proficient in producing connected lighting systems, energy-saving and smart-lighting products, while many countries along these two trading routes are promoting a low-carbon economy, creating opportunities for us to usher in new partnerships to enhance our earning ability," said Rondolat.

China is Philips Lighting's second-largest overseas market after the United States and it has more than 1,000 researchers in China as well as 13 plants, and six research and development centers.

The company has deployed more resources in leveraging the internet of things to transform homes, buildings and urban spaces in China in recent years. It partnered earlier this month with Xiaomi Corp, a major smartphone maker in China, to establish a joint venture to produce smart-home lighting systems.

With 2015 sales of 7.5 billion euros ($7.94 billion), Philips Lighting has 34,000 employees in more than 70 countries and regions. It has sales branches in more than 1,600 cities and counties, as well as more than 300 brand stores in China.

Zhao Ying, a researcher at the Beijing-based Institute of Industrial Economics of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the Chinese LED industry, which has long been hampered by a lack of patents, may have reached a turning point. LED lamps last several times longer than incandescent lamps or most fluorescent bulbs. They are also more efficient.

"We are also keen to seize opportunities that arise from China's industrial upgrading and urbanization, because the country's new focus is on quality urban development, as well as green, low-carbon and sustainable growth such as promoting the use of LED products and energy-saving automobile products," said Olivia Qiu, chief innovation officer of Philips Lighting.

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Mobile, intelligent and ready to fulfil people's daily needs (2016-11-28,China Daily)

"Your Royal Highness, my name is Run. I have a gift for you, please push the 'open' button to receive your present." That's the human-like voice of a robot... waist-high, cylindrical, mobile, wearing a bow tie and gentlemanly... instructing Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, on his recent visit to China.

The robot gifted a notebook with an embroidered cover to the prince, who appeared pleased with both the gift and his new Chinese "friend", who, avoiding the crowds and obstacles, guided him through the hall to the exhibition stand from the exit.

Designed by Yunji Technology, a Chinese startup, Run is the latest version of robots that have been impressing VIPs of late. Pitt, Run's predecessor, had "interacted" closely with Premier Li Keqiang and then became an online celebrity.

Yunji has multiple patents in artificial intelligence in China. The company focuses on the development and commercialization of autonomous robots, especially for delivering goods.

Zhi Tao, co-founder and CEO of Yunji, said he believes the key is to make every robot move freely.

"In order to bring robots to the masses, it is important to make them move easily. Once it is not fixed to one physical location, just like human, its ability will be enhanced and then it can serve us better.

"We are committed to making the robots move easily within 1 kilometer for use in both indoor and outdoor scenarios, including hotels, office buildings, shopping malls, hospitals, communities and so forth."

Founded in 2014, the company currently has nearly 40 service robots operating in hotels, offices and office buildings. They cover almost 30 high-end hotels.

Equipped with advanced positioning system, the bellboy robots can automatically identify and avoid obstacles and people. Once a robot becomes part of the internet of things, it can communicate with elevators, move up and down the hotel floors, arrive at the door, notify guests of telephone calls, deliver items they need, such as food, water and towels.

In July, Yunji signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Changcheng Property Group, a leading Chinese property enterprise. The two companies will conduct research on possible applications of service robots in communities.

It is expected such robots will be materialize by the end of this year or at the beginning of next year, and become operational in the middle of 2017.

"It is a huge industry," Zhi said. "The Chinese commercial-use robotics market will reach tens of billions of yuan by 2018."

Wang Tianran, an academician at the China Academy of Engineering, told Xinhua News Agency earlier that China's demand for service robots had grown rapidly.

He said thanks to strong policy support, there will be more new robots to meet people's daily needs.

In the past, Yunji received funding from iFlytek Co Ltd, a Chinese company dedicated to intelligent speech and language technologies.

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Fanning the flame of innovation (2016-11-25,China Daily)

The difficulties of startup companies in Hong Kong are well-known but many are easing their plight by seeking strong ties across the boundary with the

Chinese mainland. Wang Yuke reports.

Towards the beginning of his career, one of the first big challenges confronting Rex Sham was how to start a forest fire without getting arrested. Sham wanted a career in the automatic risk detection management market - a relatively young and sparsely-documented industry in 2009. The only thing he could find on the subject online were study reports by the World Bank, NASA and journals published by Stanford University.

Sham and his partner followed what has become conventional wisdom among Hong Kong entrepreneurs and established strong links with the Chinese mainland. The duo spent two years handpicking experts from the mainland to help the company develop and expand.

Still, being able to find participants willing to be experimented on wasn't easy. Building a fire detection system offering practical value meant the apparatus had to be field tested in a real-life scenario. And then Guangdong Forestry Administration stepped up, showing an interest in collaborating. A swathe of about 250 acres of forested land was earmarked for a field test.

The wholehearted support provided by the mainland authorities was pivotal in launching Insight Robotics - a forestry-focused risk management company - says Sham, now the organization's CEO.

Symbiotic relationship

Such collaborations between Hong Kong and mainland China have, time and again, brought together talented individuals and institutes who have used their respective strengths, playing complementary roles in the technology development field.

Hong Kong enjoys a free flow of information in a multi-lingual setting and close contact with the West. Local developers are readily able to keep up to date on new developments, and come up with new ideas that appeal to the global market, said Frank Tong Fuk-kay, chief executive officer of the Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI).

At the intermediate and final stages of development, the mainland can furnish a large pool of engineering talent, trained at top mainland universities, who can bring the innovations to market.

That's just the beginning, as far as Tong is concerned. To his knowledge, the central government has played a key role in providing support for innovative technologies, including research grants and technical support. That way, developers can give full expansion to their imaginations and they don't have to shell out the entire cost from their pockets.

That's the foundation of the current conventional wisdom. Insight Robotics was the first company to use a combination of thermal imaging technology and advanced image analysis system to ensure early and accurate wildfire detection in low visibility areas.

Analysts captured and recorded data, phase by phase from the point of ignition. They observed how the fire developed and spread to the threshold of becoming a raging inferno. Programmers applied mathematical modeling to the real-time data, on the heat generation, the color of the flames, size of the fire, and the content of emissions. From this information the engineering team was able to establish an algorithm so that the system could distinguish real fires from false positives created by passing cars and airplane.

Each wildfire detection unit maintains a constant 360 degree scan. Each unit is equipped with advanced thermal imaging sensors capable of detecting wildfires within minutes, recording changes in temperature, humidity and distribution of airborne gases. Thermal imaging cameras detect infrared emissions which are used to calculate the actual temperature of the fire. The higher the infrared emission, the hotter the fire. The wireless sensor alert a central command, a robotic vehicle establishes the precise location of the blaze and firefighters are dispatched.

Starting a fire

All this would entail immense challenges for a fledgling company. The forestry department however, helped arrange another on-site trial of the system, shortly after the researchers unveiled their prototype. The second trial was run alongside a planned fire drill in Zengcheng, orchestrated by the Guangdong fire department, to test firefighting techniques involving aircraft and ground-based crews.

More than 600 firefighters from a dozen cities across the province were deployed to fight the fire, applying standard practices of the cities where each team worked. "That's valuable experience for us. We gained a better understanding of firefighters' routines and varied standards in terms of forest fire management. It helped us with prototype advancement since we would take those factors into consideration," acknowledged Sham.

The trial went ahead. The forestry officials liked what they saw and arranged to increase the R&D funding for Insight Robotics. The innovative system also caught the attention of the National Development and Reform Commission which subsequently granted additional funds worth 500 million yuan ($73.76 million) to support the research of the fire warning system.

The concept of fire early detection system spread across the country quickly, with many major cities planning an open bid to select the most reliable detection system. In a bidding hosted by Jinan, Shandong province, Insight Robotics won the tender after demonstrating it can detect minor flames within a five-mile radius that no other eight bidders managed to do. Besides, their equipment was the cheapest. The Computer Vision Wildfire Detection System has been used by more than 10 forestry and local government agencies in five provinces and seven cities across the mainland.

Having made its mark on the Chinese mainland and built up its credibility, it soon gained much attention from angel investors in Hong Kong. It drew $2 million of angel investment and venture capital combined. Without the cooperation with mainland authorities and companies, says Sham, the young startup would have had a hard time attracting investment from Hong Kong companies and individual investors who are inclined to play it safe.

"It's much easier for researchers and entrepreneurs to get R&D funding in mainland. It all comes down to the top-down approach in funding allocation adopted by the central government," said Tong.

All set to go 5G

He highlighted that ASTRI just began to cooperate with 21Vianet, a major carrier-neutral internet data center service provider on the mainland, to conduct R&D and field trials in a 5G test bed, aiming to launch the next generation mobile network.

21Vianet has agreed to let ASTRI use its high speed wireless technology in Hong Kong free of charge to conduct field trials from now to March 2019. The test phase will take Hong Kong a step closer toward building an infrastructure for the 5G mobile network to be in place by around 2022, said Tong. The 5G network promises processing speeds 100 times faster than the existing 4G network. The technology is considered a critical component in the evolution of Hong Kong's smart city initiative. Tong acknowledged that the Chinese mainland is at the forefront of developing 5G technologies. Managing Director of 21Vianet, Andrew Lee, also remarked during the Memorandum of Understanding signing ceremony that ASTRI has a strong team on mobile wireless technologies and sound patent portfolio in 5G wireless technologies.

He adds that the mainland places a premium on education in engineering and therefore has produced a wealth of engineering professionals. Mainland universities can supply engineering specialists for Hong Kong R&D centers as well as startups, helping to address technical problems that they may encounter during technology transfer. "Every year almost half of the university graduates from the mainland are engineering students, around 125,000, whereas Hong Kong has only 3,000."

Cross-border interaction will result in more mainland-based companies managing to set up branches overseas and also increase the penetration of international enterprises in Chinese market. However, before that, we need to clear up some hurdles, argues Horris Tse, co-founder and strategy director of WeMine, a 2-year-old startup specializing in helping international companies break into Chinese market and vice versa.

The two sides lack uniform frameworks and regulations when it comes to starting up businesses, said Tse. His own experience tells him that registering and opening a company in Hong Kong takes three to five days, while it'd take a foreign-capital enterprise 45 days to three months to get through all procedures before settling in the mainland.

Tse said he had a customer, a foreign company selling wholesome food and nutrients, striving to open a store in mainland. The company was confronted with the complicated health food registry regulations and lengthy procedures. "Although the foods it sells meet international and Hong Kong standards, some of them are insufficiently qualified according to the mainland framework. The company had to apply for a National Healthy Food Index Number for each product from scratch, which takes between half a year and one year and costs from hundreds of thousands to a million yuan.

All the troublesome factors dampen foreign business owners' confidence and passion for expanding their business to the mainland market, argued Tse, saying that it's imperative to establish a set of uniform frameworks or regulations applicable to both sides.

Charles Ng, associate director-general of InvestHK, is upbeat about the prospect of cross-border partnership in innovation industry. "Shenzhen and Dongguan (two neighbor cities of Hong Kong) are equipped with fast-prototyping techniques and are capable of mass producing. Hong Kong has an unrivaled international airport that ensures massive amount of prototypes or products to be delivered to any foreign country within 48 hours," said Ng, expecting more businesses to spring up and flourish here as well as in the Chinese mainland. He painted a rosier picture, "The opening of Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link will not only connect the two sides closer but also open a window for more business opportunities."

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New TCM to tackle antimicrobial resistance (2016-11-25,People's Daily)

China is taking on the scientific research of antibiotic replacement therapy, looking to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) in an effort to tackle antimicrobial resistance.

“[Chinese scientistis are] now evaluating the possibility of replacing antibiotic therapy by using TCM. Our research includes specific replacement plans and clinical guidance,” said Zhang Boli, president of the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences (CACMS), to on Nov. 23.

According to Zhang, CACMS is now re-evaluating Chinese antibacterial patent medicines that are available on the market. After a thorough evaluation, CACMS will issue clinical guidelines to promote fair use of antibiotics among Western physicians.

Antimicrobial resistance, and especially resistance to antibiotics, is a growing global problem, which can lead to higher medical costs, widespread drug-resistant infections and higher mortality rates. According to statistics from the World Health Organization, antimicrobial resistance is responsible for around 700,000 deaths globally each year, with most victims located in developing countries.

“For many viruses and bacteria, antibiotic therapy has a limited effect, while TCM’s curative effect is significant. Thus, developing new Chinese medicine is key to curbing antimicrobial resistance. We have already made some progress, and [I] believe more cheerful results will come out soon,” Zhang said.

The revitalization of TCM has boosted China’s ambition to solve worldwide medical problems. In Septemer, Wang Guoqiang, head of the State Administration of TCM, also called for the more frequent use of TCM treatment in various medical issues.

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Savvy successor revitalizes brand (2016-11-25,China Daily)

Taiwan food company Hsin Tung Yang Co, famed for its trademark beef jerky and pineapple cakes, is on a mission to prove old can still be gold.

I sat down with HTY's Chief Executive Officer Mai Shen-yang, the tech savvy, cosmopolitan son of the company's founder, to talk future plans and the firm's upcoming 50-year anniversary.

Mai shared with me the story behind the HTY's revamped packaging, which is emblazoned with a new gold logo.

"When my father opened his first shop the letters 'Hsin Tung Yang' were written in gold on top of a red wooden sign. He was inspired by a Chinese idiom, 'gold-letter shop sign' (meaning a well-reputed brand). When making the new bag design, I asked the designer to keep the gold lettering to stay true to our heritage.

"It's the same as with clothing -- minimalist design gives off an air of luxury. We spent nearly NT$8 million to make the new packaging, but it was worth it. Each bag held in our customers' hands is an advertisement in itself and people tend to hold on to good designs longer."

Replacing the old, red, festival-themed packaging with the new elegant design is only one part of Mai's efforts to reinvigorate the family brand.

To reposition the firm's image and give it a more youthful appeal, he recruited an actress Ariel Lin to lead an advertising push.

"She is a fresh-faced young woman who is modern and opinionated. Choosing her caters to our main customer demographic: middle-aged women."

HTY are also currently searching for a new face to front the company's 50-year anniversary celebrations, with Mai saying heart-throb actor Eddie Peng and rock band Mayday were among the candidates.

Mai's father sought to make the HTY brand synonymous with ethnic-Chinese communities -- a vision reflected in the company's first slogan, "Where there are Chinese, there will be HTY."

The new slogan reveals the younger Mai's brimming passion and dedication to quality and taste: "HTY adds flavor to life: Tasty, tasteful, with a touch of hospitality."

From profit maximization to sustainability

Speaking of the company's sustainability efforts, Mai spoke of the shock he felt watching the recently released climate-change documentary "Before the Flood."

"I want our descendants to feel thankful that we took certain actions. We shouldn't continue business as usual and stay indifferent to evidence that shows the damaging impact of our business practices.

"Call it an original sin ... but I have been in this trade from the minute I was born. My father's objective was to make a living and provide for our family. But when the time came for me to take the helm, our family shop was now a corporation. And corporations have their responsibilities: Responsibility to our 1,000 employees and their families, so they could enjoy job security until retirement, as well as responsibility to our customers."

Mai spoke passionately of HTY's early commitment to traceable food production and distribution.

The firm was one of the first in Taiwan to start investing in food traceability platforms and is currently the only company in the country that has comprehensive records tracking both the production and distribution processes.

"People only notice these (quality control measures) when food scares hit. It's an incredibly expensive investment, but we do it anyway. Honesty and integrity are our core values."

On the subject of the company's strive to stay relevant in the face of intense competition from both old and new brands, Mai said HTY would simply stay true to the company's founding principles, "Integrity, Pragmatism and Innovation."

After winning of a decade-long trademark dispute with a relative in the Chinese mainland, Mai closed poor performing stores and invested in wholesale and e-commerce.

Mai said HTY was looking to provide "more sustainable possibilities," including moving away from a heavy reliance on meat products.

"As a company leader, I must think about this -- what's next for the company, where the company will head in the next 50 years."

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Tiny magnet-controlled device improving diagnosis process (2016-11-24,China Daily)

Cloud-based system allows patients to choose between locations and doctors

NaviCam, the world's first magnetically controlled capsule endoscope system, will not only reduce patients' pain and discomfort during traditional gastric testing, but will also greatly improve treatment efficiency.

Developed and commercialized by Ankon Technologies Co Ltd, the system received approval from the China Food and Drug Administration in 2013 and has made great breakthroughs in gastric diagnosis and early screening.

"The precise control and positioning functions of NaviCam ensure a complete examination of the stomach," said Ji Pengsong, president of Ankon, which is located in Shanghai's Zhangjiang National Innovation Demonstration Zone.

The medical capsule robot innovatively combines cuttingedge technologies such as sensors, optical imaging, imaging processing, wireless communications and device packaging.

It comprises more than 300 parts and combines over 40 international technological patents.

The technology is three to five years ahead of the rest of the world, according to the developer. Weighing less than 5 grams and looking like a medicine capsule, it can be swallowed with water.

Then the robot inside the capsule takes photos automatically as it passes through the gastrointestinal tract and is expelled through a bowel movement. There is no adverse reaction and patients do not require anesthesia.

The entire inspection procedure is convenient and comfortable, especially for sensitive people, such as children, the elderly, or patients with cardiovascular diseases. An entire gastric examination can be completed in 15 minutes, according to the company.

Each year, about 300 people die from gastroscopies. Risk groups include elderly people and patients with heart or lung diseases. It is more suitable for these people to receive the check using a magnetically controlled capsule endoscope, said Jin Zhendong, a professor at Shanghai's Changhai Hospital.

A double blind clinical trial conducted in a number of leading Chinese hospitals showed that the system's diagnostic accuracy rate was 93.4 percent and its sensitivity was 90.4 percent. So far, the magnetically controlled capsule endoscope system has already been used in more than 300 hospitals and medical centers across the country. It is expected to be available in about 500 hospitals and medical centers, including those in second and third tier cities by the end of 2016.

Cloud platform

In addition to providing a safer and more convenient examination method, Ankon is also looking to expand into internet information technology.

The company has established a nationwide medical network, the first of its kind, which unites experts and scholars in digestology across the country. The platform is able to run a digestive system healthcare database that connects more than 1,000 experts and doctors from the country's top hospitals and medical institutions.

With this internet-based medical service platform, patients will be able to reserve an examination in one hospital and choose an expert in another hospital to diagnose the results. Because the gastric examination photos taken by the NaviCam can be sent to the cloud platform, experienced doctors will then be able to look at these images before making diagnoses and treatment suggestions.

"The platform shortens the distance between doctors and patients, especially those living in remote areas. Patients can also choose the hospitals and doctors they prefer using this platform," said Ji.

In addition to spending more effort on developing medical services based on health big data, the company has also been working on the development of more innovative medical equipment and facilities in treating stomach and digestive diseases.

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Ionization tech offers higher quality air purification and cleaning products (2016-11-24,China Daily)

Enchanted Power Technology Co Ltd, based in Shanghai's Zhangjiang National Innovation Demonstration Zone, wants to strengthen the development of ionized water technology to provide more health solutions to consumers.

Ionized water technology aims to extract more than 70 mineral ions from seawater and the earth, and to stabilize them in certain types of liquid.

This method is proven to have strong development potential and can be used in a broad range of areas to support industries and social development, according to the company.

Enchanted Power has been recognized as a high-tech company in Shanghai and obtained funding support from the city government for its innovative projects, as it is becoming a gathering platform for global leading researchers from countries such as Japan and South Korea.

The company was responsible for vehicle interior air quality control during the G20 meetings in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, between Sept 4 and 5 this year.

It has also partnered with the College of Environmental Science and Engineering of Tongji University and Donghua University to ensure its products are developed based on real market demand.

The company has registered many national patents and obtained several awards from Shanghai authorities.

Aiming to reduce Chinese families' concerns about air quality, the company said it would focus on developing purifying products with ionized water technology in the coming years.

It will also strengthen its competitiveness in personal care, food, healthcare and agriculture sectors.

Tang Xiaohui, managing director of Enchanted Power, said that ionized water technology has mainly been used in air purifying sectors in recent years.

In the air-purifying sector, the technology can help solve air pollution problems in buildings and vehicles.

Compared with traditional air-purifying products, Enchanted Power's products are easier to apply and have longer-lasting effects.

The ionized water technology-based air-purifying products also have relatively lower costs.

"We think demand for air-purification products will boom in the next few years because the Chinese are paying more attention to their health," Tang said.

"There are increasing numbers of air-purifying products, but there are no industrial standards to regulate the market."

Statistics from market and consumer information agency GfK SE show that sales of air purifiers in China reached 3.52 million units last year, with revenue of nearly 7.5 billion yuan ($1.08 billion), up 10 percent year-on-year.

This growth rate is much higher than that of other home appliances.

Tang said the company has aims to become a market leader.

It plans to expand brand awareness and market share in the next two to three years.

It will also set industrial standards for the air-purifying products market.

Enchanted Power has been an active supporter of charity programs in China.

It has joined hands with the China Charity Federation to launch the Enchanted Fund. It has also participated in projects launched by Shanghai Charity Foundation.

"High-tech companies need to develop a good company culture to support long-term development. Enchanted Power has identified health and love as its core values," Tang said.

"We hope we can be a professional, high-tech-driven healthcare products maker, while expressing our sense of social responsibility to clients."

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Pharma biz big in new area (2016-11-24,China Daily)

As a vital element for Shanghai's ambition to build itself into a global science and technology hub, Zhangjiang National Innovation Demonstration Zone is working to improve healthcare services through innovation in the medical and pharmaceutical fields.

The pharmaceutical industry in Zhangjiang National Innovation Demonstration Zone has been on the rise in recent years, becoming an engine for the further development of Shanghai's pharmaceutical industry.

Over the years, a large number of pharmaceutical companies have settled in Zhangjiang, and many of them have been looking for innovative development with a strategic path.

For example, Shanghai Green Valley (Group) Co Ltd is an innovation-driven medical investment group focusing on innovative drugs' research and development, production and sales, as well as modern traditional Chinese medicine health diagnostics and management services. It has explored new medicines R&D by using sugar-based drugs to treat complex diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease, cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes.

The Green Valley Research Institute, with a team of high-level professionals and overseas talents, was established to set up R&D centers in Beijing, Benxi of Liaoning province and Changchun of Jilin province. It also established manufacturing bases in Shanghai Qingpu, and Liaoning province's Benxi Green Valley Industry Park.

Green Valley also initiated and formed the standard of salvianolate, which has been formally written into the national pharmacopoeia. It also established Shanghai Green Valley Pharmaceutical Co Ltd through its partnership with the Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica under the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The company specializes in the exploration and development of innovative, natural medicine through modern biopharmaceutical methods.

With the guidance of traditional Chinese medicine theory, it has researched and developed natural medicine by carrying out scientific testing, selection and transformation on traditional prescriptions.

The company has accumulated intellectual property rights for a series of innovative drug product lines with confirmed efficacy to meet international standards. Salvianolic acid salt for injection, one of the company's core products, is a kind of natural medicine for which China and the United States have authorized patents.

According to the company, it is now developing a drug, GV-971, for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. GV-971 prevents the aggregation and deposition of amyloid peptide. The phase III clinical trial is expected to be finished in the end of 2017. So far, drugs for the treatment of Alzheimer's are symptomatic relief and fail to effectively prevent the progress of the disease. GV-971 is expected to bring a new hope for the treatment of the disease, according to the company.

Green Valley said it is still working to enhance the connection between lab research and the industry to build a world-class company through constant innovation.

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Patent applications near 3 million in 2015, spurred by Chinese innovations, UN reports (2016-11-24,Xinhua)

A new report by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) on Wednesday found that spurred by Chinese innovations, the number of patent applications rose to 2.9 million in 2015, up nearly 8 percent from the previous year, Farhan Haq, the UN deputy spokesman, told reporters here.

"The jump was powered by innovators in China who filed more than one million applications for the first time within a single year," Haq said.

After China, innovators from the United States and Japan filed the most applications, he said.

According to the report, Chinese innovators filed the most patent applications (1,010,406) in 2015, followed by those from the United States (526,296) and Japan (454,285), and China's patent office received 1,101,864 filings in 2015, making it the first office to receive more than a million applications in a single year.

An estimated 10.6 million patents were in force around the globe in 2015. The U.S. applications accounted for about a quarter (24.9 percent of the total), followed by 18.3 percent in Japan and 13.9 percent in China.

In terms of sectors, computer technology (7.9 percent of the total) saw the highest percentage of published patent applications worldwide, followed by electrical machinery (7.3 percent) and digital communication (4.9 percent).

Around 1.24 million patents were granted worldwide in 2015 (5.2 percent more than 2014, and the fastest growth rate since 2012). This was due mainly to an increase of grants in China, which issued 359,316 patents in 2015 to surpass the U.S. (298,407) as the largest patent issuing office, WIPO noted.

Trademark applications, too rose 15.3 percent to about six million in and worldwide industrial design applications grew by 2.3 percent to 872,000, according to WIPO.

China also saw the highest trademark filing activity with some 2.83 million applications, followed by the United States (517,297), European Union (EU) Intellectual Property Office (366,383) and Japan (345,070), said the report.

In addition, 2015 saw about 4.4 million trademark registrations, covering some 6.2 million cases, recorded. This was an increase of 26.6 percent over 2014 and the fastest growth in more than 15 years.

Around 4.4 million trademark registrations covering 6.2 million classes were recorded worldwide in 2015. This was a 26.6 percent increase on 2014 and the fastest growth in more than 15 years.

Global applications for industrial design -- the ornamental or aesthetic aspect of an article, consist of three dimensional features (shape of article) or two dimensional features (patterns, lines or colour) grew by 2.3 percent, rebounding from a sharp decrease recorded in 2014.

Designers across the world filed 872,800 applications containing 1.1 million designs. The growth was mainly due to increases in applications filed China, the Republic of Korea and the United States.

WIPO is a specialized agency of the UN provides business services for obtaining intellectual property (IP) rights in multiple countries and resolving disputes. It works to strengthen capacity in developing countries to help them benefit from using IP. WIPO also provides free access to unique knowledge banks of IP information.

"As policy-makers seek to invigorate growth around the world, it is encouraging to report that intellectual property filing activity saw healthy progression in 2015," said WIPO Director General Francis Gurry, announcing the agency's World Intellectual Property Indicators (WIPI) report.

"IP use grew in most countries in 2015, reflecting its increasing importance in a globalized knowledge economy," he added.

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TouchPal fights for intellectual property (2016-11-23,China Daily)

As TouchPal has grown from a high-tech startup to a global leader in keyboard technology, its Chief Executive Officer Wang Jialiang attributes the rocket-fuelled growth to intellectual property's role.

"For me, IP means showing respect and making full use of game rules in overseas markets," he said in a recent interview.

After graduating with a master's in electrical engineering from Shanghai Jiao Tong University in 2005, he joined Microsoft China as a project manager.

When smart phones became increasingly popular worldwide, their default clumsy keyboards still limited users' experiences. In 2008, Wang sensed a growing market.

He quit his job and cofounded TouchPal with his friends in Shanghai that year. They launched an innovative virtual keyboard, offering many enhancements and shortcuts.

Due to the co-founders' previous work experience in foreign-funded businesses, TouchPal was targeted at English text-messaging markets in the very beginning.

"At that time, many domestic users thought we were a US company," Wang said, citing a Chinese user who suggested the company develop a Chinese-version of TouchPal and offered to teach them Chinese in an English letter.

In the year following its founding, TouchPal won the award of mobile innovation at the Mobile World Congress, the largest annual gathering for the industry in Barcelona, Spain.

"Many overseas visitors came to our exhibition booth and told us 'we have different views on Chinese companies because of your performance'," Wang recalled.

With their core technology at the forefront of the industry worldwide, Touch-Pal saw rapid market expansion, which was noticed by industrial giant Nuance in the United States.

After its acquisition offer was rejected, Nuance, then the largest smart phone keyboard service provider in the world, filed a patent case with a US federal court and a Section 337 investigation complaint with the US International Trade Commission in 2012.

Section 337 investigations usually focus on intellectual property infringement claims.

Wang said he was shocked at the estimated legal cost quotation from his attorney, about $3 million to $5 million for each patent, of which the case involved five.

He was eager to reach a settlement.

"I was misled by the movie American Dreams in China," he said. In the movie, three young men start up their business and are challenged by US officials, but win their case.

Yet in reality, the Chinese entrepreneur with the same dream was turned down.

The first round of talks took just five minutes after 10 minutes of greetings, Wang said.

"Nuance's representative said they need no patent licensing fees nor plans for a settlement. All they wanted was to push us out of the US market."

In the second round, a couple of months later, Wang was on crutches due to a sprained ankle, only to find the counterpart hadn't even shown up.

"They just gave us a call, saying that their position remains unchanged."

TouchPal gathered evidence and asked five top experts in the industry in the US to provide expert testimony against Nuance.

"We had gained overwhelming advantages," Wang said.

In the third round, the situation turned around - Nuance asked for a settlement. Wang said his attorney persuaded him to accept the offer, as he wanted to end the fight as quickly as possible.

"Investment in IP needs a long-term perspective," he said. "Without IP developed in 2008, we could not have prevailed in the case."

"Among Chinese CEOs, I might not be the most handsome, but I must be the one that knows the most about IP," he joked.

He studied IP law at school and helped to make patent filings at Microsoft. "When we raked in the first 1 million yuan ($145,128), we spent 400,000 yuan on patents."

Currently in cooperation with more than half of the top-10 smartphone manufacturers in the world, Touch-Pal's keyboard has served more than 400 million users in some 120 countries, using over 100 languages, according to the company.

While China is campaigning for mass innovation and entrepreneurship, a growing number of budding entrepreneurs are following Wang's suit in their overseas expansion.

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Anniversary celebrates system's growth role (2016-11-23,China Daily)

The Madrid System for the International Registration of Marks has played an important role in promoting the global protection of intellectual property, boosting world trade and economic growth, and advancing the innovation of knowledge worldwide, said Liu Yuting, vice-minister of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce.

Liu gave a speech at a celebration last week in Qingdao, Shandong province, to mark the 125th anniversary of the system's establishment.

The Madrid System is a one-stop solution for trademark holders to obtain and maintain protection in multiple markets. It offers the potential for simultaneous protection in up to 114 territories of its 98 members. These countries and regions represent more than 80 percent of world trade, and membership is growing every year.

The ceremony, which was hosted by the World Intellectual Property Organization and SAIC, attracted the participation of more than 200 guests from 27 countries and regions. They included government officials and representatives of corporations, international organizations and non-governmental organizations.

"China became a member of the system in 1989, which paved the way for the internationalization of its trademarks and opened the door for foreign brands entering the Chinese market," said Liu.

SAIC's Minister Zhang Mao sent a congratulatory letter to the ceremony, saying that developing a brand economy and implementing innovation-driven strategies have achieved consensus in all sectors of society in China. The Chinese government has constantly promoted reforms to facilitate trademark registration and improve the effective utilization of the Madrid System, through training and localized measures.

Miguel Margain, chairman of the Madrid Union Assembly, said the system sees opportunities for broader cooperation with China, as it is the world's second-largest economy and the engine of the global economy.

The system would help Chinese enterprises explore international markets and it is committed to the long-term, healthy development of the world economy together with China, he added.

The number of Madrid trademark applications filed by Chinese applicants is encouraging, said Liu. Last year, WIPO received nearly 50,000 international trademark applications filed through the Madrid System, and China ranked sixth in the number of applications.

As of October, Chinese applicants have filed nearly 22,000 Madrid trademark applications.

During the ceremony, Xia Geng, deputy governor of Shandong, briefed the guests on the achievements in the province in the area of trademark strategy.

Shandong now has 562,000 valid trademarks, including 666 well-known Chinese trademarks, which have played a major role in optimizing industrial structure and increasing regional economic competitiveness.

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Medicine developer brings international links to China's HIV fight (2016-11-21,China Daily)

Shanghai Desano Chemical Pharmaceutical Co, based in the Zhangjiang National Innovation Demonstration Zone, is playing a significant role in supporting China's anti-HIV campaign.

Established in 2005, Desano is one of the largest producers of HIV-related medicines in the country, in terms of product variety and production scale.

As a government-designated manufacturer, it is responsible for providing medicines to about half of those diagnosed with HIV in China. It is also one of the largest domestic HIV drug ingredients suppliers and exporters.

As an early mover in developing such products in the country, Desano is one of the first batch of companies that obtained approval from the China Food and Drug Administration to produce HIV-related drugs locally.

In 2015, Desano reported 1.67 billion yuan ($224.55 million) in sales revenue and 147 million yuan in net profit.

It is the first Chinese company to pass the World Health Organization's assessments to produce ingredients for HIV drugs. It passed the United States' Food and Drug Administration's inspection for three medicines in this field in 2009.

In July 2015, Desano reached a strategic agreement with ViiV Healthcare UK Ltd, a global HIV specialist established in November 2009 by GlaxoSmithKline PLC and Pfizer Inc, to produce dolutegravir in China. Dolutegravir is an approved medicine for HIV treatment.

The agreement has offered an additional source of the dolutegravir active pharmaceutical ingredient, and allows ViiV Healthcare to offer a competitive supply of the finished product for China and a number of developing countries, according to the company.

"This manufacturing agreement with Desano for dolutegravir is a significant achievement to facilitate access to our medicines," said Dominique Limet, CEO of ViiV Healthcare in 2015.

"With our recent agreement with the Medicines Patent Pool and our other access initiatives, this deal is aligned with our ongoing commitment to improve access to our medicines in countries where the need is greatest," Limet said.

Kan Ying, president of Desano, said: "We believe that working together with ViiV Healthcare we can better contribute to the global goal of making treatment options available to patients across the globe."

MPP has provided approval to Desano to produce six types of HIV medicines and their ingredients in China. The company has been authorized to sell the products to 110 low and middle-income countries, including India, South Africa, Kenya, Zambia and Tanzania.

MPP is a United-Nations-backed public health organization working to increase access to treatments for HIV, viral hepatitis C and tuberculosis in low and middle-income countries.

"MPP's decision is recognition of the efforts of Chinese companies and will promote the internationalization of Chinese businesses," according to a statement from the company. "It affirmed our commitment to anti-virus medicines development and we feel confident about strengthening investment in related areas," the statement added.

Desano has developed strong research and development capacities in the last decade. It is one of only a few that has influence over core anti-HIV technologies across the world and has 118 authorized patents, 95 of which are domestic.

Desano's R&D center in Shanghai has a 6,000-squaremeter professional experiment area, which is designed and equipped according to Good Manufacturing Practice standards. It has a multi-background R&D team that can provide effective solutions in new medicine development processes.

The developer has established strong ties with leading research institutions and universities such as the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Fudan University and Nankai University to develop products based on market demand.

Global cooperation is an effective way to support Desano's development, said the company's decision-makers.

It has established cooperation with famous research institutions such as the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center and Johns Hopkins University to become more informed about the most advanced technologies in the world.

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Chinese company at the forefront of cancer prevention (2016-11-21,China Daily)

With the arrival of the precision medicine era, tumor risk assessment has gradually come into public view.

Figures show that the survival rate after treatment can be above 70 percent when the tumor is found in the early stages, usually in phase 1. The rate will drop to 20 percent when it's found in phase 4.

However, most tumor cases are found in the middle or late stages.

Anpac Bio-Medical Science Co Ltd from the Zhangjiang National Innovation Demonstration Zone in Shanghai is at the frontier of the early tumor testing industry.

Testing technologies developed by the company enable patients to easily detect tumor risks in the early stages.

With 2 milliliters of blood, cancer differentiation analysis technology can detect more than 10 different types of cancer in all stages of development, especially in the earliest stages.

In addition to distinguishing the tumor's likely location in the body, such technology can also help medical staff to identify the specific disease and find the best options for treatment.

"Most people can survive cancer if the disease is caught early," said Yu Chang, chairman of the company. "What we do is to help people to identify tumor risks early rather than confirm the illness or provide treatment."

With a multinational team of medical, biomedical and nanotechnology scientists and engineering experts, the company's cross-disciplinary approach combines medicine, biochemistry, chemistry, materials, fluid mechanics, signal detection and processing, physics, precision machine engineering and software engineering to achieve vastly superior early cancer screening and detection technology.

The company said the CDA technology is far more accurate than other traditional cancer testing methods, with a 75 to 90 percent sensitivity and specificity rate, in over 35,000 cases to date.

With liver, lung and oesophageal cancers, the technology's sensitivity even surpasses those in the United States, a country with the most developed biopharmaceutical industry, according to Anpac.

The company has obtained about 150 patents, more than 80 percent of which are invention patents.

So far, the company has established partnerships with more than 150 hospitals and health check organizations from more than 40 cities in the country.

In addition to building a medical organization system that integrates the functions of hospitals, health check centers and clinical testing, the company has also worked to create high-end health check centers with innovative and unique technology platforms.

With the completion of a nationwide clinical testing network, the company has finished a series of business integrations, including testing platforms and technology innovation, product design, technology development, equipment manufacturing, clinical testing, customer service, medical data and health management, the company said.

"We have been accelerating the building of a tumor risk assessment system based on the CDA technology testing platform, and arranging the layout of featured medial testing items and centers in China and the US," said Yu Chang, chairman of the company.

Yu said in 2017 the company will further promote its strategic layout of a clinical detection network through a variety of business partnerships.

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Innovating for branding, expansion (2016-11-21,China Daily)

Network equipment major Hengtong finds the perfect formula for diversification along Belt and Road stretch

Hengtong Group Co Ltd, a producer of optic fiber and telecom network equipment, will increase its overseas investments and acquisitions in view of the huge growth potential in countries along the Belt and Road Initiative.

The Jiangsu-based Hengtong says it plans to establish two to three overseas industrial bases and make two to three overseas acquisitions each year.

In the internet era, construction of telecom networks, particularly those using optic fiber cables, has become a significant indicator of a country's development. The company has stepped up building such networks in overseas markets.

"If there is no optic fiber, there is no internet, let alone big data and cloud computing," said Cui Genliang, chairman and president of Hengtong Group.

Cui said communication infrastructure is relatively backward in some countries along the Belt and Road Initiative, which provides huge opportunities for Chinese companies like Hengtong to expand overseas.

The initiative aims to build a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa, along ancient trade routes.

"We will firmly grasp the opportunities brought by the initiative and continue to push forward the internationalization strategy in the next decade," said Cui.

Founded in 1991, Hengtong has seen its businesses expanding from telecom and electric power to finance, culture, tourism, real estate, capital investment and internet platforms.

The optical fiber giant now serves various national programs, including intelligent cities and communities, ultra-high voltage and intelligent power networks, new energy, ocean engineering, big data, internet of things, high-speed trains, aerospace, national defense and other high-end fields.

The company has put forward a goal called the "50-50-50 internationalization". That means, more than 50 percent of its products will be sold overseas; more than 50 percent of its capital will come from overseas; and more than 50 percent of its professionals will have an international background, according to the company.

Moreover, it will serve both the domestic and international markets, integrate and make use of the domestic and international resources, as well as widen the domestic and international financing channels through investments in overseas mergers and acquisitions.

So far, it has established seven research and development centers overseas, and branches for marketing and technology services in more than 30 countries and regions.

It has registered trademarks in more than 100 countries and regions. Its business covers 120 countries and regions. Its optical fiber network products account for a 15 percent share of the global market.

Its first overseas factory was set up in Brazil in 2012, followed by a joint venture in India in 2013. It also bought optical fiber and electric power enterprises in Indonesia, South Africa, Spain and Portugal in 2015.

Cui said: "These moves will promote the industrial transformation, upgrading and global expansion of our company, further enhancing its competitiveness."

Cui emphasized the key to compete with other international giants is to increase independent innovation, improve core competence and produce products with cutting-edge technologies.

At present, Hengtong is the only Chinese company with the state-of-the-art technology in optical fiber communication and owns related intellectual property.

Technology expertise and high-quality products can make a Chinese label a successful global brand, Cui said.

Additional revenue mainly came from overseas markets in recent years. In 2015, its overseas revenue accounted for 20 percent of total sales.

"Success in international markets is a touchstone of an enterprise's competitiveness," said Gao Anmin, Hengtong's vice-president for international operations.

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Toward the top of the AI heap (2016-11-17,China Daily)

China has gradually emerged as a leader of the artificial intelligence or AI sector worldwide. It has surpassed the United States in terms of new patents in related sphere, according to a report.

The news coincides with the Third World Internet Conference, which opened on Wednesday in Wuzhen, Zhejiang province.

The report, published on Tuesday jointly by the Wuzhen Institute, a think tank, and NetEase Inc, a leading Chinese IT company, shows that since 2012, China has exceeded the US in terms of new patent applications and licensing.

However, the US still tops the global list with overall patents totaling 26,891, followed by China with 15,745.

Zhao Ziming, an analyst at internet consultancy Analysys, said: "AI is developing rapidly in China. Especially in its applications, China is ahead of other countries. As the technology matures, there is a high possibility that China will catch up with the US and even become a world leader in the field of AI.

"In terms of advanced technologies in AI, China may still need a long time to develop and then surpass the US," Zhao said.

Zhang Xiaodong, president of the Wuzhen Institute, noted that while China leads in the number of new patents, the quality of patents needs to be improved.

The report also shows Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen are at the forefront of AI development in East Asia, and account for 7.4 percent of the world's AI firms.

Although there was a dip in the amount of AI investments in recent months, the overall performance is still active in China, the report said.

As more tech firms tap into the field of AI, global broadcaster BBC expects the AI market size worldwide will reach 119 billion yuan ($17 billion) by 2020. And China's is expected to grow to 9.1 billion yuan by the same year, according to iResearch Consulting Group.

Neil Shen, managing partner of Sequoia Capital China, said that AI will be the new opportunity in the next wave of technological innovation.

"So far, the booming internet has accelerated the development of data accumulation technologies to an unprecedented scale. As the technological capacity grows significantly, AI can tap into a lot of unsolved practical problems in various industries."

Currently, AI finds many applications in internet advertising and financial technologies. Health care is expected to follow suit, according to the report.

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Qualcomm expanding businesses in China on gaming, 5G (2016-11-17,Xinhua)

The U.S. mobile chip titan Qualcomm is increasing its presence in China, a country it considers to be an important partner in the dynamic Internet sector, the company's president Derek Aberle said.

"China is a very important market for us, what you see in China is the growth of Qualcomm business, and we are taking our technologies to some of the new segments," Aberle told Xinhua in an exclusive interview on the sidelines of the World Internet Conference (WIC) in east China's Zhejiang Province.

Qualcomm recently announced that its subsidiary will partner with Tencent's Interactive Entertainment Group to create immersive mobile-gaming experiences.

"Qualcomm has been cooperating with partners in China for more than 20 years, and we have seen a lot of opportunities here," said Aberle, adding that as demand grows for better products, the need for Qualcomm to establish stronger relationships has become more pressing.

The partnership with Tencent, for instance, will use Qualcomm's latest wireless technology and mobile devices, based on Snapdragon, to create superior gaming products that meet the "high requirements of Chinese consumers," according to the company.

In China, Qualcomm's core business centers around chips for smart phones, tablets and mobile computing, the majority of its profits come from patent-licensing fees.

It was hit by a lengthy anti-trust probe launched by Beijing in 2014, and slapped with a fine. Despite this, the company's business in China continued to grow. It is now investing aggressively into 5G technology.

5G will enables everyday appliances to be hooked up to the Internet, and can be applied across transport, health and industrial machinery. Remote health care, wireless robots and self-driving cars will also use 5G.

"5G is going to be the next chapter for us," said Aberle. "We are working closely not only with Korean and American operators, but with operators all around the world, including here in China."

Seeing the huge potential for 5G development in China, Qualcomm opened an innovation center in the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone last month, which will facilitate research and development of products related to the Internet of Things (IoT).

Qualcomm also operates a research and development center in Shanghai and joint ventures in the southwestern Guizhou Province and Chongqing Municipality, which focus on advanced server chipset technology and IoT.

The company's high-profile acquisition of NXP will boost its IoT capability as well.

Aberle said Qualcomm has been developing the underling technologies to support 5G for almost a decade, particularly in China.

Qualcomm is a member of China Mobile 5G Joint Innovation Lab, which aims to support 4G-to-5G evolution.

"We have success around things like IP cameras, drones, as well as wearables. We are seeing more success in stand-alone VR headsets. So we see tremendous amount of innovation coming," Aberle said.

Innovation is the theme of this year's World Internet Conference, as the sector has been identified by the Chinese leadership to unlock the country's growth potential as its export-oriented manufacturing economic model begins to wane.

"What is gratifying to see here in China is the 13th Five-Year Plan so much focuses on Internet-plus and the innovation-driven economy as ways to create enormous opportunities," said Derek. "As a company that thrives on innovation, it is encouraging to see similar philosophy taking hold here in China."
said Qualcomm will focus on building more partners in China and the company expects "good drumbeats of success in the years to come."

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U.S. President-elect Donald Trump lost lawsuit over his trademark in China, Twice (2016-11-15,People's Daily)

Donald Trump won the US presidential election, but he has reportedly lost his trademark suit twice in China in the past five years, media reported on Monday.

The trademark "TRUMP" with the file number of 5771154 at China’s Trademark Office of the State Administration for Industry & Commerce was registered by Donald Trump in December 2006. It could be used for the purpose of decoration and repair in residential properties and hotels. But another "TRUMP" trademark with the number 5743720, which could be used in construction, was registered in 2006 by a Chinese man named Dong Wei, according to the public filing of the suit.

In November 2009 Trump appealed to the trademark office asking for the right to use his trademark in construction of commercial properties and hotels, but the request was rejected by the bureau.

Later, he brought the lawsuit to the Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People's Court and then Beijing Higher People's Court. The higher court decided to accept the case in 2015. But it rejected Trump's claim in May 2015.

This means the U.S. President-elect Trump can not use his trademark in the construction sector in China.

Trump has filed some 82 trademarks ranging in different fields like insurance, finance, education, real estate, etc. from 2006 to 2016 in China, and 78 of them are valid, local media reported, quoting public filing. The public records also show that Trump filed two registrations for trademarks on April 15, 2016, when the U.S. Presidential campaign was ongoing across the Pacific.

The Beijing-based law firm Unitalen Attorneys at Law that has been handling the case for years said on Monday that it will release further information about the suit in one or two days, according to Global Times.

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Shanghai traditional medicines making a return (2016-11-11,Shanghai Daily)

David Shen, a keen follower of traditiona Chinese medicine and a dealer of herbs, had reasons to be excited. This winter, Shanghai nanpai (south school) e-jiao (donkey-hide gelatin) that had stopped production in 1995 because of high costs, is set to hit the markets again.

"It has been so long since I saw nanpai e-jiao last time," Shen said recently as he examined a piece of the new-look e-jiao with all qualities that confirmed its status as a south-school product — small in size, the same varnished surface and the yellow glimmer as light passed through.

The manufacturer was also the same, the Shanghai Traditional Chinese Medicine Company, except that the product is now made in Kashgar in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region rather than its original birthplace Shanghai.

E-jiao, which uses donkey hide, is credited for being a top "blood-reinforcing treasures" in TCM since the time of the Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 220) along with ginseng and deer antler. But while ginseng and deer antlers are treasured for their natural resource, e-jiao works out costly because of its long, demanding and delicate production-making process.

Different processing methods since the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) led to two big schools of e-jiao production — the north school, based in Shandong Province, and the south school in Shanghai.

Shanghai Traditional Chinese Medicine Pharmaceutical Factory, which was affiliated to Shanghai Traditional Chinese Medicine Company, was a leading producer in the last century and represented the top south school for e-jiao production at that time, according to Ying Yangsheng, former head of the Factory Technology Division.

With strict requirements on materials, time, temperature, humidity and manual operation in every aspect of the production, the processing had to be handled by experienced workers.

A south-school e-jiao was said to boost both energy and blood without causing side-effects, especially excessive pathogenic heat related problems like ulcer, sore throat and constant thirst.

Usually, 100kg of donkey skins could only churn out 30kg of south-school e-jiao, making it a costly affair. But despite that, it was one of the most popular products during winter among the wealthy folks in the Yangtze River Delta besides being a top export item to Japan and Southeast Asia.

The delicate and strict processing affair ensured the success of Shanghai south-school e-jiao, but it was also, to a certain extent, the reason of going out of business 20 years ago.

Though TCM farming prospered in Shanghai during the 1950-60s, the industry gradually moved to the north of the country because of rising labor costs and urbanization, which hurt production of quite a number of local TCM medicine including e-jiao, according Qian Hai, associate professor of Shanghai University of TCM.

The Shanghai south-school e-jiao gradually fell apart because of its sticking to fresh donkey skin rather than salted one as the major ingredients. With the herds moving further away as China urbanized, it lost its steady supply of skins.

The final straw was the 1994 government policy that insisted on a set price for all e-jiao in the market.

"The price set for e-jiao barely covered the cost of qualified donkey skin for our production. There was no way we could continue," Yang says.

Moving production to Xinjiang earlier this year seems to have resolved part of the problem. With burros in plentiful, clean water and unpolluted land, Kashgar proved to be an ideal location for the raw materials. And with the machines-backed latest processing techniques, the south-school e-jiao was revived. But it was still an effort as the skilled workers of the 1990s have now passed their prime, and a new training regime had to be introduced.

The new-born e-jiao is already being used for gaofang (herbal paste) production in Shuguang Hospital. For a change, ordinary locals can afford the new south-school e-jiao.

Among the other Shanghai TCM treasures that have been revived are Liu Shen Wan (literally six-god pills), a secret patent drug of the Lei's Pharmacy that thrived during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). The drug, which is the same size as sesame, can be taken orally or applied externally and provides immediate relief for inflammation, such as pharyngitis, tonsillitis, scabies and boil.

A secret recipe that included precious ingredients like musk, bezoar and pearl, Liu Shen Wan, in its hey days, used to be more expensive than gold.

The Lei family revealed its secret recipe to the government in the 1950s, and Liu Shen Wan started being made at the Shanghai Traditional Chinese Medicine Pharmaceutical Factory in 1962, supported by modern technology. But the shortage of natural musk limited production.

In the 1970s, Gu Bohua, a famous TCM physician, created a new drug Liu Ying Wan for similar functions but with ordinary ingredients.

"Based on Lei's secret recipe and his own clinic experience, Gu replaced the musk with clove while adjusting the dosage of all the ingredients, which brought down the costs and making it affordable," says Xu Min, a clinical pharmacist at Yueyang Hospital attached to Shanghai University of TCM.

Physician Dai Ruihong attempted something similar with the recipes of three ancient patent drugs used for acute heart problem since the Song Dynasty (960-1279). He reworked the original recipe with seven carefully selected ingredients and created the sesame-sized Shexiang Baoxin Wan.

"The sesame-sized pill has proved valuable during heart attacks as it is easy to carry and takes effect within 30 seconds," says Xu.

The availability of artificial musk later made it more cost-effective as the treasures of Shanghai began to unravel for the ordinary people.

A bottle of Shexiang Baoxin Wan with 42 pills today costs about 40 yuan (US$5.88) while a box of Liu Shen Wan with 60 pills costs 50 yuan.

The arrival of an increasing number of TCM physicians from around China since the 19th century has granted Shanghai great advantage in TCM research and production, says Professor Qian of Shanghai University of TCM. "Of course, the development of Western medicine here is also encouraging local TCM physicians to innovate for the better."

"Production costs may continue to be an issue, but these treasures from Shanghai TCM will continue to shine in the market," Qian says.

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Shangtex to focus on expansion and boosting innovation (2016-11-11,China Daily)

The time-honored Shangtex Holding (Group) Corporation is on its way to boosting innovation and promoting transformation.

With more than 130 years of history, Shangtex is a veteran foreign-trade company in the textiles industry, which used to be honored as the "Mother" industry in Shanghai. It has been aiming for transformation since 2009, when the financial crisis broke out, by exporting funds, talents, technology and management, as well as goods and services.

"Now Shanghai has been actively building itself into an international trade center and will become an excellent global city by 2040. It means the city should participate in the markets with global competitiveness," said Tong Jisheng, chairman of the group.

"Our goal is to become a multinational group with a global footprint. We can achieve this with international competitiveness and brand influence," Tong said.

Shangtex is the largest international trade group in Shanghai and also a comprehensive enterprise group, integrating science, industry, trade and a complete textile industry chain.

The group has constantly extended its business through the value chain, from traditional manufacturing to services. It has boosted its innovation, hoping to develop more opportunities based on its traditional pathway.

For example, the group has introduced the radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology into its textile products, such as towels, bath towels, quilt covers and pillowcases.

"With the use of RFID technology, staff can easily know the number of items by sweeping the terminal. Back-office staff can know how many towels have been used as well as the usage frequency," said Zhu Yong, president of the group.

"It not only helps save labor, but also allows management to become more accurate and improve the life cycle of textiles. In this way, we not only sell products but also provide service," Zhu said.

At present, the company has ongoing negotiations with some overseas hotels and laundry company, which wish to introduce the full set of technology and services.

Shangtex has invested heavily in the R&D sector. So far, the group has applied for more than 600 patents, and also established the Textile Patent Search Database.

Shangtex is currently one of the largest national enterprises in textiles and garments exportation. It has clients in more than a hundred countries and regions.

In 2015, the group's revenue reached 46 billion yuan ($6,770 million) while its total import and export volume reached $4.84 billion, the highest in China's textile products export industry.

According to the plan recently released by Shanghai municipality, the city will foster certain domestic brands with global influence, promote the exports of brands, patents, technology and service.

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Biotech leader continues fast innovation (2016-11-11,China Daily)

Roche Group looks to grow and change with the country's ever-evolving healthcare industry

Global biotechnology company Roche Group is committed to driving innovation forward in China, which offers a market of 1.3 billion people. With its research and development capabilities in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics, the company has positioned itself to promote personalized healthcare and contribute to China's precision medicine initiatives. Roche's CEO Severin Schwan shared his insights with China Daily reporter Wang Hongyi.

Could you describe Roche's R&D capacity, both globally and in China? What partnerships has Roche already built here?

As a world-leading biotechnology company, we are very much led by science and driven by innovation. We lead the industry with advances in personalized healthcare and our strong oncology portfolio.

R&D receives a greater share of our spending than marketing. On the group level, we spent 9.5 billion Swiss francs ($9.7 billion) on R&D in 2015, which was 19 percent of our turnover. We have consistently been among the top five R&D spenders worldwide, in any industry, since 2009.

Today, we have more than 330 employees in R&D in China. Over the past decades, we've trained a group of outstanding interdisciplinary researchers, leading to highly promising results through collaborations with Chinese companies and academic institutions.

What are your expectations for the new innovation center in Shanghai, which had its groundbreaking ceremony last week?

Last year, we invested 860 million yuan ($126.7 million) in constructing the new laboratory building for the innovation center in Shanghai. The new facility will provide 220 modular workspaces in 14,000 square meters of floor space. We expect it to be completed in 2018.

The focus of our innovation center is very much aligned with the diseases that have a high unmet medical need in China, such as Hepatitis B, which is one of the most prominent diseases in the country.

We hope the new innovation center will spur collaboration between Roche and local research institutions, helping to attract top research talents from both China and overseas.

Our aim is to develop outstanding new drugs for patients in Asia and around the world, and address the currently unmet needs of patients with infectious diseases and those related to immunology and inflammation, thus enhancing our long-term commitment to driving innovation in China.

What is Roche's position on personalized healthcare?

Personalized healthcare is about providing the right treatment for the right patient at the right time. With our combined strength in diagnostics and pharmaceuticals, we are uniquely positioned to further advance personalized healthcare.

In 2006, we made personalized healthcare central to our Roche Group Strategy. This focuses on integrating the knowledge in our pharmaceuticals and diagnostics divisions, and drawing on this knowledge throughout the R&D process, from early research to approval of new diagnostic tests and medicines, as well as their use by patients.

So far, we are the top player in oncology and in vitro diagnostics, drawing from decades of experience in molecular biology.

Today, we are developing two-thirds of our R&D projects with companion diagnostics, which greatly increases efficiency.

In 2015, Roche entered a broad strategic collaboration with Foundation Medicine, a leader in the field of molecular information in oncology, and began to use the latter's innovative genomic sequencing technology to accurately detect the oncogenic mutations in different patients and more effectively help oncologists to find highly-targeted therapies for cancer patients.

In January 2016, Roche announced its cooperation with Flatiron Health in integrating the immense "real world data" and using high-quality healthcare data and advanced analytics to improve both the development of medicines and the quality of treatment decisions.

The cooperation with Foundation Medicine in genomic data and the alliance with Flatiron Health in real world data strengthen Roche's access to innovation and new technologies and drive its commitment to more targeted treatments that, ultimately, make personalized healthcare a reality.

How will Roche promote personalized healthcare in China? What are the difficulties or challenges ahead?

Our diagnostics and pharmaceuticals teams are driving personalized healthcare in China. Roche China Biomarker Team is the first dedicated group in the industry to conduct biomarker studies, focusing on promoting cutting-edge science and technology. The team is mainly engaged in detecting biomarkers and using these techniques in product R&D.

We also provide training on personalized diagnosis and treatment for over 8,000 pathologists and over 4,000 pathology technicians in more than 600 hospitals, laying a solid foundation to improve personalized healthcare in China in the future.

Today, China already has leading companies in genome sequencing and a strong science community. I believe that China has full potential to realize personalized healthcare.

To turn personalized healthcare from a vision to reality is a long journey. The need to improve diagnosis and genetic testing, and the current lack of good quality patient data are problems that should be addressed. We are committed to supporting the Chinese government in overcoming these challenges.

How do you view China's rapid economic growth and its recent slowdown? Will this affect Roche's development in this market?

As one of the first multinational companies to enter China 20 years ago, we've witnessed the country's fastgrowth economy and its booming healthcare market.

The recent slowdown is a sign of China's transition to a new normal, toward building a more sustainable economy based on the consumption and service industries. A high value-added sector such as healthcare can be a new pillar of economic growth in this model.

With the slowing of economic growth, cost containment measures on off-patent drugs and the delayed launch of new drugs, 2015 is the first year since 2005 that the Chinese pharmaceutical industry is facing single-digit growth.

Despite short-term challenges, I am optimistic about the market's growth potential. With an aging population, China's demand for high-end healthcare and treatment for chronic diseases has increased rapidly over the past few years, in response to elderly patients' healthcare needs.

As part of its healthcare reform, the Chinese government is increasing overall spending on healthcare to broaden reimbursement coverage, especially for critical illnesses, and accelerating new drug approvals.

In the short term, we will benefit from expanded healthcare and reimbursement coverage for critical illnesses. In the mid-to-long term, we anticipate our business to grow more quickly, benefiting from the launch of new drugs.

How would you evaluate China's performance globally? Will Roche increase its investment in China?

China remains one of our most important markets globally. We have invested considerably to build a full value chain in China from R&D and manufacturing through to commercialization.

In diagnostics, China is already the second-largest country for us. In pharmaceuticals, China is our third-largest national market.

We recognize that China's pharmaceutical market environment is facing a challenging phase in the short term. However with our strong pipeline and dedicated people, we are confident about our long-term growth prospects by bringing more innovative products to China to benefit more patients.

What do you think of the opportunities and challenges facing your company amid recent healthcare reform? How does Roche fit into the national strategy of "building a healthy China"?

Since 2009, China's healthcare reforms have had far-reaching implications for the industry's long-term development.

The positive moves toward a more transparent and effective review process and capability building at the China Food and Drug Administration are promising for Chinese patients, as well as for innovation-driven companies like us.

We are very encouraged about the update to the National Reimbursed Drug List and hope that national reimbursement coverage can be broadened to critical illnesses.

There remain affordability challenges in China, but we are optimistic that with joint efforts from multiple stakeholders, including the Chinese government and companies like us, more and more patients will have the opportunity to access high-quality treatment.

Roche has been actively working together with different stakeholders, such as local governments, charity foundations, NGOs and insurance companies. We are looking to address unmet patient needs through reimbursement listings on the provincial and city level, patient access programs and private insurance offerings.

How do you motivate international teams?

I think people should be given more space and chances to increase their creativity.

In an organization, people should not be told what to do or what not to do. They should be given opportunities to make full use of their potential.

During this process, a leader should work to encourage them to achieve greater innovation rather than allocate them more tasks.

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Zhanjiang-made luxury yachts cruise world oceans (2016-11-10,China Daily)

A Zhanjiang-made luxury yacht came off the slipway at the city's port on Nov 8, as it awaited the arrival of its Russian buyer.

The 80-foot-long, steel-hulled vessel, built by Xinlong Shipbuilders, sat proudly bobbing in the water, before its test run. The yacht is indicative of Zhanjiang's boat building industry which has been travelling full steam ahead in recent years.

Project manager for the construction of the luxury boat, Yu Yuqiu, said that he has witnessed first-hand the rise and development in China's yacht building industry since the 1980s.

Huang Ailong, technical director of the project, said that their customers have high standards. "Wealthy Russians love personalized luxury yachts and set high demand on the workmanship," Huang said. "Our yachts are favored by them now, which means that Zhanjiang has reached an international level in yacht manufacturing."

As well as featuring stunning looks and the latest mod-cons, the yacht, named Veda, also runs extremely quietly, with measurements of below 60 decibels taken from all cabins. This is due in part to the more than 20 patents the yacht acquired during construction.

Taking 18 months to complete, construction involved experienced engineers in all processes such as technical drawing and design, equipment installation and decoration.

Xinlong has seen a growth in orders in recent times, and is China's only developer capable of making yachts made of fiberglass, reinforced plastics, or steel. So far, 13 of its vessels have entered the foreign market including Russia, the US and Australia, receiving more orders than any other domestic competitors.

This hasn't happened without government support. Provincial polices on promoting tourism investment and consumption issued in May 2016 included yacht docking and berth-related infrastructure. Zhanjiang is planned to become a yacht-driven tourism demonstration base which can take advantage of lucrative incentives granted from by provincial and central governments.

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Agritech fair focuses on practical uses, internet integration (2016-11-09,China Daily)

Oversize pumpkins grown in space, solar-powered pest control vehicles and distance pest situation forecast systems... These are some of the most eye-catching exhibits at the 23rd China Yangling Agricultural Hi-Tech Fair running on Nov 5-9.

The annual fair in Yangling district of Xianyang, Shaanxi province, is set to showcase more than 1,700 recent projects and technologies, as well as nearly 400 patents, from 28 universities, four research institutions and 12 leading companies. These represent the nation's latest achievements over the past three years in a range of sectors, including agricultural machinery, biotechnology, gardening and food processing.

Organizers said that this year's event highlights high-tech applications, e-commerce experience and agricultural brands' image. They also said the displayed projects are highly practical and can be easily industrialized.

There are 266 international booths for overseas exhibitors, an increase of 73 percent year-on-year, which come from about 40 countries and regions.

Oscar Salet, director of Dutch agricultural equipment manufacturer Kiremko& Tolsma-Grisnich BV's China division, said he never expected to see so many new products at the fair. His company, a specialist in potato growing and processing, is seeking cooperation opportunities at the fair.

For the first time at the event, there is an international seed industry exhibition, which includes physical booths and virtual exhibition areas online.

Besides exhibition, the event also includes forums, trade negotiations and training programs.

Zhang Chunpu, a farmer from Yan'an, has participated in the fair for 15 consecutive years. He said he learned a lot when first visiting the fair in 2002, and had the idea of raising chickens in his village.

Two years later, his farm's eggs were displayed at the Yan'an booth. Last year, he was invited to give a speech on agricultural technology application.

"The Yangling fair is a festival for farmers," Zhang told local newspaper Shaanxi Daily. "It allows us to learn the latest technology from experts face to face."

In the previous 22 years, the Yangling agricultural fair had attracted more than 22 million exhibitors and visitors, with total contracts worth more than 500 billion yuan ($73.8 billion).

The Yangling Agricultural Hi-Tech Industries Demonstration Zone is China's first pilot area for agricultural intellectual property. By the end of 2015, every 10,000 people in the area owned 26.9 patents on average, more than four times the national average.

The companies and organizations in the zone had developed more than 300 new species of plants and animals by that time, which generated revenue of over 1 trillion yuan.

The zone administration and the provincial IP authority jointly unveiled an IP promotion center on Sunday. It is aimed to improve the zone's overall capacity in modern agricultural development and the integration of the internet, IP services and agriculture.

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Manufacturing on micron scale shows huge computing progress (2016-11-09,China Daily)

Every visitor to Advanced Micro-Fabrication Equipment Inc's buildings is required to wear dust-free garments and shoes.

"You would face much more strict environmental measures at our production facilities and labs," said Xiong Yi, a senior marketing specialist at the Shanghai-headquartered company, also known as AMEC.

Chairman and CEO Gerald Yin said, tongue in cheek: "In our plant, you cannot find PM2.5 at all. PM0.25 may be possible." PM2.5 refers to tiny particles or droplets in the air that are 2.5 microns in diameter or smaller.

"The scale on which our machines work is at 100,000th of a human hair," Yin said. "The operation looks as if we are building a sophisticated mall or overpass of more than 10 stories (in this micro world)."

AMEC's etching process alone involves more than 100 steps on this tiny scale. The entire work procedures have 1,000 to 2,000 steps, which require 99.99 percent accuracy to improve profit margins, Yin said.

The company defines itself as an innovative semiconductor equipment provider with proprietary wafer fabrication solutions. Although rarely exposed to the media limelight, semiconductor equipment manufacturing is the very foundation of the high-tech industry eco-system, said Yin, 73, a senior expert with decades of industry experience.

"Such sectors as software, the internet and e-commerce cannot work without electrical machines that are mostly made up of chips," Yin said. "We are one of the manufacturers of the equipment that produces these chips."

Innovation protection

Intellectual property is a sensitive issue in the high-tech industry, he said, adding that since its founding in 2004, AMEC has long valued IP management.

The company has raked in hundreds of millions of yuan in annual revenue and has nearly 500 employees, one-third of them from rival markets in Europe and the United States.

The chairman himself also worked with industry giants including Applied Materials Inc, Lam Research Corp and Tokyo Electron Ltd.

"Once our employees join us, we require them all not to infringe any trade secrets or the patents of their former employers or a third party," Yin said.

At the same time, the company's IP department conducts thorough research into its major competitors' patents and locates potential risks and opportunities, Yin added.

He cited legal disputes with Applied Materials and Lam Research, two heavyweights in the industry, several years ago as examples to illustrate how the company's IP prudence has paid off.

After Applied Materials filed a trade secret claim with a federal court in the US in 2007, AMEC filed a counterclaim in response. The two parties reached a settlement later.

In the patent case filed by Lam Research in Taiwan in 2009, local courts ruled in AMEC's favor.

To date, AMEC has filed more than 1,000 patent applications worldwide, with 517 of them already granted. "Others are still being processed," Yin said.

"It doesn't matter how many patents are granted," he said. "The key is how much they can protect you."

Fast-paced development

Along with the rapid technological progress in computing comes that of chip fabrication.

Yin, a Peking University postgraduate, said the school had the most advanced computer in the country when he studied there in the 1970s. It had only 128 KB storage capacity, yet covered several floors.

When he worked with Intel Corp in Silicon Valley, in the US, 10 years later, a 128K device was reduced one million times in size. The size was again reduced another million times in 2015.

"Our research and development works five to seven years ahead of products rolling out to the market," Yin said.

Data from the Topology Research Institute shows that Chinese semiconductor equipment manufacturers generated 4.7 billion yuan ($693.4 million) in annual revenue last year, 2.1 percent of the world's total. In contrast, China contributed approximately 14 percent of the global market.

Manufacturing equipment accounts for some 70 percent of semiconductor makers' expenditure on chip production lines, industrial insiders said.

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U.S. opens patent probe into mobile device holders (2016-11-08,Xinhua)

The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) on Monday initiated a patent investigation of certain mobile device holders and components from 35 companies based in Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and the United States.

The investigation is based on a complaint filed by Nite Ize, Inc., based in the western U.S. state of Colorado in October, 2016, alleging that those companies had infringed upon its patents related to above products and violated the Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, the bipartisan trade panel said in a statement.

The company requested the USITC to issue a general exclusion order, or in the alternative, a limited exclusion order, and cease and desist orders against those products.

Among the 35 companies in list of the investigation, 26 companies are from the Chinese mainland, three from Hong Kong and six from the United States.

The investigation does not mean the panel has made any decision on the merits of the case. Within 45 days, the panel will set a target date for completing the investigation. Should the complaint be approved, the panel will issue an import ban on infringing products and bar the sale of products within the United States.

Section 337 investigations focus on allegations of patent or registered trademark infringement, and also involve misappropriation of aspects such as trade secrets, false advertising, and violation of the antitrust laws.

As a quicker, cheaper and more practical way to win the patent cases in the USITC than in the U.S. courts, American companies increasingly tap the USITC's authority on patent cases to tamp down their competitors.

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Breakthrough in shale oil extraction technology triples production (2016-11-07,China Daily)

A major oil shale company has successfully extracted shale oil underground for the first time, according to reports in the Jilin Daily.

After eight years of exploration, Jilin Unity & Strength Oil Shale Investment Development Co Ltd has demonstrated the effectiveness of its home-developed oil shale in-situ retorting technology.

"Our oil share project has entered the pilot stage, at which the daily output of a single well's shale oil can reach 200 kilograms and more, three times the initial stage," the company's technical director told Jilin Daily.

The shale oil, pumped from 300 meters underground and poured directly onto an iron plate by workers, could be lit and burned well, as Jilin Daily witnessed at the company's test site at Fuyu city.

After being filtered by gauze, the oil can be directly used in farm tractors.

Compared to the old technology, the oil shale in-situ method applies heat to the oil shale layer to make it crack and produce shale oil and natural gas underground. It's then pumped above ground. The process costs less and avoids generating a lot of waste residue, gas and water.

Project director Zhao Jinmin, who invented the technology said it was tailor made for the conditions in Jilin province.

"The oil shale is located deep, the layer is thin and the oil rate is low. It not only can make full use of the resources but also can protect the environment," he said.

The company, established in 2012, has a scientific research team consisting of four doctors and 46 graduate students and has invested 180 million yuan ($26.57 million) researching the technology.

It also set up an academic hub in Changchun, capital of Jilin province, to host leaders in the field Li Tingdong and Zhai Yusheng from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Kang Yuzhu, an academic from the Chinese Academy of Engineering.

"The new technology is entirely developed by our independent innovation research. Having full intellectual property rights on it, we have obtained eight national patents and are applying for two international patents."

The oil shale resources in China are rich and its development is one of the major projects in China's 13th Five-Year Plan.

Estimated to hold about 107 billion tonnes of oil shale, Jilin is home to 80 per cent of the total proven reserves in China.

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XIPOM's metal 3D printer obtains patent for invention (2016-11-07,People's Daily)

Recently the "Metal 3D Printer Based on Base Layer Impact Strengthening and Printing Method", invented by the Xi'an Institute of Optics and Precision Mechanics of CAS (XIPOM), has obtained a patent for invention.

Metal 3D printing is an advanced metal parts manufacturing technology with complex structure and outstanding mechanical properties. It features direct formation through the accumulation of points, lines and surfaces.

XIPOM is located in Xi'an Hi-tech Industries Development Zone.

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2016 China Trademark festival opens in Kunshan (2016-11-03,China Daily)

The 2016 China Trademark Festival was hosted in East China's Kunshan from Oct 27 to 30. The event was held at the state-of-the-art Kunshan Exhibition Center, a sleek and modern 36,000 square-meter venue.

The event was the seventh iteration of the festival since its inception in 2005. This year's trademark festival was focused on the theme "Innovation and brand building" and attracted 1,500 famous brand leaders from the UK, the US, Japan and South Korea.

The festival was aimed at promoting the prosperous development of new technologies and industries throughout the world. The highly anticipated brand gathering event reflected these aspirations with brands involved in fields ranging from machinery production to daily products on display.

A great number of notable brands attended the exhibition including Giant, Good Baby, InfoVision Optoelectronics.

Some local companies also took the opportunity to exhibit. This included a number of Kunshan automobile manufacturers specializing in RV vehicles, ones that have become increasingly popular in recent years.

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Patent data platform built for entrepreneurs and innovators (2016-11-03,China Daily)

Inner Mongolia has recently built a big data center providing patent-related data for entrepreneurs starting a business and for inventors creating new ideas, technologies or products.

The Inner Mongolia Patent Data Center, located in Hohhot, covers 70,000 genres and 100 million pieces of technology information from 108 countries. On average, the database will be updated with around 50,000 pieces of information on patents application in Inner Mongolia every week. Also, for the convenience of the public, the platform will process “raw information” into classified industries, including the dairy industry, rare earths, manufacturing, Mongolian medicine, and organic agricultural products.

The Inner Mongolia Patent Data Center not only supports previous research concerning patents and innovations, but also efficiently helps businesses save time and money on repeated research and prevents innovators from taking the risk of infringing on the intellectual property of others.

If an entrepreneur has an interest in a certain industry, but has no idea about the current state of development in this industry, then he can log on to the intellectual property service platform, powered by the center, and search domestic and foreign studies in this field. The entrepreneurs can acknowledge the leading companies, the core technologies, the industrial structure, and marketing outlook within the sector.

Many of a company’s innovative projects lack preliminary information and research. This new platform gives entrepreneurs a starting point for new projects. Besides, the data engine has assisted us in finding new approaches to breakthrough technical barriers and new ideas on investment, said Wang Qiang, founder of an Internet company in Hohhot.

The big data system will not only inspire entrepreneurs by providing access to masses of information, but will also increase investor confidence and awareness surrounding protecting intellectual property, according to an officer at the center.

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'China's Silicon Valley'seen losing its luster (2016-11-02,China Daily)

Shenzhen's famed electronics mecca on the line as the internet's rise puts the squeeze on hard-pressed traders

They call it by a mash of names, such as "China's Silicon Valley" or the "Paradise of Hardware".

That's Huaqiangbei, or Huaqiang North - housing a sprawling marketplace tucked away in Shenzhen's Futian district that's famous for its wheeling and dealing in all sorts of electronic gadgets under the sun - and which, in its heyday, was the darling hub of small and medium-sized hardware traders boasting raking in millions without further ado.

But, it seems, the tide has turned.

Last Friday's opening of Shenzhen's Metro Line 7 after three years of construction, offering greater access to Huaqiangbei from all parts of the city, may not be able to give it a new lease of life either.

Industry insiders say the iconic marketplace - said to be the largest of its kind in the country and, probably, the world, and notorious for electronic components and shanzhai (imitation and trademark infringing brands and goods) - needs more than just convenient transportation to pull through, with many vendors having been driven to the wall, as the rapid advent of the internet unceasingly takes its toll on brick-and-mortar businesses.

At the height of its operations, Huaqiangbei was home to some two dozen shopping malls, with yearly sales hitting 10-digit figures. Hardware retailers and wholesalers plying their stuff from minuscule one-square-meter counters stood to rake in hundreds of thousands of yuan each month. But, that's history and their profits have taken a big tumble.

According to a recent survey by Shenzhen University, up to 40 percent of 238 traders in Huaqiangbei interviewed said their profits were virtually zero last year, with just 39 percent saying they had the good fortune of earning just 100,000 yuan to 200,000 yuan ($14,800 to $29,500) annually - a far cry from, or only one-tenth of what they used to earn monthly in the past.

Adding insult to injury, nearly 90 percent of those polled claimed they were at the end of the road and had been forced to call it quits, leaving rows and rows of counters left to gather dust and stores shuttered for good.

Disgruntled trader Lian Huanran, who has been dealing in electronic components in Huaqiangbei for the past decade, complained that the unstoppable proliferation of chips, smartphones, televisions and other electronic devices online has "strangled" many smaller suppliers although upstream component suppliers have been left relatively unscathed.

The Shenzhen authorities, at the same time, are pulling out all the stops to stamp out shanzhai products, forcing many stores to pull down the shutters since last year.

The harsh reality is that traders in the marketplace haven't much of a choice - either calling it a day or opting for a new business strategy.

Qu Lijun, co-founder and operating director of SegMaker, believes that the future of the Huaqiangbei hub rests on the continued development of innovative makers and startups.

But, lacking core technology, he says, the market has to follow others instead of innovating and upgrading although such an antique business model renders profits hard to come by.

Lian, a former retailer himself, had to bite the bullet by taking the initiative to embrace the change last year when he closed down his store and joined a startup incubator called Huaqiangbei International Maker Center. The startup was founded in 2015 by Shenzhen Huaqiang Holdings Ltd, which runs several shopping malls in the district, dealing in electronic products.

Huaqiangbei may be known to most people as the infamous "capital of shanzhai", but its true value is its great variety of electronic components, noted Lian, resting in his garden-style office, which is within a stone's throw from his old store and stacked up with electronic gadgets.

His job now is to coach startups and help them find suppliers. The materials that startups need in their infancy are complicated, Lian said. "Some don't even know what they want. But, my experience could help them."

Despite its withering status, he believes there's still no place like Huaqiangbei, where traders could simply go downstairs to find all the components they could think of.

Snaking through the maze of counters in the hub, buyers can find dozens of categories of smartphone cameras, screens and other gadgets. The products do keep pace with the market's development, covering a wide spectrum of wearable devices, drones and other trendy electronic devices.

And, more importantly, the vendors here can give market-oriented advice on how to improve and upgrade their products, Lian stressed.

Maker Center is one of three key maker innovative carriers operating in the district, the others being SegMaker of major local marketplace developer SEG Electronics Market, and the world's largest hardware incubator HAX Accelerator (formerly Haxlr8r).

French Tech Hub also joined the club by setting up its first mainland branch in the area last month.

But not all the innovative operations are a smooth sailing. Zeng Long, an investment manager of Huaqiangbei International Maker Center, cited the case of a young entrepreneur in his team, who used to be an apprentice in a smartphone repairing shop in the district, but is now trying to move the same business online.

There are many such apprentices in Huaqiangbei who may not possess sound academic qualifications, but are learning the ropes with more practice, Zeng said. They could find all the smartphone components in the market with ease and have them assembled within 20 minutes, according to media reports.

But, combining their techniques and experience with the internet, or adhering to the so-called O2O (online-to-offline) business model is not that simple, he warned. Competition is gaining ferocity, and making money would require a long time and strong capital support to accumulate enough internet traffic in order to gain profit.

However, there have been success stories, and Trouble Maker is one of them. With a team of about 40 international makers, it has helped overseas companies and makers turn their ideas into smart hardware prototypes, thanks to the diverse hardware resources in Huaqiangbei.

The road ahead is long and arduous indeed, warned Zeng. Taking the best advantage of Huaqiangbei's resources and forming a sustainable business model remain the key for businesses to keep their heads above the water.

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Patent-intensive businesses lead economic growth (2016-11-02,China Daily)

Patent-intensive industries have been leading other sectors in the national economy in terms of economic benefits, innovation and dynamism, said intellectual property officials at a news conference last week.

The list of patent-intensive industries was unveiled at the news conference by the State Intellectual Property Office, containing eight sectors - basic information, software and IT services, modern transportation equipment, intelligent equipment manufacturing, bio-medicine, new materials, efficient energy preservation and environmental protection, and recyclable resources. They altogether cover 48 specific industries.

"The contribution of the patent-intensive industries to China's economic growth is prominent and increasing," said Gong Yalin, director of the planning and development department at SIPO. "They feature strong innovation and market competitiveness."

According to the 2015 report of China's patent-intensive industries, also unveiled at the news conference, those industries generated total added value of 26.7 trillion yuan ($3.9 trillion) in 2010-14, with annual growth rate of 16.6 percent on average. The figure accounted for 11 percent of the nation's GDP over the same period.

"Patent-intensive industries only employ 3.4 percent of the workforce while creating more than 10 percent of GDP," said SIPO spokesman Hu Wenhui.

Gong said the first report on patent-intensive industries worldwide was unveiled in 2012 in the United States, and in that same year SIPO started statistical research to compile their list.

He said the list can be used as a reference for the central and local governments to nurture patent-intensive industries and evaluate their development.

The research has found that the structure of the industries in China is similar to that of the US and Europe, mostly concentrating on electronics, telecommunications, chemistry, medicine and equipment manufacturing, he said.

Gong added that they have considered the characteristics of Chinese industrial development when deciding the research methods, so the patent-intensive industries in China are recognized in a well-rounded way.

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WIPO distance-learning program boosts access (2016-11-02,China Daily)

The World Intellectual Property Organization announced on Oct 25 that it would launch Chinese-language intellectual property courses on the distance learning platform of the Chinese Intellectual Property Training Center, the latest cooperative project between the two organizations.

The plan was first proposed in 2015 with the aim of allowing more people to attain IP knowledge. The courses cover a variety of issues such as copyright, patents, trademarks, industrial designs, IP management and geographical indications.

Sherif Saadallah, head of the WIPO Academy said at the launching ceremony in Beijing that the offering of Chineselanguage courses will expand the depth and the width of cooperation between WIPO and CIPTC and maximize the capacity of the Chinese people with IP knowledge.

"The course offered in Chinese using the WIPO standards in CIPTC is a golden opportunity for the Chinese government, academia and all interested parties," Saadallah said in his speech.

He Zhimin, deputy commissioner of the State Intellectual Property Office, spoke highly of the project.

"China recognizes the importance of IP as much as other countries do, and we realize the key to promoting and developing IP is to have experts equipped with adequate knowledge of IP," said He.

The distance learning platform of CIPTC was founded in 2002, through which 1.5 million people have so far received training courses in IP.

"This platform is of growing importance in IP training," He said. "Distance learning has become a useful tool to meet the demand since the awareness of IP is increasing in China."

He added that there are currently more than 200 different specialized courses with 500,000 registered trainees in the center.

From 2011 to 2015, China's IP authorities organized more than 22,000 training programs, involving 2.3 million trainees, 310,000 of whom utilized distance courses.

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New technology fuels Shanghai's IP success (2016-11-02,China Daily)

As China advances its Internet Plus strategy, high-tech companies in Shanghai are embracing a closer bond between traditional businesses and cloud-computing technology.

They are leveraging their intellectual property resources to boost industrial progress.

"We are poised to extend from digital TVs to the greater video industry," said Xia Pingjian, president of the National Engineering Research Center of Digital Television.

Different from the DTV model, where operators and administrators of the broadcast network are separate from those of websites, the greater video industry will be more integrated, Xia said.

Called the "future media network", the new industry will enable content to be accessed through TVs, the internet, mobile phones and other terminal devices, barrier-free and concurrently.

"It will provide historic opportunities for Chinese manufacturers to catch up with their overseas peers," Xia said.

As one of the global TV industry's heavyweight players, China has developed a complete industrial chain, from content production to manufacturing of a variety of terminal devices and broadcast technology.

The country is home to more than 3,000 TV stations and has the largest TV audience in the world, he added.

Data from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology shows that 140 million color TVs were made in China last year, more than half of them being smart TVs.

"Due to improved optical fibers, chips and computing capabilities, TVs and the internet have already been integrated into the video business," Xia said.

Setting national DTV production standards, the program is, in essence, a research and development platform serving the entire industry, the president said.

With a necessary patent pool, which contains scores of patents required to access the industry, his company has signed deals for authorization with transmitter and tester manufacturers, whose production capacity accounts for approximately 85 percent of the country's total, he revealed.

Negotiations with chip makers are ongoing, he added.

The global TV industry has stepped up research into core technology and standards concerning next-generation media network over the past five years.

In particular, manufacturers from South Korea and Japan, two other major TV production hubs, paid greater attention to related patents, he noted.

"Once an electronic is popularized, its profit margin will shrink a lot," he said. "Thus manufacturers' ultimate competitiveness, or their survival in the market, depends on patents."

Considering that China is a powerhouse of the international television industry, NERCDTV is promoting its technological standards worldwide.

The United States began to solicit technological solutions from around the world for a new generation of DTV standards in 2013.

Eleven bids, including one from a joint team comprised of NERCDTV and two Chinese research institutes, were all from major producers and researchers.

Five sets of technological modules in the Chinese proposal, which involved scores of patent filings, were adopted by the US after two years of evaluation, marking the first time that Chinese-developed digital technology has been incorporated into foreign industrial standards, according to the company.

"The inclusion into the US patent pool has totally changed the situation of China not contributing to the generation of overseas standards, and left future cross-licensing possible," Xia said.

"International standards are still a rich country's game, but we hope to get more smaller economies involved, especially those along the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road," he said.

"We need to be aware of the world's needs when developing technological standards, rather than merely presenting them with a finished set of standards that has no consideration of the differences between such countries."

Thus NERCDTV started the Future of Broadcast Television Summit in 2001. The annual event has since attracted major broadcasters, manufacturers and researchers from around the world to explore probabilities of rolling out universal digital standards for the global industry.

According to Li Fugang, president of Shanghai Upper Bio-tech Co Ltd, cloud-computing technology can facilitate the sharing of information between hospitals, patients and medical equipment manufacturers.

Li's company produces large medical machines designed for large hospitals and portable testing equipment for families and community clinics, with exports to more than 40 countries and regions.

"Our target is to increase accuracy, efficiency and automation of our medical facilities," Li said.

As China's medical reforms take hold, people are growing more aware of their right to know about their own health.

Enabling data transmission and providing services via mobile phones and the internet is a development trend in the medical equipment industry, Li noted.

With the help of cloud-computing technology, his company can develop and maintain a huge client database for further analysis.

"It is just a first step. We still have a long way to go," he said.

He paid little attention to intellectual property issues before, as his focus was on product quality and cost control.

Yet after receiving training from the local government, he said he came to realize that IP is not a barrier, but rather a way to improve brand-building, protect innovation and share technological prowess.

"We need to conduct thorough research with due diligence before entering targeted markets, and make adjustments in our marketing strategies accordingly," he said.

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Decision will mark shift in GUI protection (2016-11-02,China Daily)

The Patent Reexamination Board of the State Intellectual Property Office held a public hearing on Oct 28 for the nation's first case involving disputes about software graphic user interface designs.

Beijing-based anti-virus software developer Qihoo 360 Technology Co applied for design patents for three types of its GUI in 2014, which were approved by SIPO.

In April, the company sued its competitor Beijing Jiangmin New Science and Technology Co at the Beijing Intellectual Property Court, claiming the latter's software was developed using Qihoo 360's GUI design patents without authorization, and asked for compensation of 10 million yuan ($1.5 million).

The Beijing Intellectual Property Court heard the case on Sept 21.

Jiangmin filed six appeals with the reexamination board requesting to invalidate all the three involved patents from Qihoo. A panel of five experienced officials from the board were commissioned to handle the case.

The focus of the case is whether the involved patents are markedly different from existing designs. The evidence from both sides included saved web pages, patent documentation and other publications.

The concept of GUI was first proposed in the 1970s in the United States. In 1996, the US Patent and Trademark Office revised its Manual of Patent Examining Procedure to protect computer-generated icons as design patents.

Following that, the European Union unveiled Council Regulation on Community designs in 2001, and South Korea revised its standards of design examination in 2003 to provide legal support for GUI patents.

The GUI designs are protected as patents in China as of May 1, 2014, according to the revised Patent Examination Instruction. Qihoo filed the first patent application for GUI design on Aug 14 that year.

Experts said the case between Qihoo and Jiangmin, no matter the result, will have profound influence over the GUI design business in the nation.

"With no doubt, the internet industry will pay special attention to the result of the case and the thoughts of the court," said Cui Guobin, director of the intellectual property law research center at Tsinghua University.

Li Junhui, a researcher at the center for intellectual property rights studies of the China University of Political Science and Law, said the case is "of great importance to the regulation of Chinese companies' competition in electronic products and software GUI".

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WIPO expects China to become 2nd biggest int'l patent applicant in two year (2016-11-01,Xinhua)

Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Francis Gurry said on Monday he expected China to become the world's second biggest international patent applicant in two years.

"China is arising into intellectual property and technological power; 14 percent of all international patent applications last year were from China. We expect this year to go about 17 or 18 percent, or even higher," Francis Gurry told the press as the UN agency unveiled a new neural machine translation tool on Monday to translate Chinese patent documents into English.

He said China ranked third in terms of the number of international patent applications filed in 2015. "We might expect it to achieve number two within the next two years," Gurry noted.

WIPO initially "trained" the new technology to translate Chinese, Japanese and Korean patent documents into English. Patent applications in those languages accounted for some 55 percent of worldwide filings in 2014.

The high level of accuracy of the Chinese-English translation is the result of the training of the neural machine translation tool, which compared 60 million sentences from Chinese patent documents provided to WIPO's PATENTSCOPE database by the State Intellectual Property Office of China with their translations as filed at the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

The neural machine translation can produce more natural word order, with particular improvements seen in so-called distant language pairs, like Chinese-English. WIPO said users can already try out the Chinese-English translation facility on the public beta test platform.

WIPO plans to extend the neural machine translation service to French-language patent applications, with other languages to follow.

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Chinese mobile app startups set sail for overseas markets (2016-10-28,People's Daily)

With their hands tied in a saturated domestic market, and dwarfed by dominant players, some Chinese app developers are attempting to carve out a place for themselves in overseas markets.

Since 2011, China has been the largest mobile internet market in the world. In 2015, the number of internet users in China reached 780 million, which is 57 percent of its population and twice the US population. But in terms of how much apps impact people's daily lives, China goes even further. The country's smartphone users downloaded a whopping 185 billion apps in 2014, 59 percent of all downloads worldwide, a testimony to their frenetic usage. This is perhaps unsurprising, as China's 35 million programmers have created apps that cater to an impossibly wide variety of human needs.

Through years of practice, Chinese app developers have accumulated rich technical and market experience. But a mature market always means powerful players rise to push out the rest. A few domestic internet giants like Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu own the country's largest SNS, shopping and payment apps. Dominant apps in weather, gaming, taxi-hailing, video-streaming and image-and-video have also emerged.

"Luckily, some smaller players have been acquired. Most often, they just die," reads the frank assessment of a research report by APP Annie. This is why some Chinese app makers have begun to eye overseas markets, making their way to greener pastures. These developers envision an opportunity created by the uneven development of the global market, especially in emerging economies; they are mixing their China-based experience with local traits to make a fortune.

SHAREit is one of these companies. The SHAREit app enables users to share files between multiple operating systems – Android, iOS, Mac, Windows, WinPhone and PC – with no need for conversion. The app sends a wireless signal to the recipient so the files can be shared without an internet connection. The app has been given a lukewarm reception in China, but it has become a must-have in India. Boasting more than 100 million Indian users, its popularity can be matched only by Whatsapp and Facebook's app.

"Our product fills a void in the Indian market, and to some extent all emerging markets. India's telecom infrastructure is sort of lagging behind. Few public Wi-Fi spots exist, and 3G normally works at the speed of 2G. That's why our connection-free transmission stands out," said Yan Fei, CEO of SHAREit. It's true, by 2015, only 22 percent of adults in India had access to the internet.

Yan's view was echoed by his Chinese counterpart and rival, Jiang Tianpeng, CEO of Xender, an app that is similar to SHAREit and also prospers in the Indian market. At a seminar on Oct 27 in Beijing, Jiang shared with guests a picture of an Indian man who set up his computer on the street and charged passersby to copy files between gadgets on his computer, or load music, videos and books.

"Everywhere, human needs for entertainment and spiritual well being are the same," he added. SHAREit and Xender require low mobile memory usage and act as a bridge across operating systems, and that's why budget users with entry-level phones in India choose them.

Due to geographical and economic reasons, most small app developers in China first test the foreign market in Southeast Asia. India and Indonesia are top destinations, both boasting a colossal smartphone user base. Thailand and the Philippines have also been proven ideal spots.

But still, others want to take on a wider global market through more innovative creation. DailyCast, an Android video aggregator, is one of these developers. The company's CEO, Ye Zhewei, led his team to create the app with the help of Chinese startup incubator 36Kr in 2015, after he resigned as a programmer from Chinese internet giant Baidu. DailyCast picks the latest viral videos from YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo, Dailymotion and more, and curates personalized recommendations for its users.

Although there are only a few video aggregation apps for Android systems, "the competition remains fierce because users are accustomed to watching what's buzzing on giants like Facebook and Instagram," explained Ye. This is where DailyCast came up with their creative idea.

"Just like the Matthew Effects, the rich get richer. YouTube celebrities with more than 10 million fans are the most successful, while smaller accounts, including some really talented ones, do far less well," Ye said. Ye and his team therefore made video stars with 500,000 to 5 million followers their focus. His team has signed about 20 such video celebrities to provide original content for the app, and they plan to continue doing so in further overseas expansion.

One year after its launch, DailyCast now has 500,000 users, more than 30 percent of which are from developed Western countries. More than half are the coveted demographic of English-speakers born between 1984 and 1995, according to Ye. An impressive number, indeed.

Another dogged innovator is NewBornTown from Beijing. NewBornTown was founded in June 2013 by four programmers. Since the very start, they dedicated themselves to capturing the overseas market, believing that path to be the only way a small startup could "make it big" in the future. By 2015, the company's star product, Solo Launcher, became the fifth hottest launch made by Chinese developers on Google Play, boasting more than 10,000,000 users from mostly the U.S., India, Brazil and Russia.

"We created our Solo Launcher first, focusing on making it clean, smooth and small. Gradually, we inserted our own search function, news aggregator and cleaner into it. This part involved a lot of efforts to localize, everything from language to customer preferences. Meanwhile, we worked on innovative advertisement models," said Liu Chunhe, CEO of NewBornTown. He also revealed that his team's five apps on Google Play, including Solo Notifier, Solo Lock Screen, Solo Weather and Solo Battery Saver, now boast altogether 200 million users.

"We used to refer to, a social networking site, as China's 'Facebook.' We also referred to Baidu as China's 'Yahoo.' But in the age of mobile Internet, we are seeing more Chinese players taking the lead," Said Annabelle Long, founding and managing partner of Bertelsmann Asia Investments.

But Long also cautioned Chinese tech developers to pay close attention to localization. She warned developers "not to be carried away by a triumphant feeling while exporting Chinese experiences," but to "respect existing innovations in India, Iran, Indonesia, Brazil and Middle East", and deal with each case according to its own circumstances.

Jiang Tianpeng, CEO of Xender, raised another challenging issue. He cautioned content-based app developers to closely abide by each country's patent laws.

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New Industrial Alliance Promotion Association established (2016-10-28,China Daily)

The Beijing Economic-Development Area Industrial Technology Innovation Alliance Promotion Association was established in Beijing on Oct 18. One hundred and fifty representatives from 39 member units attended the opening ceremony. As a first step, the association passed its constitution, its rules, the selection method of its first council and board of supervisors, and regulations regarding dues collection. The first council and the board of supervisors were also chosen.

The association is a non-profit organization supported by the Beijing Economic-Development Area management committee, and is intended to further the industrial technology innovation alliance, which joins companies in electronic information, biopharmaceuticals, equipment manufacturing, cultural creation, energy conservation and environmental protection, high-tech services, and airport industry innovation in the Beijing Economic-Development Area.

The goal of the promotion association is to improve the development of the alliance effectively and rapidly, to research and develop new innovative modes for it and to shape it into an orderly cluster to promote the ecological chain in industrial development.

Sheng Licheng, the deputy director of the Beijing Economic-Development management committee, explained that the association has three functions: to routinely connect with government, financial resources and markets to promote the construction and development of the alliance, to encourage development of the alliance as the bridge between the Beijing Economic-Development management committee and leading enterprises, and to assist government in implementing a series of major policy decisions to create a healthy innovative ecological chain.

In the future, the association will gather resources to serve industrial innovation and economic development. It will support companies working in integrated circuits, new displays, industrial Internet, biopharmaceuticals and intelligent manufacturing industrial service platforms, as well as organize academic communication and subject research. It will also assist in sharing of patents and promote importation of technology.

The promotion association will write an annual report and establish industry standards. In addition, it will provide display platforms for new technologies and productions, and encourage all enterprises in the alliance to cooperate in technological research.

The new director of the Beijing E-Town Alliance Promotion Association, Lan Baoshi, planned the recent work. At the opening ceremony, Advanced Medical Equipment Alliance, America-China Biology Alliance and BDA Enterprises Association Branch signed cooperative contracts with Kuangchuang Business School, Manufacturing Alliance and New Material Alliance respectively to lay a solid foundation for future cooperation.

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2016 Beijing Innovation and Entrepreneurship Week opens in E-Town (2016-10-28,China Daily)

The 2016 National Mass Innovation and Entrepreneurship Week opened in the Beijing Economic-development area on Oct 12. The theme of the event was "developing new economy, training new skills”. As the "1+2+N" week’s venue, E-Town itself was themed on "connecting Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei province, wonderful entrepreneurship", with a special focus on industrial innovation. E-Town launched 26 events on industrial innovation, parks, platforms, enterprises, talents, and skills to promote international communication, entrepreneurship competition, innovation and entrepreneurship. In addition, there were training classes, forums and road shows and investment meetings. More than 100 investment organizations and 10,000 entrepreneurs were in attendance.

The 2016 National Mass Innovation and Entrepreneurship Week E-Town venue emphasized innovative achievements of high-tech industries in an entrepreneurship environment. Leaders from the Beijing Municipal Commission of Development and Reform, the Beijing Municipal Commission of Economy and Information Technology, and Zhongguancun Park as well as candidates from the iCAN International Undergraduate Business Competition and entrepreneurs attended the opening ceremony.

The venue had three key concepts: internationalization, industrial innovation and entrepreneurship, all set in the context of the developing Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei area. As for internationalization, the week launched American and European venues, using the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Road show Center for live communication. E-Town also invited overseas innovation and entrepreneurship groups to China to promote face-to-face communication between Chinese and overseas entrepreneurs.

To emphasize the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei context, Beijing E-Town signed cooperative contracts with the Hebei and Tianjin governments and held park and open road show events to promote collaborative innovation among the three regions. To celebrate industrial innovation and entrepreneurship, E-Town held road show competitions in electronic information, biopharmaceuticals, intelligent manufacturing, industrial Internet and other leading industries to stimulate industrial vitality and achieve new economic development and new skill training.

At the opening ceremony, the exciting, comfortable and free environment of E-Town was on full display.

The Beijing E-Town International Conference Center is E-Town’s main venue, and is the result of the town’s transformation and upgrading. It was an old factory in the past, but now it is an international technological conference center of 80 thousand square meters and outstanding facilities. The final competition of the iCAN international undergraduate business competition will be held there, as will the World Robot Conference welcoming international intelligent manufacturing scientists, laboratories and leading enterprises in that field.

E-Town will open 13 venues in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei road show center and 12 industrial parks, incubators and E-Startups to create an innovative environment that combines entrepreneurship events, parks, businesses and talent recruitment.

Beijing E-Town is the center of technological innovation and the main force of the real economy. It actively implements the concept of "excelling, building high grade, precision technology, and serving the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei area", and in the future will complete technological innovation service systems housed in designated centers.

Beijing E-Town is the only national economic-development area in Beijing. More than 15 thousand enterprises are located there, including 120 projects by 80 top 500 global enterprises. The town has 555 national hi-tech enterprises, and 190 important national laboratories and research organizations shaping the four leading industries of electronic information, biopharmaceuticals, manufacturing, and automobiles. The town’s resources are also fostering the four new industries of hi-end services, cultural creation, energy conservation and environmental protection, and airport layout. In 2015, the total output value of E-Town was 101.8 billion RMB, an increase of nine percent over 2014. Its industrial output value was 251 billion RMB. More than 100 investment organizations, technological innovation funds valued at 300 billion RMB, and 1,248 inventions and 251 patents for every 10 thousand people -- all these features confirm E-Town as a leading national economic development area.

In the future, Beijing E-Town will implement the Beijing accelerated national technological innovation project, improve the combination of industries with innovation and entrepreneurship to build integrated circuits, new displays, biopharmaceuticals, intelligent manufacturing and industrial Internet innovation center to guarantee its continuation as a site for high quality precise technology.

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Expert advice helps boost IP dispute settlement rate (2016-10-27,China Daily)

Officials at Beijijng Intellectual Property Court have ascribed a recent rapid increase in case settlements to a cohort of newly-hired technicians and their expert knowledge and advice.

The court, established two years ago as part of judicial reforms forwarded by the central leadership in 2013, set up a technical investigation office in October 2015, in a move to ensure its case hearings were more professional, according to Yi Jun, the office head.

"A large number of IP disputes, including those related to patents and computer software, are too technical for most laymen to understand," he said.

"That is why we needed specialists to help explain the technology and ensure the accuracy of our verdicts."

According to the court’s statistics, technicians were involved in investigating 250 IP cases last year, and provided their professional advice in 110 reports.

"Thanks to their advice, our case settlement rate has risen 87 percent year-on-year," said Yi.

The court now has a total of 39 technicians, 34 of whom are part-time employees from universities and technology or science institutes, according to a statement from the court.

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Universities push the envelope of technology (2016-10-24,China Daily)

As Chinese investors flock to Israel in search of new technologies, top universities there are forging cooperation agreements with their Chinese counterparts and firms for R&D as well as technology transfer services.

For instance, Haifa University, known for its science research, is working on a joint research laboratory with East China Normal University. The lab, funded by the Chinese government, will focus on big data, neural biology and other medical areas.

Amos Shapira, president of Haifa university, said the proposed research center would help bring more Israeli technologies to China and push the envelope of technology by partnering with leading Chinese scientists.

The move came shortly after a similar initiative in April between Ben Gurion University, a force in computer science education, and Jilin University in northeastern China.

Tsinghua University in China and Tel Aviv University launched a $300-million research center way back in 2014, prioritizing partnership in nanotechnology, particularly with medical and optics applications.

"The close cooperation between the two countries' universities is partly spurred by Chinese government officials and investors. They realize that setting up joint research centers in China is a more efficient way to tap into Israel's technology than simply investing in Israel," said Shen Meng, director of Chanson & Co, a boutique investment bank in China.

Top Israeli universities are also interested in deeper ties because they want to achieve wider applications of their technologies in a big market and access more funds for their research.

A conference to this effect was held on Tuesday in Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang province and home to several thousand small and mid-sized private enterprises. Representatives of four Israeli universities including Haifa and Tel Aviv participated in the conference.

Up for grabs were more than 1,000 technologies in search of partners. Areas covered were medical science, agriculture, new material, computer science and other tech niches.

Zong Qinghou, founder of China's largest beverage company Hangzhou Wahaha Group, who helped organize the conference, said Israeli universities' pioneering research has yielded cutting-edge technologies that Chinese entrepreneurs could harness.

Wahaha is already cooperating with Israeli universities in sensors, bio-engineering, and mechanical and electrical engineering research.

Benjamin Soffer, CEO of T3, the technology transfer unit of premier Israeli university Technion, said it regularly files applications in China to patent technologies invented by Technion's professors. This is to prepare for possible applications in the world's second largest economy. In the past, Technion would file for patents only in Western countries.

Last year, it launched a technology institute in China by partnering with Shantou University in southern China. The institute will train its students in water protection, biotechnology and other sectors. It has received $130 million in financial backing from Hong Kong-based tycoon Li Ka-shing.

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Europe as engine of new growth (2016-10-21,China Daily)

Manufacturer roars into developed markets with machines that match latest emission standards

Guangxi Yuchai Machinery Group Co Ltd, the largest internal combustion engine manufacturer in China, aims to tap developed markets in Europe by cooperating with top European engine producers, according to top executives of the company.

Founded in 1951 and headquartered in Yulin, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, Yuchai Machinery has been the standard-setter as far as Chinese internal combustion engines are concerned. Its assets are worth 32.7 billion yuan ($4.9 billion; 4.4 billion euros; 3.9 billion).

"We always look up to the emission standards of Western countries, staying ahead in technological capacity. Now, we are building engines that meet the Euro 6 emission limits that have been in effect in Europe since 2013," says Guo Deming, deputy Party chief of Yuchai Machinery.

China is going to implement the fifth generation of national emission standards in an all-round way in 2017, which are the equivalent of the Euro 5 emission limits observed in Europe from 2008 to 2013.

Under the Euro 6 emission limits, soot emission per kilometer must be lower than 5 milligrams and nitric oxide per kilometer lower than 80 milligrams, which are one-fifth and one-fourth respectively of the Euro 4 standards.

"Automobile emissions that meet the Euro 6 standards are even cleaner than the average air quality in Beijing," says Guo.

Keeping up with the top standards helps Yuchai Machinery to enter developed countries, where recognition of Chinese brands is not high, according to Huang Yi, deputy general manager of Yuchai Sales Company.

"Developed countries have mature market economy rules. Having a presence in these countries is a touchstone for our own competence. We will suffer great losses if our products in these markets are found to be problematic, which is a driving force for us to keep improving the quality of our products," says Huang.

At the moment, more than 90 percent of Yuchai Machinery's sales are concentrated in Southeast Asia, the Middle East, South America and Africa, where infrastructure construction is taking off. The 10 member-countries of ASEAN represent its largest market. In 2015, they accounted for sales of 30,000 units out of the total overseas sales of 40,000 units.

Yuchai Machinery has been collaborating with FEV GmbH in Germany, one of the top three automobile engine companies in the world, Ricardo Plc in Britain and AVL List GmbH in Austria. It has a research center in Aachen, Germany, where the RWTH Aachen University acts as a talent pool for FEV.

Yuchai Machinery recently signed an agreement with MTU, a German manufacturer of large diesel engines and complete propulsion systems, to establish a joint venture. This will use MTU's technologies related to its S4000 engine series to produce high-end, high-power and high-speed auto engines in both China and overseas.

Meanwhile, the company is cooperating with Brunel University in Britain on oil and gas hybrid power research.

"Hybrid power is the future. It is used in high-end cars, which consume slightly over 3 liters of oil per 100 kilometers. As emission standards increase, new energy engines will enjoy a bigger market," says Huang.

Yuchai Machinery invests 3.5 percent of its revenue in research and development. It has more than 3,000 patents, with 500 to 600 new ones coming up every year. Even though it is strictly controlling its operational costs at the moment, the R&D investment has never been cut.

"Consistent research efforts have put Yuchai Machinery on a par with foreign brands. It first distinguished itself from foreign competitors in the bid for bus engines for the Beijing Olympics in 2008. Since then, Yuchai Machinery has been the major automobile engine supplier for major events such as the Two Sessions (the annual gatherings of the Chinese national legislative and political advisory bodies) and the Hangzhou G20 Summit," says Huang.

Yuchai Machinery has 15 offices and 133 service stations overseas that help sell its products to 170 countries and regions. In 2015, overseas markets accounted for 11 percent of total sales.

From 2011 to 2015, the company exported 166,000 engines to overseas markets, up more than 50 percent compared with the 2006-10 period.

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AI to spur R&D in service robot industry (2016-10-21,China Daily)

Some voices in the industry reckoned that thanks to developments in the internet around the world, the R&D growth rate of AI robots will be faster than people's expectations, and we will witness a boom in the industry similar to the rise of the smartphone sector, in a very short period.

"AI is recognized as a new subject and cutting-edge technology, fusing computer science, psychology and even philosophy, to stimulate, learn and expand the intelligence of human beings in solving language and image recognition and natural language processing," said Zhuang Yongjun, chief technology officer of Qihan Technology Co Ltd.

Qihan participated in this year's World Robots Conference (WRC) 2016 held in Beijing, demonstrating the company's service robot named Sanbot, which is able to interact with users through voice control and facial recognition.

"The new tech has been deployed in a variety of industries, including voice identification and physical object recognition," Zhuang said. "Due to the complexity of algorithms, which are associated with large amounts of data mining, the implementation of AI relies heavily on the internet to conduct cloud computing to achieve performance."

Zhuang noted that the R&D abilities of Chinese robot manufacturers have become more and more strong and technology-driven companies have mushroomed in the country in recent years.

"The more things the hardware is able to do, the greater the demand for AI will be," said Zhuang.

Since its establishment in 2006, the Shenzhen-based company has become a global leading CCTV surveillance equipment and solutions provider.

The company currently owns more than 100 patents based on Machine Vision Recognition, Multi-axis Automatic Control, and Big Data Analysis.

In a recent published report by the White House entitled "National Artificial Intelligence Research and Development Strategic Plan", China was described as a nation that has overtaken the US in terms of the number of journal articles that mention "deep learning" or "deep neural network", which are core subjects in the AI R&D development process.

Zhuang said that existing AI technologies used in robots focus on voice and image recognition, and the algorithms behind the applications have close relevance to "deep learning".

"Chinese enterprises who specialized in voice recognition, semantics understanding and image identification have performed very well in recent years. Some of the leading companies in the country have also ascended to top positions worldwide," said Zhuang. "Chinese companies' enthusiasm about AI has overtaken imaginations of some developed countries."

But he added that many algorithms were originally published by overseas engineers and the R&D of a large number of AI applications had drawn lessons from overseas counterparts.

Statistics from the International Federation of Robotics (IFR) show that the market demand for service robots will boom in the next three years, with the market scale reaching $46 billion, up more than 6 times that in 2015.

"Medical assistant robots, elder-care robots and education assistant robots will be some of the core segment markets in the future," Zhuang said.

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Innovation highlighted at the World Robot Conference 2016 (2016-10-21,People's Daily)

The World Robot Conference 2016 has officially kicked off in Beijing with the theme "Collaborative Innovation toward the Building of an Intelligent Society."

The 5-day event highlights the latest innovations, as a variety of specialized robots are on display.

This year's WRC2016 has attracted representatives from nearly 150 robotics companies from around the world.

While some of the robots are specialized in industrial manufacturing, many others have entertaining skills like dancing, playing sports, doing household chores, or even helping with child care.

Feng Tao, from the Canbot company based in Beijing says his firm's products have been applied to a variety of fields.

"Currently our products mainly work as guides for visitors, as well as do some consultancies or work in medical and healthcare industries. We have been cooperating with banks, real estate agencies, auto shops and hotels in a bid to popularize the use of our robots."

The smart companion robot produced by Feng's company can move its body on its own to complete dancing or other movements, and can speak a number of languages.

Some robots are useful assistants in carrying out life-saving surgeries.

Among them is the robot produced by Remebot, a high-tech startup which has been focused on creating robots for medical use since 2010.

Li Shuai, the firm's training manager, says the medical robots have been performing well.

"In the meantime we send the surgery plan to hospitals in small cities. When hospitals programme the robot, the robot can follow the plan well. After that, those local doctors can finish the surgery successfully with the assistance from robots."

Remebot has developed robots to help doctors with different types of neurosurgery, and they have already been used in 5 hospitals in the Chinese capital.

Stats from the International Federation of Robotics show that China is by far the largest robot market in the world with 68 thousand robots sold annually.

The sales volume of industrial robots in Chinese market has been increasing at an average rate of 35 percent in each of the past 5 years.

However, China still needs to catch up with the world's most advanced robot manufacturers in terms of Research & Development and application. This goal will require improved innovation as well as elevated standards of examination and certification.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of WRC2016, Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong urged cooperation on smart industries including robotics.

"We should build efficient and flexible cooperation, tap the potentialities of sci-tech innovation, and strengthen the R&D process of industrial, service or other specialized robots. We also call for efforts to forge ahead with robotic research and the commercialization of the result products, and enhance the role played by innovation in robotics technology and industry development."

She also urged greater international exchanges in areas such as formulation of industry standards, patent applications and intellectual property rights protection.

This year's event will feature several activities including forums, exhibitions and contests.

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Ghosts in the machine (2016-10-19,China Daily)

There are numerous systemic and manpower problems hindering transfer of technology from academe to industry. Wang Yuke reports.

The problem with Hong Kong's climate for capitalizing on innovative technology, say local experts, is that our universities aren't recruiting academics who possess the knowhow for turning scholarly research into marketable products.

There is a chasm that separates the science lab from the market place, says Edmund Lau Kin-on, vice-president of the Association for the Advancement of Science and Technology. That chasm-needs to be bridged by people who can see the market potential for raw lab results and shape it into products that create or fulfill a market demand. That process also needs more people able to do the legal work. Only then can the concept transform into a profitable and marketable package. It all seems straightforward and even obvious. But Lau contends it's actually a complex process and people who possess those talents are in short supply in Hong Kong.

So, to begin with, research findings are not products and the universities and people who produce all the great lab research don't have a clue about how to take that material and turn it into a product for the market, and the university is merely an incubator, notes Lau.

The technology is often so preliminary in concept that its relevancy is restricted to academe and of little use, initially to the commercial sphere. "A concept is only a concept. A basic technology can never be made into a prototype, without improvement and development by engineers and technicians, and a prototype is never marketable without marketing and sales professionals."

He pointed to a newly developed sensor designed as a core component to control a robot, using a touch screen. The developers wanted to apply the sensors to develop educational toys. They thought of a whole array of paper modules that could be manipulated using the touch screen on a mobile phone or tablet.

They engaged artists to design and handcraft the cardboard toys and engaged engineers to work out the best way to fit the electronic sensors into the toys. Experts in early childhood education and cultural scholarship would be called on to offer advice on iconic character models from classic tales or ancient legends and myths. On top of that, the developers went out seeking investors to fund additional research and development (R&D). They even tried crowd funding, but still couldn't generate enough orders to move into mass production. They had no marketing experts, and they had no strategy, said Lau, adding products simply won't sell without promotion and public awareness.

The plan could have been much bigger, he said. With the right marketing skills behind the products the developers might have engaged major multinational name brand companies, in a deal that could have been worth millions. Today, however, the startup is still struggling with marketing, and thus far has failed to attract large orders.

Alan Lam, an alumnus of Chinese University of Hong Kong, developed a virtual mouse and keyboard while studying for his PhD in engineering. He wasted no time after graduation starting his own business hoping to capitalize on his invention. Engineering issues posed no problem for developing the prototype. He was an expert. Business issues however, threw the entire project into chaos. He undertook additional courses to improve his business acumen. He also had a partner, with business smarts, who was also a major investor. "As my business partner had accumulated a network of contacts, as well as a client base, he referred me to specialists." The specialists helped him in marketing and advertising. The partner also handled important chores like filing the patent, registering for a bank account and finding office space. "I traveled to the US with his sales team to the Electronic Entertainment Expo and picked up some insights into the remote-sensing market," said Lam.

He acknowledges that despite having his PhD in engineering, he's almost illiterate in business practices and didn't know even how to use B2B trading platforms like Global Sources - a Hong Kong based company that facilitates the trading by various means including hosting exhibitions to locate international buyers. Without the help of people who knew marketing and advertising, he admitted, his business couldn't have survived.

Lam won a lot of rewards for his work back then, but as he reflects on the effort now, he sees clearly that his early efforts were purely theoretical with only the barest applicability for product manufacturing. He had to make wholesale changes to his original prototype. It meant collaborating with factory engineers who had hands-on experience in factory production. "Even a proven prototype doesn't guarantee that it's useful or marketable," he said.

With the help from business experts, the theoretician has created a medium-sized business, generating about HK$10 million annually.

Academic researchers have only limited knowledge of business and commerce. It's not their thing, so they have no idea where to start or where to go after that, reckons Lau. The idea of translating research discoveries into products rarely crosses the scholarly mind. What's more, he adds, the lack of awareness of how technology can be commercialized is a major barrier that can arrest product development before it properly can begin.

Scholars usually are evaluated on their scientific achievements. Often it's the foundation for professional success, tenure and academic standing but they have little direct interest in carrying their research to the market place. Universities are guided by similar standards of judgment.

Even if a team of scholars is anxious to move an invention into the market place, it falls to the university to bear the cost of hiring experts able to take the plan to the next step, said Lau.

On the other hand, if private companies can foresee a future in productizing the research findings, then the companies can be persuaded to carry the freight for all those costs, argues Henry Chung Shu-hung, an electronic engineering professor at the City University of Hong Kong (CityU). His Smart Battery Health Monitoring and Diagnostic System was successfully commercialized but only after his research team got together with the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department of the government (EMSD).

Even so, successful collaborations like that are still fairly rare.

Hurdles in technology transfer

The catch remains in the differences in thinking patterns. Academics and universities are rooted in scholarly reputation and the publish-or-perish syndrome. Industry's gaze is fixated on scalability and quick profit, notes Lau.

Companies are not as captivated by university research findings as one might think, largely because the findings are often rudimentary and fragmentary. Carrying those results forward into a marketable product is still a huge undertaking where even experts in the field, supported by pools of R&D funding, may go astray.

"Cooperation with universities means starting almost from zero and waiting years to see returns," argued Lau. Companies often find their product visions are at variance with the academics who made the discoveries and if the two sides can't find common ground on which direction to take, collaboration ends there.

Lau figures, a matchmaking system, like online dating platforms, for researchers and businessman is the key. That way, scientists can publish their findings, making themselves available to be courted by companies that see market potential in the research findings. Without the matchmaker, he says, technological advances do not flow naturally from universities to markets no matter how natural it would seem. Hong Kong doesn't have one, Lau added.

Chung led his own research team during the R&D effort with the company. Both teams learned from the collaboration, he said. "Sales and marketing managers of some companies kept us informed about feedback from their clients. This kind of information was important for us for updating our technology, allowing us to develop a system that not only could test vehicle batteries but also generators." The advanced technology, in turn, created more profit because it was able to turn out better products for its clients.

Supportive frameworks needed

Industry is lacking government support and needs a framework almost like a dating site, so that businesses will have a platform for keeping up to date on academic research and its potential, says Chung.

Hong Kong has fallen behind many other countries and regions that already have excelled in innovation and technology transfer to industry, stressed Lau. In those places, governments provide technology companies with generous amounts of funds covering much of the R&D cost. Although Hong Kong has matching fund schemes, the company still has to pay half the cost. For young entrepreneurs, the government seems even more tight-fisted, says Lau.

The HK$300 million Youth Development Fund, set up by the government, is one example. It was started last year to assist young people to start their own businesses. The ratio of matching funds was capped at 2:1, with each of the successful young entrepreneurship applicant capped at HK$300,000. That means for each HK$1 million the young entrepreneur spends, the government will hand out HK$2 million as supporting fund. But, there are age limitations from 18 to 35.

Companies in the West allocate substantial funds for R&D. In Hong Kong startups are scraping by and having no additional crash to invest in R&D and so are more likely to seek collaboration with research institutes.

All in all, Lau said, the government must channel more funding to businesses that thrive on technologies to promote university-industry collaboration and successful product development. "Collaboration between universities and industries is at center of technology transfer. Don't forget that technology is just a small part of the story."

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Chinese scholar designs new animal breed law (2016-10-18,China Daily)

A Chinese scholar specializing in intellectual property law has recently finished a draft of a law to protect the rights of new animal breeds, which he said would be the first of its kind in the world safeguarding animal breeders' rights and addressing food-safety issues.

Hou Yangkun, an associate professor of the law school at Beijing Institute of Technology and a visiting scholar at Stanford University, said he had studied related laws of dozens of countries and international conventions since 2006 before finishing the 54,000-Chinese-character law last month after 128 revisions.

Since the world's first law on the rights of plant breeders — Plant Breeder's Decree — went into effect in 1941 in the Netherlands, not much attention has been put on new animal breeds worldwide, said Hou.

"New animal breeds have been in wide existence in our life. Most of the meat, fish, eggs and milk that people eat are products of artificial breeding," he said. "It's necessary to provide legal protection for the rights of a new animal breed, just like literary or artistic creation, to encourage innovation."

He said he designed eight categories of rights in the draft, such as the right of breed denomination and the right of animal breeds to be modified. The draft, at the same time, also stipulates 12 criteria for breeders to apply for a new breed, such as stability, population-quantity standard and safety of the breed.

"Because of the society's development and increasing demand, the cultured animals have been gradually replaced by the artificially bred animals. So there's a need to regulate the animal breeding sector to ensure food safety," Hou said.

First, the new breed can't carry genetic disease or threaten humans and other animals nor the country's genetic resources and biodiversity directly or indirectly.

When rearing the animals, the breeders also are prohibited from using additives, hormones, drugs or chemicals that may harm humans. To respect animals' life, certain cruel methods are forbidden to boost production, such as lighting at night or heating in winter.

To protect consumers' rights, the draft also stipulates that consumers can sue the breeders if they are found to have used forbidden additives or chemicals when raising the animals or processing the meat. Consumers in such cases can claim at least 50,000 yuan ($7,439) in compensation, according to the law.

"Some of the issues are currently not backed by laws," said Hou. "So far, there's no law so comprehensive to regulate all stages from breeding to rearing, and from production and sales, and no laws provide protection to the rights of breeders, new breed-related food safety, biodiversity, animal ethics and consumers' rights."

Hou said scholars of intellectual property law were tended to focus more attention on patent, trademark or copyright, but the introduction of the law on the new animal breed rights would be "a trend of the society".

He said he had drafted a legislation proposal for China's legislature and will translate it into English.

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China's Silicon Valley hosts more 'angels' and 'unicorns' (2016-10-17,China Daily)

Mass entrepreneurship and innovation has become the new direction of social investment, resulting in a growing number of unicorn companies created in Beijing.

During the National Mass Innovation and Entrepreneurship Week started on Oct 12, many cities including Shenzhen and Beijing held more than 20 events such as forums and marathons.

Wang Yingjian, deputy head of the Beijing Municipal Commission of Development and Reform, said Zhongguancun, China's Silicon Valley, has built a showroom with an area of 7,000 square meters.

The entrepreneurs will be able to find partners or investors during the week's events.

Zhongguancun has more than 10,000 active angel investors, accounting for 80 percent of the total number in China. Those people have helped many startups to develop into major leaders in their respective industries.

The angel investors in Zhongguancun have helped to create more than 40 unicorn companies, including Beijing Orange Technology, which launched Didi Taxi and group-buying website

The number of unicorn companies in Zhongguancun ranks second in the world, following the Silicon Valley in the United States.

According to the management committee of Zhongguancun, 2.3 billion yuan ($340 million) was invested in 379 cases for the first half year in Zhongguancun, accounting for around 46 percent of national cases.

These investors have brought mass entrepreneurship and innovation to a new level.

According to the committee, 6,005 technology companies were newly established within the first five months of 2016, which means 40 new companies launched every day. Approximately 90 percent of them are private companies.

So far, Zhongguancun has 287 listed companies. Many leaders of those listed companies, who have had successful experiences in the market, took on the role of angel investor.

Facing the macro economic slowdown, a large number of companies in Zhongguancun increased their investments in research and development, hoping to improve the industrial chain and raise their competitiveness.

Science and technology research spending has gathered in the artificial intelligence sector. In the first half of 2016, 31.88 billion yuan was invested in the sector, up 21 percent year-on-year.

Baidu Inc developed a self-learning platform which can help clients use the most advanced technology to gain access to big data analysis.

In addition to AI, investment in environmental protection and energy interconnection in Zhongguancun increased by 30 percent compared with the same period last year.

Beijing OriginWater PureTech Co Ltd, a company focused on solving water pollution problems and ensuring drinking water safety, will invest 5 percent of its revenue in membrane technology.

According to a report by the China Association of Enterprises and China Entrepreneur Association, China's top 500 companies' investment in R&D has increased 7.4 percent in August year-on-year.

The continuous investment in R&D has led to many achievements. Baidu has applied for 1,500 patents in AI and 358 patents in autonomous driving technology.

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Chinese firm denies stealing wave-power tech (2016-10-14,People's Daily)

China's leading State-owned shipbuilding group on Thursday called "groundless" a Guardian newspaper report which claimed the company stole wave-power technology from a Scottish company.

The Monday report said the Chinese company allegedly stole information from four or five laptops in March 2011 of Scottish company Pelamis. So innovative was the company that it had been visited by a 60-man delegation led by China's then vice-premier only two months before, the report said.

The No. 710 Research Institute of the Chinese Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC) said in a statement sent to the Global Times on Thursday that the accusation is totally groundless.

"The wave-energy product Hailong 1 is based on many years of independent research and development by CSIC, and it is the first wave-power generating device that suits China's conditions," the institute said.

Max Carcas, Pelamis' business development director until 2012, told the Guardian that the similarities between the Scottish and Chinese products were striking.

However, the institute said there are huge differences between the Hailong 1 and the Pelamis' version in terms of design.

First, Hailong 1's pontoon is 20 meters long but Pelamis' is 40 meters long, and Hailong 1 has two pontoons with one connecting piece but Pelamis' has five pontoons with four connecting pieces, said the statement.

Second, "Hailong 1 is for the independent islands' power supply in China, so its design focuses on the stability of generating under one to three meters wave height as well as the survival capability in storms. Pelamis' device focuses on generating capability in big waves."

"Wave-energy device designs around the world are similar, and it is absurd for them to accuse CSIC of stealing their concept," an anonymous doctoral candidate of Tsinghua University's Department of Hydraulic Engineering told the Global Times.

The report said that neither the UK nor Scottish governments plans to challenge China over the patent, because Calum Macfarlane, a spokesman for Wave Energy Scotland, said that "The IP [intellectual property] is not protected in China."

However, Xu Xinming, a Beijing-based lawyer specializing in intellectual property rights (IPR), argued that a product infringes on IPR only when its technical characteristics resemble those of another product in its patent claim.

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Chinese start-up implements 'VR-gets-social' concept with 4G-ready goggles (2016-10-14,China Daily)

The unveiling of 4G-ready "all-in-one" goggles by a domestic start-up, provides another answer to implement the concept advocated by Facebook-owned Oculus VR, which says that virtual reality will not be limited to gaming.

"The reason behind Mark Zuckerberg's ambitions on ‘VR-gets-social' is that the company specializes in building products with social attributes," said Lei Ming, vice-president and design director of Focalmax Technology Co Ltd, a one-year-old Shenzhen-based company that focuses on optical technology and telecommunication.

Lei said future VR products will become a hardware similar to smartphones, which provide several functions, including making phone calls, taking photos and even connecting to the internet.

Focalmax recently launched a series of "all-in-one" mobile VR goggles—Scati ONE, featuring functions that provide both VR and augmented reality (AR) experiences.

The three versions of the Scati ONE family (Scati ONE Lite, Scati ONE Neo and Scati ONE) target different consumers by providing three price ranges: 999 yuan($149), 1,699 yuan and 2,499 yuan.

All of the three versions will be shipped with a SIM slot that supports 4G-connected features, different from other all-in-one VR devices on the market.

Apart from the dual intelligent bionic eye 3D camera that captures simulation images, the dual imaging lens driven by Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 enable the glasses to not only stream interactive game plays and videos in a virtual world, but also offers AR and mixed reality (MR) functions.

"We think an 'all-in-one' product, which provides duo cameras and internet-connected solutions, will not only be a social tool, but also reserves business potentials in the distance education area or even enhances the combat capabilities of soldiers in the battlefield," said Lei Ming.

The company is also in talks with Google to deploy the latter's latest VR software platform – Daydream in its products.

Established in 2015, the company has over $30 million in registered capital and its headquarters occupies an area of over 100,000 square meters. It also has a multimedia exhibition hall, an IMAX center and an optical design lab.

Focalmax has a broad range of products that include projectors, head-up display (HUD), glasses-free 3D smartphones, sports DV, head-mounted VR displays and intelligent housekeeping robots.

According to the company, it has gathered more than 100 experts from the optical, internet and mobile communication industries. Over the past decade, these experts have dedicated themselves to consistently studying and exploring their respective fields and, consequently, have been awarded over 100 patents and seven copyrights.

Julian Tan, an analyst at industry consulting company GfK China, told China Daily that it seems that the "social" function has a more promising future for VR devices as socializing, unlike playing digital games, is a "rigid" demand for people.

"But both of them are important applications for VR/AR devices and the R&D is still in a very early stage. Content building and scenario creating are waiting for industrial conglomerates, such as Facebook, to push and develop in the future," Tan added.

Neo Zheng, a research manager of client system research at IDC, said that VR device sales rely on heavy users, and for both gaming and social consumers, the existing intent data transform patterns, including those enabled by both Wi-Fi and 4G network, still need to be improved.

"The 4G-ready function will become one of the new trends as more mobile VR devices hit the market and the system providers, such as Daydream, are deployed in more and more terminals," Zheng said.

According to China Daily, a latest market analysis report jointly issued by e-commerce giant Inc and research firm International Data Corporation (IDC) shows that as the VR market develops rapidly, the fourth quarter will usher in full-blown competition.

IDC China managing director Kitty Fok said that the VR market would maintain its rapid growth, with the compound annual growth rate up to 75.5 percent from 2015 to 2020.

Luo Xian, founder of, a domestic information agency of VR/AR industry, said that although the market witnessed a slight downturn this year, the capital invested in this area reached 2.2 billion yuan in the first quarter in China, up 83 percent compared to the overall number that reached last year.

He believes that with the appearance of products that are priced around 1,000 yuan and provide good enough user experience, "the market will be stimulated as more people are educated and become familiar to the industry."

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Zhongguancun to construct international scientific and innovative center (2016-10-14,China Daily)

The Zhongguancun Index 2016 was released at the opening ceremony of the 2016 National Mass Innovation and Entrepreneurship Week Beijing theme exhibition on October 12 by Zhao Hong, vice president of the Beijing Academy of Social Sciences.

The "Zhongguancun index" is a comprehensive index that describes the latest trends and features of Zhongguancun innovative development. It is compiled through research conducted by the Beijing Fangdi Institute of Economy and the Center for Innovation and Development of Zhongguancun.

The index consists of six sub-indexes: innovation and entrepreneurship environment, innovation ability, industrial development, enterprise growth, commitment to growth, and internationalization, and includes 14 secondary indexes and 38 tertiary ones.

At the ceremony, Zhao Hong explained that the Zhongguancun index 2016 sets the 2008 index as the base period with 100 points. The 2015 comprehensive index's level is 375.9 points, an increase of 90.1 compared to that of 2015.

The newest innovation and entrepreneurship environment index is 542.1, top among the six sub-indexes, and 184.4 points higher than that of 2015, the fastest growth among the sub-indexes. This result owes much to the rapid development of scientific financing in Zhongguancun. The increasing number of international venture investment facilities gathering in Zhongguancun is another reason for the rapid growth of this index.

Due to the growth of overseas investment and mergers and acquisitions, the internationalization index grew to 439.9 points, 158.3 over the 2015 index.

The indexes of commitment to growth, innovation ability, industrial development and enterprise growth were 358.3, 334.8, 265.4 and 260.6, respectively increases of 68.2, 73.1, 19.5 and 9.9 over those of 2015.

In recent years, Zhongguancun has grown into an internationally influential scientific and innovative center. Since the Chinese government put forward policies to encourage mass innovation and entrepreneurship in 2015, Zhongguancun has been developing new economics to improve its innovation upgrading and entrepreneurship ecological system.

According to the Zhongguancun Index 2016, four features of Zhongguancun's development can be identified.

First, Zhongguancun has become a leading international figure in some innovation fields, such as artificial intelligence, new materials and biotechnology. Zhongguancun has also made great achievements in industries such as black technology and hard technology.

More and more leading technology and advanced industrial achievements are cradled in the Zhongguancun Science Park. In 2015 alone, the number of patents granted reached 13,000, which was a year-on-year growth of 66.1 percent.

Second, the number of scientific enterprises is growing fast. The park's "unicorns" -- companies with more than one billion dollars' market assessment -- account for 50 percent of those in China, ranking second on a global scale only to Silicon Valley.

Zhongguancun has occupied a high land of innovative enterprises incubation.

Third, Zhongguancun constantly adapts to the needs of economic development and keeps improving its innovation and entrepreneurship ecology, helping to realize a completely new innovative reform.

The science park has established an entrepreneurial environment similar to that of overseas, aiming to attract more scientific researchers returning to China.

Fourth, Zhongguancun is strengthening its open and cooperative innovation strategy to improve its international resource allocation ability and to play a significant role in global innovation networks.

It attracts many internationally famous enterprises to its science park, and, at the same time, encourages establishment of similar centers for placement of outstanding talents and development of advanced technology.

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Apple to open R&D center in Shenzhen in 2017, foster Chinese developer talent (2016-10-12,Shenzhen Economic Daily)

Apple on Wednesday local China time announced plans to open a research and development center in the southern city of Shenzhen in 2017, further cementing relations with the important growth market.

CEO Tim Cook made the announcement Tuesday night during a meeting with local officials as part of a national innovation summit, Reuters reports, citing the Shenzhen Economic Daily .

According to the local publication, Communist Party Secretary of Shenzhen Ma Xingrui and his deputy, Mayor Xu Qin, attended the event. Foxconn CEO Terry Gou, whose company serves as a major Apple supplier and controls significant manufacturing assets in the region, was also on hand for the announcement.

With the upcoming R&D center, Apple is looking to expand its partnership with Shenzhen, a bustling metropolis known for its prowess in producing high technology goods. Along with hardware manufacturing, the company is looking to foster local software developer talent with its investment. Apple, through manufacturing partners like Foxconn, employs over 100,000 people in the city.

In an interview, Cook said Shenzhen has undergone tremendous changes since he first visited the city 20 years ago to inspect the manufacturing mecca. Cook went on to tout "Shenzhen quality" as an important contributor to successful Apple product lines like iPhone, adding that the city's factory processes lead much of the world.

In an emailed statement to Reuters , Apple spokesman Josh Rosenstock offered further detail on the upcoming facility.

"We are excited to be opening a new Research and Development center here next year so our engineering team can work even more closely and collaboratively with our manufacturing partners," Rosenstock said. "The Shenzhen center, along with the Beijing center, is also aimed at strengthening relationships with local partners and universities as we work to support talent development across the country."

Apple also plans to open additional retail stores in the city.

News of the Shenzhen center comes less than two months after Cookalluded to a similar R&D facility reportedly set to openin Beijing.

Apple's investments are thought to be in response to recent revenue declines in the region. Last quarter, Apple saw Greater China revenuedrop 33 percent year over year amidst cooling iPhone sales. At least part of the slowdown was blamed on the rise of more affordable Android smartphones marketed by local upstarts.

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China's VR innovation should catch up to investment (2016-10-11,People's Daily)

VR (Virtual Reality) technology is a disruptive new computing platform, and China should seize its opportunity to upgrade the country's VR industry and enhance innovation, said Zhao Qinping, academician with the Chinese Academy of Engineering. Zhao, also the director of China's Lab of Virtual Reality Technology and Systems, made his statement at the 2016 Visual Reality Summit in Gui'an, Guizhou province on Oct. 8.

Zhao pointed out that the core requirement for VR industry development is the development of VR technology, equipment and applications. Therefore, the highest priority is to strengthen VR research, emphasizing technological innovation and encouraging enterprises to utilize VR technology.

A total of more than $1.7 billion was invested in the VR and AR (Augmented Reality) industry in the first quarter of 2016, of which nearly $1 billion came from China, said Lu Shan, head of the China Center for Information Industry Development (CCID). However, China's VR patent applications only account for 6 percent of the world's total in the past three years.

Zhao pointed out that the main problems in China's VR industry are a lack of scientific innovation, slow content development and inferior standards and norms. Common technological obstacles faced by China's VR practitioners include achieving a wider viewing angle, reducing dizziness and mastering true 3-D effect, added Lu.

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Apple seeks to lure customers (2016-10-11,China Daily)

Apple Inc has filed two patent applications in China, in a move to prepare for new smartphone features that can resonate with local consumers, as the US giant struggles with tumbling sales and mounting competition in the world's largest smartphone arena.

The California-headquartered firm filed two applications to patent its dual-SIM card technologies in China, which enable one phone to support two carriers at the same time, according to the official website of China's State Intellectual Property Office.

The two applications, filed in February and March respectively, are still awaiting approval, and they are Apple's latest efforts to lure consumers away from competitors such as Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and Huawei Technologies Co Ltd which have already unveiled similar features on their top-end devices.

Nicole Peng, research director at Shanghai-based consultancy Canalys, said the dual-SIM card features are popular among businessmen in China and other Southeastern Asian countries.

"The move can help Apple battle mounting competition, though it will take time to apply the new functions to smartphones," Peng said.

The news came shortly after Apple set up its first China research and development center in Beijing, with registered capital of 100 million yuan ($14.99 million). The center will have roughly 500 employees and the total investment will be up to 300 million yuan, the local government said.

Its latest devices, the iPhone 7 series, also achieved an initial success among Chinese consumers, with pre-orders of the 7 Plus, and the iPhone 7 in jet-black color, reportedly sold out before they hit the streets on Sept 16.

Jin Di, research manager at IDC China, said unlike Western countries which chiefly rely on telecom carriers to sell contract phones, China has more diverse retailing channels, including e-commerce sites and professional consumer electronic stores, which prompt more consumers to favor dual-SIM card services.

"Though smartphones which support multiple carriers only account for a small segment of all handsets shipped to China, they have a good presence among the premium sector. The move can help Apple lure buyers away from rivals, especially given opportunities brought by Samsung's ongoing phone recall crisis," she added.

China, which had been one of Apple's largest markets in the past several years, recently became a source of disappointment. In the second quarter, the firm saw a 33 percent drop in sales in China, its highest decline in all regions.

In contrast, local firms Huawei and Oppo were growing rapidly, seeing a surge in shipments of 15 percent and 124 percent respectively during the same time frame, data from International Data Corp show.

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Chinese company sue Dutch retailers for copy product (2016-10-06,People's Daily)

A Chinese company has sued Dutch retailers Blokker B.V. and Leen Bakker for selling a party tent which might have been copied from the Chinese design.

The court in The Hague had the oral hearing on Wednesday and the judgement will be rendered on Nov. 2 if the two parties cannot come to a settlement by themselves within a week.

"These two Dutch companies sell (or sold, since the summer season is now over) a product, namely a (party) tent or sunscreen which Zhejiang Zhengte believes to be too similar to Zhejiang Zhengte's design right and copyright," said Annemieke Kooy from Vriesendorp & Gaade, the Dutch patent firm that represents the Chinese company.

"At the time the legal proceedings were initiated, Zhejiang Zhengte knew only about Blokker and Leen Bakker selling the sunscreens. Zhejiang Zhengte did not know who the producer is, or if the producer is based in the Netherlands," Kooy told Xinhua.

"It cannot be excluded that Zhejiang Zhengte on the one hand and Leen Bakker and Blokker on the other hand enter into a settlement agreement before that date. We will wait for the judgment, and cannot reveal too much about the case before the judgment will be rendered. Should a settlement be agreed upon, there will be no more need for a judgment," she added.

Leen Bakker and Blokker are both companies which sell household products. Both of them are part of Blokker Holding.

The case involves a party tent with a butterfly-like shape that Zhejiang Zhengte sells worldwide. Blokker and Leen Bakker sold an exact copy, bearing the name Le Sud.

Dutch media said the Chinese company wants Blokker and Leen Bakker to stop selling copied products and destroy the stock.

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Know your patent pitfalls (2016-10-05,China Daily)

Before venturing into the global market, HK's innovation-based startups need to secure their product against intellectual property theft and other issues. Wang Yuke reports.

What's bugging Hong Kong's startup sector? The city is home to some very fine technological brains, and creative ideas do not seem to be in short supply either.

Eric Yeung Chuen-sing, executive vice-president of the Hong Kong General Chamber of Small and Medium Business, has an explanation. He points to the fact that while many startups can boast of a highly evolved research and development culture they often fail to apply common sense-based marketing wisdom that might turn a highly original idea into a sustainable return-oriented venture. Most businesses, he says, can't be bothered with figuring the intricacies involved in obtaining foolproof patents to protect the intellectual property rights of the products they market. It's a vital aspect of doing business that entrepreneurs wishing to compete in the international market would not want to ignore.

Yeung, who is also a member of the Advisory Committee on Innovation and Technology, says sometimes locally successful startups are jolted out of their complacence once they begin considering expanding into the international arena. The hard reality kicks in when they discover they are not fully aware of the nitty-gritty of executing such a move.

Vitargent, a bioscience company that uses genetically engineered fish to detect toxicity in food and cosmetics, might make for a typical case study. The company has held a patent for their product right from 2010 when they started the venture, and yet has spent the better part of the last six years trying to work out how to deal with international patent issues.

Developed at City University of Hong Kong (CityU), the Vitargent method entails taking green fluorescent protein from jellyfish, modifying its DNA and injecting these into embryos of the medaka fish or zebra fish. Once exposed to harmful toxins, like estrogen compounds, the genetically engineered fish release protein, creating fluorescence.

Company co-founder Eric Chen pitched the technology in a business proposal competition in 2010. The proposal picked up several awards. After some hard slogging and many rebuffs from potential investors, Chen put together about HK$10 million. With matching funds from the Innovation and Technology Commission and a rental exemption from the Hong Kong Science and Technology Park, Vitargent went into business.

The first few years went well. The lack of forward planning became a problem when Vitargent decided to go global. They were looking to break into markets in Europe, the Chinese mainland and Taiwan, but the investors there were sceptical. "They said there were a few other technology companies in their localities holding similar patents. They didn't want to get embroiled in a suit over patent infringement," lamented Jimmy Tao Wai-leung, chief executive officer of Vitargent.

"The original patent was owned by the university (CityU), as the inventor of the technology. It turned out, to our dismay, that the patent was not widely recognized," complained Tao.

Lawyers specializing in patent work are expected to run a search for similar inventions to help protect clients from getting sued. Evidently, the lawyer who had reviewed CityU's patent filing failed to carry out a thorough research. Tao described having to fly to the home countries of every potential European investor, meeting with prospective clients' lawyers and trying to convince them that Vitargent held an original patent. Vitargent lost a huge chunk of capital, amounting to millions of Hong Kong dollars, in the process.

Plugging the loopholes

Ho Wai-hung is an intellectual property lawyer with the Hong Kong branch of global law firm Dechert. He specializes in working with startups on patent issues. Ho said he found that on many occasions patent filings made on behalf of universities are dangerously scant on details. In one case, for example, a local bio-tech company created a chemical compound intended to be used in cancer treatment while simultaneously developing an innovative approach to manufacturing the chemical.

The patent application listed the chemical processes for creating the compound and outlined the basic technology. Details about the properties of the chemical compound, its structure, variations, and formulation, were omitted. The application did not mention the product's applicability to anything other than medical care.

Ho suggested to the client that the patent should elaborate the potential application of the chemical as a basis for optical fibers and lubricants. He also suggested mentioning in the application that the manufacturing technique was unique and simple and the final product was pure and cheap to process.

He said failure to take note of a product's potential other than those specified in the patent application can create nightmares for a startup company. The application actually may serve up vital clues that rival companies could adapt to develop competitive products or even new products, based on the original patent. Competitors may copy an original innovation, tweak it a little and market it in a different form, thereby evading liability for infringement on the original patent.

Ho said in this case the original application had failed to note potential alternative uses for the newly invented chemical. Other companies could adapt the product for other uses, with impunity, as a result.

A high-value innovation patent should stipulate the technology's commercial values, explicitly listing its uses in every conceivable industry. Ho suggested that patent applications for biotech companies should cover "everything" including the structure, formulation, variations of chemicals, the manufacturing process, recommended dosages for every possible use etc. The more comprehensive the patent the lesser the chances of the technology getting copied by competitors.

The way the patent is written can help the entrepreneur monetize an invention, said Ho. "Universities in Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland are careless about the quality of patent applications because their inventors can't even bother to patent their ideas. They're too busy churning out research papers. They are short of vision for the future of the technology they've created and don't spare a thought for the survival of the startups (when selling the innovation)."

Universities tend to pour their limited research funding into research and development and don't invest much in drafting patent applications, remarks Ho. It is left to the startups to bear the considerable expenditure of applying, sometimes more than once, to obtain patent rights.

If Vitargent ended up facing a lawsuit over copyright infringement in Europe, the legal fees would be astronomical, argued Tao. To pre-empt such an eventuality, he decided to apply for a fresh patent. Even that proved difficult. "Silicon Valley has a high concentration of top-notch lawyers. A startup like ours couldn't afford them." Tao also had a feeling high-profile lawyers may not be interested in fighting a case on behalf of a small enterprise.

Luckily, Vitargent's largest investor, Nan Fung Group, a Hong Kong real estate conglomerate, has close connections with some of the world's top law firms. They helped Tao reach out to some legal heavyweights. "We paid a hefty price, more than $2,000 per hour for consultancy, shelling out millions of dollars to handle patent issues alone," said Tao.

Lengthy negotiations

An entrepreneur marketing a technological innovation-based product needs to acquire patent licensing authority from the original patent holder, such as a university.

"The negotiation process with the university is cumbersome and lengthy. It would normally take six months just to get the university's approval," bemoaned Tao, suggesting that the university would rather sit on a patent than see it put to commercial use, which takes away some of its exclusivity.

Universities and institutions in Hong Kong are simply satisfied with holding a local patent. It's rare for them to register for an international patent offering global protection. The process is time consuming and of little import to the innovators themselves as their focus is more on completing research and publishing papers, said Edmund Lau Kin-on, vice-president of the Hong Kong Association for the Advancement of Science and Technology. He said an international or a European patent would ensure greater protection for the entrepreneur, the reason why it was vitally important for a startup wishing to expand its business globally to obtain these.

Yeung points out there are no incentives for scholars at Hong Kong universities to want to patent their inventions. In other developed countries and regions, patents accumulated by an academic add to his prospects, giving him a reason to apply to get his work patented. In Singapore, for example, the government provides both financial and logistical support to academics during the application process. Singapore's Patent Application Fund covers 50 percent of legal, official and other related fees. In Hong Kong professors have to reach into their own pockets if they want to apply for an invention patent, remarked Yeung. Also universities don't like to share the benefits of the innovative products created in their labs, even with the scholars who helped in developing these, he added.

In the US and Europe, however, governments encourage universities to distribute the net income generated from technology transfers back to the scientists who invented it, the department supporting its development and the institute to which it belongs, publishing a break-up of how the money was shared. At the University of Florida, 40 percent of net income up to $500,000 is distributed among academic developers. Stanford University apportions net royalties equally among inventors and the inventors' departments and colleges.

Lau, however, says, although "to commercialize an innovative technology is a complex matter, involving people from various areas to brainstorm and work together", it's not as if Hong Kong innovators are oblivious to the importance of getting their work patented for a global market. It's all about teamwork, he says. "The professors or a research team behind the invention provide the research theories and principles. Specialists from engineering industry understand how to operate the new technology. People having experience in business areas come up with marketing strategies. Intellectual property attorneys weigh in to handle patent issues."

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Yangcheng Lake opens 20th Crab Culture and Tourism Festival (2016-09-29,China Daily)

Crab fever is gripping Yangcheng Lake this week after the 20th Crab Culture and Tourism Festival got underway on Sept 27.

The lake near Suzhou in Jiangsu province is famous all over China for the hairy crabs that live in its waters, and the two-month festival is timed to coincide with "hairy crab season", the time each year when the crustaceans are at their most tasty.

Yangcheng Lake's efforts to trade on its famous crabs were rewarded during the opening ceremony of this year's festival, where Bacheng town, Yangcheng Lake was awarded the title "China Well-known Trademark" by the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, and Yangcheng Lake Xiefangyuan was named a "National Featured Commercial Street" by the China Commercial Walking Street Committee.

This year the festival will also boast an added attraction, the 80-hectare Yinghuayijing Romantic Flower Park, which opened on the same day and is bedecked with a sea of colorful flowers from Dubai, Provence and Hokkaido. A special flower show based around the theme "beautiful chrysanthemum and delicious crab" will be waiting for visitors from September to November.

The festival will also feature a variety of events, including folk music concerts, camping festivals, photo exhibitions and traditional Kunqu Opera performances.

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Removing the stigma of HIV/AIDS (2016-09-27,China Daily)

Doctor Cai Weiping, who has treated an estimated 20,000 patients, aims to dispel myths about the virus

Though many on the Chinese mainland might balk at the thought of it, Cai Weiping publicly acknowledges that he has hundreds of friends who are HIV-positive or have AIDS.

Cai is director of the infectious diseases department at Guangzhou No 8 People's Hospital, a designated hospital to treat AIDS and other infectious diseases in the capital of Guangdong province.

He is so dedicated to his role that he often gives his personal mobile phone number to patients so they can contact him after hours.

"Now many AIDS friends regularly call me or contact me via WeChat and email to talk about the condition and other life issues," Cai said.

Last year, a young HIV-positive man even brought his girlfriend and her parents to meet Cai, so that they might better understand the illness.

The patient, who became infected when he was given a contaminated blood transfusion after a traffic accident, asked the doctor to help explain to his would-be parents-in-law that their daughter would not necessarily contract the illness if proper preventive measures were taken.

Cai and his wife regularly eat dinner with HIV-positive patients to dispel myths about the way the virus is spread and offer encouragement to the patients and their families.

He said this had helped to rebuild familial bonds in the past, showing parents that there was no reason to fear their children living with the infection.

The 55-year-old doctor estimates that he has treated more than 20,000 HIV/AIDS patients since he started working in the field in 1998.

"HIV is dreadful, but discrimination is even more dreadful," he said.

In addition to discrimination from their families, friends and colleagues, many people who are HIV-positive in Guangdong are also given the cold shoulder by hospitals and doctors, according to Cai.

He said such patients will often be transferred to his hospital as soon as the attending physician learns of the infection, as these doctors often claim their hospitals are not equipped to deal with HIV/AIDS.

"The hepatitis virus is actually more infectious than HIV, as it can be transmitted through more channels than HIV, which is spread primarily by unprotected sex, contaminated blood transfusions and mother-to-child transmission," said Cai, adding that all hospitals that can handle hepatitis patients are capable of treating people with HIV/AIDS.

To better serve patients, Cai's hospital has now built a dedicated delivery room and operating theater where HIV-positive women can give birth or undergo other surgical operations.

He has also drawn up a list of "red surgeons" who have agreed to help perform operations on HIV-positive and AIDS patients, because few doctors wish to be publicly associated with caring for them.

According to Cai, about 30-40 HIV-positive women give birth via Caesarean section in his hospital every year.

Cai always encourages his patients to date, marry and even give birth, because an HIV-positive husband can have a healthy child with a wife who is not infected, for example.

"The wives can become pregnant and deliver a healthy baby via artificial insemination after the viruses in the seminal fluid are killed," Cai said.

Xiao Hua (assumed name), one of Cai's patients, described the doctor as "loving" with "superior skills".

"Cai always works very carefully and usually becomes a friend of his patents after he sees them," she said.

UK charity Barry and Martin's Trust presented its eponymous prize to Cai in 2012 for his work in HIV/AIDS prevention and care. The trust, which supports hospitals treating HIV/AIDS patients throughout China, created the annual prize for excellence in AIDS education, prevention and care in 2000.

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Experts gather to discuss global graphine industry (2016-09-26,China Daily)

Academic research should give more impetus to accelerate the booming graphene industry in China, according to industrial experts attending the 2016 International Graphene Innovation Conference, held in Qingdao from Sept 22 to 24.

"Chinese universities should look into the whole industry to further basic research while helping enterprises find specific direction in applied research," said Feng Guanping, president of Shenzhen Graphene Association, a pioneer in China's graphene industry.

Graphene industrialization in China is taking the lead in the world, and is the global leader in patents and publications related to graphene research and manufacturing, according to a report from the China Economic Information Service, affiliated to Xinhua News Agency.

"Universities contribute 35 percent of all graphene patent applications in China, converting technology into shares in graphene industrialization," Feng said.

"But due to current policies, it is still not easy to transfer technology," he added. Feng emphasized the importance of governmental supervision, saying that rules in the market should be made to prevent malicious acts via graphene conception.

Graphene is the thinnest and strongest substance known to mankind and is a derivative of carbon. With many excellent properties, graphene has become a superstar in materials and has broad prospects for application across numerous fields.

China Innovation Alliance of the Graphene Industry Research Center has predicted in a report that the Chinese graphene application market will grow to the size of 100 billion yuan ($14.99 billion) by 2020.

In that year the Chinese graphene market will account for 70 percent of the international market share, becoming the most powerful driving force in the development of the global graphene industry, and take a dominant position in the world market, according to the report.

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BeiJiaotong University experts build their vision for the future (2016-09-23,China Daily)

When the new generation of medium carrier rocket named Long March VII was launched on June 25 in Wenchang, Hainan province, a group of people in Xi'an, Shaanxi province, shared in the celebration.

They are professors and experts working with the Institute of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics at Xi'an Jiaotong University, who designed and developed a visual measurement system, algorithm and software products for the Ao Long I aerobat, the main load of the Long March VII rocket.

The institute will celebrate its 30th anniversary on Saturday.

The school was founded in 1986. Its predecessor was the computer control teaching and research laboratory under the school's automatic control department.

It was one of the earliest professional research institutions to carry out research on artificial intelligence and robotics in China.

Xuan Guorong, the first director of the institute from 1986 to 1988, made great contributions to the research and development of AI.

The 5,500-square-meter institute is a support unit of the National Engineering Laboratory for Visual Information Processing and Application and the Cognitive Science and Engineering Center for international studies.

In cooperation with globally-renowned scholars, the institute has made a range of achievements. With an edge in the disciplines of pattern recognition and intelligent systems, the school recruits more than 160 graduate students and post-doctoral assistants annually.

Under the leadership of Zheng Nanning, director of the institute and also an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, the institute was among the first group of winners of funds from Foundation for Innovative Research Groups of the National Natural Science Foundation of China in 2000.

The institute focuses on the studies of visual signal statistical characteristics, primary visual models, computer graphics and machine vision information computing. Their work combines AI information processing based on computer vision and pattern recognition with the advanced developments of related sectors in the AI field.

It also specializes in the exploration and modeling of mathematical mechanisms of intelligent systems, ultralarge scale integrated circuit design for computing vision and images, intelligent control, recognition systems and various image processing methods and techniques.

In the field of visual information processing, the institute has a well-established and soundly-structured research team. They have undertaken 51 national science and technology projects, 21 provincial and ministerial level projects, 30 corporate commissioned projects and two other important research projects.

The institute has filed more than 100 applications for invention patents. Of them, 88 were granted, including three authorized abroad. It has also obtained 29 software copyrights.

It has won a series of awards, including one second-place prize from the National Awards for Technological Invention, two second-place prizes from the National Science and Technology Progress Awards, and four first-place prizes from provincial and ministerial level science and technology awards.

Two of its researchers were winners of the Chinese Youth Awards for Science and Technology.

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Beijing to further intellectual property protection (2016-09-23,China Daily)

The International Trademark Association (INTA), the Zhongguancun Federation of Social Organizations (ZFSO) and the Beijing Intellectual Property Protection Association (BIPPA) signed a cooperation agreement for Chinese brand construction strategy on September 20 in Beijing.

The signing ceremony was also a high-level dialogue forum focusing on how INTA could promote Chinese enterprises tapping into international markets. More than 60 guests from government agencies, industry associations and companies from home and abroad attended the event.

At the ceremony, Etieenne Sanz de Acedo, chief executive officer of INTA, analyzed the internationalization strategy plans from 2014 to 2017 and offered his opinion on the best methods to help Chinese companies enter international markets.

Ronald van Tuijl, president of the INTA, said "Our three organizations are uniquely positioned to support brand owners and innovation in China. This cooperation agreement will allow us to do this effectively, through education, exchange and engagement."

The INTA brought its Annual Meeting -- the first Annual Meeting in Asia -- to Hong Kong in 2014 and attended seminars in Beijing on online counterfeiting and brand building in 2015. The company will continue to host such events in China.

Dai Jian, secretary general of the ZFSO, said that with the rapid development of the knowledge economy and economic globalization, intellectual property has become a strategic resource for enterprises and a key element in international competitiveness. Entry of Chinese companies into international markets has been accelerating in recent years, and intellectual property has become a core factor in global business competitiveness.

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Napa Valley trademark wins legal battle (2016-09-21,China Daily)

The Napa Valley Vintners Association has prevailed in its lawsuit against the Trademark Review and Adjudication Board of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, according to a recent ruling by the Beijing High People's Court.

The final verdict has put an end to a decade-long dispute about the geographical indication for the famous wine brand, reported China Intellectual Property News.

The association applied for a certification mark with the national trademark office on Feb 6, 2005, using the words "Napa Valley 100%" and a logo. The mark was approved in 2007, to be used to identify wines from the Napa Valley in the United States, and is valid until 2017.

Napa Valley is the first wine region outside China to be recognized with the status of geographical indication.

On May 18, 2005, a domestic company in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, applied for a "Screw Kappa Napa" trademark for wines.

The association filed objection against that trademark during the opposition period, claiming that "Napa" is a main part of the name identifying the origin of wines, so the Chinese company's trademark would mislead consumers.

The trademark office rejected the objection, and issued a ruling in June 2013, saying that the trademark in question had "obvious differences" from the association's geographical indication in terms of pronunciation, appearance and word constitution.

The association challenged the ruling with the Trademark Review and Adjudication Board the following month, but was rejected again in April 2014. It then filed a lawsuit against the board at the Beijing No 1 People's Intermediate Court.

However, the court ruled in favor of the board, saying the trademark in question was not similar with the association's, and would not lead to customer confusion.

The association appealed to the high court and finally won the case. The high court believed that although the trademark in question contains only one word from "Napa Valley", the word "Napa" is the most notable part in the name of the geographical indication, and consumers could easily think of Napa Valley when they see a Napa label on wines.

"A trademark does not have to look like another to mislead consumers," said Wang Xiaobing, a professor of the School of Law at Shandong University. "The premise of misleading is that the geographical indication has been widely recognized, and the result is that consumers mistake the origin of the product bearing the trademark in question."

In addition, even if the "Screw Kappa Napa" trademark is not misleading, it should be invalidated anyway, according to Wang.

He explained that the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights has an article about additional protection for geographical indications for wines and spirits.

The article says that all members of the agreement "shall provide the legal means for interested parties to prevent use of a geographical indication identifying wines for wines not originating in the place indicated by the geographical indication in question or identifying spirits for spirits not originating in the place indicated by the geographical indication in question, even where the true origin of the goods is indicated or the geographical indication is used in translation or accompanied by expressions such as 'kind', 'type', 'style', 'imitation' or the like".

The article is also seen in the Register and Administration of Collective and Certification Trademarks, issued by SAIC in 2003.

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Protection advances supply-side reforms (2016-09-21,China Daily)

Intellectual property provides a primary guarantee for advancing supply-side reforms, said Shen Changyu, commissioner of the State Intellectual Property Office, at a patent conference in Beijing on Monday.

IP boosts supply-side reforms, which "is of significance to China's new normal economic growth and also promotes the development of the global economy", Shen said at the Patent Information Annual Conference.

"IP - especially patented technologies - is a strategic resource for development and a key to sharpening competitiveness," he added.

Annual invention patent filings from China reached 1.1 million in 2015, marking the first time in the country's history to surpass the 1-million benchmark and ranking it above all other countries for five consecutive years.

In the same year, the number of valid invention patents in the country exceeded 1 million, enabling China to become the third country that has joined the 1-million club after the United States and Japan.

"How to tap into such a rich patent resource is our major concern," the commissioner said.

Meng Fengchao, chairman of the Patent Protection Association of China, called on Chinese companies to improve patent quality.

"Patents matter for industrial competition and innovative development," Meng said. "IP competition comes down to the rivalry for patent quality."

He called for an optimized patent environment and popularized IP management system certification.

"Many of our association's members are large State-owned companies, which are a major force in campaigning for building China into a strong IP powerhouse," said Meng, who is also the chairman of the board of directors at China Railway Construction Corp.

Chinese companies going abroad need to deploy their patent resources and strategies in advance, he said, suggesting that high-value patents be developed in key technological fields in advanced manufacturing and emerging industries.

Allen Lo, deputy general counsel for patents at Google, noted the importance of a transparent, fair and effective patent system, which is "just right".

Such a sound system helps to create high-quality patents, which provide significant inventions as technological solutions, rather than trivial exchanges, he said.

A patent's protection coverage should not be too broad. Otherwise, it would affect future inventions, he added.

A weak patent system would only leave a bleak landscape where few want to invest in inventions, while a too strong one would also impair technological progress, with litigation-riddled businesses in the patent-crowded markets, he said.

SIPO Commissioner Shen said the Chinese government has decided to further reforms in the IP sphere in a bid to increase IP use and protection.

One focus is "to promote patents' industrialization for increased profits and expanded development", he said.

Service providers a highlight at conference

The Patent Information Annual Conference held in Beijing from Monday to Tuesday attracted some 4,000 participants from China and abroad.

As throngs of people crowded the main venue to listen to experts' insights into how patent operation boosts supply-side reform, the neighboring lobby was also busy with exhibition stands of intellectual property service providers.

Lu Baofeng, IP sales specialist of LexisNexis, said it was the seventh time that he represented his company as a participant in the patent gathering.

"I have participated in every session of PIAC since it debuted in 2010, and have witnessed it becoming increasingly influential," the regular visitor said.

"The event is a key event in the industry," Lu said. "We can't be absent, as all our major rivals have made a presence here."

Different from Lu, Wu Jiao, assistant of general manager in the China branch of Ipside from France, attended the meeting for the first time.

"Our Beijing office has just been granted a business certificate recently," she said, adding that as a growing number of Chinese companies have started going abroad, China is gaining more popularity among IP service providers worldwide.

Shen Changyu, commissioner of the State Intellectual Property Office, said at the meeting that China's IP services have seen robust growth momentum in recent years, ranging from strategy consultation and technological financing to analysis, evaluation and training.

He said his team will speed up efforts to develop IP service clusters and encourage the development of high-end service institutes.

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Cultivation of Tibetan medicine through innovation (2016-09-20,Xinhua)

Seed germinators and western medical equipment are no longer novelties in Tibetan medicine hospitals, as researchers and doctors become increasingly technologically adept.

Tashi Tsering with the Biological Research Institute of Tibetan Medicine (BRITM) at Lhasa's Men-Tsee-Khang -- a traditional Tibetan hospital founded in 1916 -- has been growing meconopsis aculeata under controlled conditions for six years.

A rare member of the poppy family, the flowering plant grows only at high altitude and is used in 257 traditional remedies, principally for liver complaints.

As global warming pushes the snowline upward, the plant's habitat has shifted from 3,000-4,000 meters above sea level to 5,000. This, coupled with growing demand, has resulted in even greater scarcity, according to Tashi Tsering.


Tashi Tsering and his team surveyed 37 counties in Gansu, Qinghai, Sichuan, Tibet and Yunnan before their first attempt to cultivate the plant.

"We scored zero on our first try," he said. No seeds sprouted in 2011 at the test site in Lhasa, despite the light, temperature, moisture and soil having been meticulously controlled to simulate the natural habitat.

The planting season comes but once a year, and in the second year, the germination rate rose to 17 percent. In 2015, the team harvested their own seeds for the first time and this year almost 90 percent of them sprouted. Despite the achievement, it is too early to begin celebrations until technical assessment and lab tests confirm the reliability of the home-grown product.

Traditionally, Tibetan medical practitioners spent years learning to gather herbs, with instructions so sophisticated that they had to memorize which part of each herb to pick under which weather and seasonal conditions and at which time.

The BRITM has grown 27 endangered herbs in artificial conditions over the past decade and a new lab now houses a variety of equipment including germinators, climate incubators, soil testers and imaging systems.

"To meet the rising demand for Tibetan medicine, artificial cultivation of medicinal herbs is a must," said Tashi Tsering.


Tibetan medicine's influence is expanding beyond the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.

For example, An'erning granules, a remedy for the common cold in children and approved by the State Food and Drug Administration, is a leading paediatric patent medicine nationwide.

Treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, considered incurable in western medicine, is claimed to be 94 percent successful in the Arura Hospital in Xining where Tibetan doctors use a holistic approach including medicated bathing, special diets and psychology.

Konchok Gyaltsen, honorary president of the hospital, believes that it is the unique combination of philosophy and herbalism that creates and maintains a healthy mind and body.

Dorje, director of the Qinghai Provincial Tibetan Medicine Research Institute, argues that Tibetan medicine was advanced even in ancient times, with Tibetan physicians performing brain and cataract surgery 1,000 years before their western counterparts. At the Qinghai Tibetan Culture Museum in Xining, dozens of surgical instruments used 1,300 years ago are on display.

Daindar, director of the Men-Tsee-Khang cardiology department, has practiced Tibetan medicine for 33 years and is a firm advocate of the cardiopulmonary function analyzer and other modern equipment to speed up diagnosis and treatment.

He said the hospital had accumulated a plethora of modern equipment over the past five years. Since 2014, the hospital has received 256 million yuan (about 38 million U.S. dollars) from the central government to raise standards.

Soinam, head of medical development at the hospital, explained how traditional herb processing had been transplanted from workshops to laboratories. The hospital began research on quality standards for medical herbs in 2006, and have since covered nearly 150 plants.

Soinam and his team are working hard to turn Tibetan medicine from its traditional decoctions and pills to granules which are more popular in the market but rely on broader use of modern extractive technology.

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Profit of BOE may reach 100 million yuan (2016-09-19,China Daily)

In the first half year of 2016, the revenue of BOE was 26.45 billion yuan ($3.97 billion), an increase of 15.14 percent. The profit from January to September is expected to reach 50 milion yuan ($7.5 million) to 100 million yuan ($15 million).

To strengthen technological innovation skills and new products development, BOE invested 1.94 billion yuan ($290 million) in 2016, 37.5 percent more than the previous year. The number of new patent applications is 4000, an increase of 25 percent; they apply to 40 percent of the BOE’s new products.

8K display technology from BOE has ADSDS technology with a visible angle of 178 degree, a resolution value of 7680*4320, and a display effect four times higher than 4K*2K(UHD) and 16 times higher than FHD. BOE, as a leader in 8 K ULTRA-HD technology, constantly promotes its development. BOE was selected to be the supplier to Japanese broadcaster NHK on April, 2014, and helped NHK to launch a six-month-tour to popularize 8K display technology. At the Rio Olympics Game, it used BOE 8K display technology to rebroadcast competitions, and BOE’s 98-inch display product was the only such product used by Brazil.

From 2018, Japan will use 8K broadcast technology, and at the 2020 Japan Olympic Game all the broadcast products will be 8K display.

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Chongqing safeguards intellectual property rights (2016-09-18,China Daily)

The Chongqing government signed a cooperation agreement with Chongqing Investment Consultation Group on Sept 12, to jointly build a comprehensive service platform to protect intellectual property (IP) rights.

The service platform is supported by a professional team including lawyers, patent agents, translators and senior engineers. It aims to provide a package of comprehensive services from application and usage, to protections of intellectual property rights, such as trademarks, copyright, patents, industrial design rights and trade secrets.

The platform also offers six types of derived services, including IP confirmation, information, consultancy, commercial services, legal affairs, and educational training, according to a manager from the company.

As China is accelerating its innovation-driven development strategy on a path toward becoming an IP powerhouse, the service platform is a pioneering step in incentivizing local companies to innovate. The local government will also provide the service platform with favorable government policies to create an innovation-friendly climate in Chongqing.

A policy on accelerating the implementation of the innovation-driven strategy released by the central government in March 2015, noted the significance of strict IP protection and enhanced support for technological innovation in the capital market, and called for exploring IP securitization and IP-collateralized financial services.

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Patents vital for Northeast China's development plan (2016-09-14,China Daily)

The 2016 China International Patent Fair, which was held in Dalian, Liaoning province, from Sept 9 to 11, set up an effective cooperative platform for international patents and products, said experts.

Statistics from the organizing committee show that on the first day of the fair 12 major projects signed contracts worth a total of 447 million yuan ($66.9 million). These technologies ranged from smart manufacturing to shipbuilding, new energy and new materials, energy conservation and environmental protection, as well as healthcare.

Sponsored by the State Intellectual Property Office and the Liaoning provincial government, the event showcased more than 5,500 patented technologies and products created by 1,175 companies, universities and research institutes from 24 countries and regions.

It was the first time that the fair displayed patents from the Netherlands, Israel and Austria.

"As a major patent fair, it plays an important role in promoting the commercialization and industrialization of patents," said SIPO commissioner Shen Changyu.

He said that participants can take advantage of the fair to promote the transformation and trade of patents, explore new systems and new measures, improve the efficiency of the transformation of intellectual property rights and promote the efficiency and development of the economy.

Dalian Intelland Intellectual Property Co Ltd, which has created an online platform for patents, attracted much attention from insiders.

Gathering patent agents and lawyers from both China and overseas, it provides a one-stop service for intellectual properties, including patent application, rights protection, trademark and copyright registration, and related professional services.

"Since more Chinese companies and individuals are aware of the importance of intellectual property, there is huge potential to bring them to the global market," said Long Feng, president of Dalian Intelland.

During the fair, eight specialized meetings were held, including those for promoting Israeli innovative investment projects, Belarusian civil-military integration development projects, and patents from the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

More than 50 buyer groups and 1,600 professional buyers attended the exhibition. Through the fair, they realized effective connection both online and offline.

The host city, Dalian, has benefited significantly from the fair, which was initiated in 2002.

Xiao Shengfeng, mayor of Dalian, said the fair has grown into one of China's most influential platforms for the display and transaction of patents. He added it has made a remarkable contribution to the optimization and upgrading of China's economic structure and the healthy development of its economy.

This year, the central government has approved the establishment of the Shenyang-Dalian National Independent Innovation Demonstration Area and a pilot free trade zone in Liaoning.

Taking these advantages, Dalian will continue to carry out its innovation-driven development strategy and intellectual property strategy, Xiao said.

"We will strive to build a superior environment for innovation and entrepreneurship. We will also speed up the construction of the scientific and technological innovation and entrepreneurship center in Northeast Asia, in order to make a greater contribution to the comprehensive revitalization of the Northeast Old Industrial Base," said Xiao.

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Strength that's only an atom deep (2016-09-12,China Daily)

A new material made up of a thin layer of pure carbon may give China profound opportunities, a leading British expert says

China can play a globally significant role in graphene development and commercialization through scientific research, coordinating international scientific exchanges, and production, says Robert Young, a renowned graphene scientist and a professor of polymer science and technology at the University of Manchester.

Young, who is leading a major graphene collaboration between the UK's National Graphene Institute and the Beijing Institute of Aeronautical Materials, voiced support for the Chinese government's focus and push on developing graphene, adding that he is impressed by the good, fundamental knowledge of graphene already acquired by Chinese science organizations.

Graphene is one of the most interesting inventions of modern times, and has the potential to transform the field of material science. A thin layer of pure carbon, it is tougher than a diamond, yet very lightweight, and easily conducts electricity and heat. It has been used for a wide variety of applications, from strengthening tennis rackets to building semiconductors.

Graphene was first isolated from the mineral graphite at the University of Manchester by Andre Geim and Kostya Novoselov in 2004. The achievement earned them the Nobel Prize in physics in 2010. Owing to its short history, its commercial potential has yet to be unlocked.

"China's high-tech manufacturing industry, ability to invest heavily in the graphene sector and its abundance of highly qualified graphene industry talent all contribute to its advantages in the graphene industry," Young says.

He says China is going in the right direction in giving graphene an important role in its policies, such as in the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20), which sets out the country's development objectives.

China and the UK can cooperate greatly in graphene research in two key ways, Young says. "First, the exchange of talent is important. For example, in my team there are several Chinese PhD students doing graphene research, and I would expect they will in the future return to China and share their knowledge and expertise."

The other contribution China can make to the global graphene field is the hosting of academic and industrial conferences, to facilitate more discussions and exchange of ideas in the area, he says, adding that one example is the GraphChina conference in Qingdao in August, which facilitates graphene industry discussions.

Graphene has an important role to play for China, especially as it has been discovered at a time when China's electronics industry is also developing rapidly and will able to make the most of this material, Young says.

"Chinese industries are much more sophisticated compared with 20 years ago, and graphene can also greatly help China achieve its ambition of a structural shift toward high-end manufacturing," he says.

Currently, 70 percent of graphene's raw material, graphite, is found in China, giving Chinese graphene manufacturers a big advantage. To make the most of such an advantage, China has also established five graphene industrial parks to accelerate the industrialization of the material. The parks are located in Changzhou, Wuxi, Ningbo, Qingdao and Chongqing.

According to statistics from the UK's National Physical Laboratory, China has applied for 47 percent of the world's total graphene patents, and is currently the world's biggest applicant country.

The Beijing-based market intelligence firm ResearchInChina estimates that China's graphene market will grow to 200 million yuan ($30 million; 26.6 million euros) in 2018, compared with the current global market of $65 million. The global market in 2015 was worth $24.4 million.

Young completed his doctorate in materials science at the University of Cambridge 1972. Over the past few decades, he has worked with several groundbreaking materials including carbon nanotubes - cylindrical carbon molecules useful in nanotechnology and other fields - when they became popular 15 years ago. But he says graphene is the most interesting because it holds more potential.

Carbon nanotubes are atomically similar to graphene, but are harder to handle during processing, and do not have as wide and diverse a set of functions, so they do not appear to hold as much potential, he says.

"Graphene is an interesting material because it is thin, only one atom thick, but is very strong and stiff. It has multiple advantages, including the ability to conduct electricity well, to conduct heat well, and it is transparent.

"The interest in graphene is due to its multiple complex characteristics, as well as the attention it has attracted toward 2D materials, which were already discovered decades ago, but their potential can now be fully realized by combining them with graphene." Substances made up of a single layer of atoms are called 2D materials.

To fully unlock graphene's potential, commercialization is needed. The standardization of graphene production and securing production that is cost effective and of high quality are big challenges.

Young's team is working on the creation of a uniform standard for graphene. Standardization gives users of graphene reliable information on the chemical composition and structure of the material they receive.

"China can contribute a lot to this standardization process, because of China's abundant graphite deposits and its interest in pushing forward the standardization agenda. Once standards are created and adopted, ensuring consistency and cost efficiency shouldn't be too difficult, because the production of graphene is not a particularly expensive process," he says.

Young is leading two research collaborations with Chinese organizations. The first, in collaboration with the Beijing institute, examines how graphene could transform the transport sector by making aircraft and high-speed rail systems tougher and lighter. The research examines the effect of adding graphene to metals, including copper and aluminum, and to rubber and polymer resins. Aluminum is used mostly for the structural elements of aircraft, and adding graphene could make it tougher and stiffer.

Copper is used mostly for the electrical wires, and graphene could improve conductivity. Rubber components on an aircraft are mostly used for seals, such as around doors and windows. Polymer resins are used for adhesives, used to join components together, as in the case of composites. Adding graphene could make them more durable.

Young says this work mainly involves primary level research, and the Beijing institute would use the results for commercialization in China and globally.

In addition, Young is working with Hong Kong Polytechnic University on the applications of graphene in flexible electronics, such as its incorporation into clothing.

Despite graphene's numerous benefits, some scientists have questioned whether it will live up to its full potential, since attention could be drawn away by newer groundbreaking materials. That has been a pattern repeated with breakthroughs in recent decades. In the 1980s and '90s there was carbon 60, in the '90s and 2000s there was nanotubes, and now there's graphene.

But Young believes graphene will withstand the test of time. "Its electronic properties are unique. It is not only interesting in itself, but has also revived a huge interest in other 2D materials."

Such 2D materials have unusual characteristics that advance scientific development in applications such as photovoltaics, semiconductors, electrodes and water purification.

"Graphene's discovery also happened at a time when the world had developed the right analytical techniques to understand and reveal graphene's characteristics, and also a pool of applications, such as flexible electronics, opened up," he says.

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Scientists use light to manipulate liquids, potentially enable at-home medical tests (2016-09-09,People's Daily)

Scientists in Shanghai published the results of their research on light-driven manipulation of liquids on Sept. 8. The research team believes that the new technology may promote the development of at-home medical tests in the future.

Scientists at Fudan University have jointly published a paper in the Nature in which they outline a strategy to manipulate fluid through the photo-induced asymmetric deformation of tubular micro-actuators. This induces capillary forces for liquid propulsion. In other words, by altering lighting conditions, the new technology can accurately change the speed and direction of the movement of fluids.

“We expect that our research will find use in micro-reactors and micro-optomechanical systems in the future. The new technology will simplify the current micro-fluidic system, making it possible to manufacture medical labs on chips,” said Yü Yanlei, a professor in the department of Materials Science at Fudan University.

Yü, who is also the leader of the research team, gave an interview to on Sept. 8. According to Yü, if the new technology can be used in the medical industry, blood tests will only require a few drops of blood to get results, and ordinary people can even test their own blood at home.

Yü and her team have applied for a national patent for their research results, reported.

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'Earning 100 million yuan' company founded after richest man's words go viral (2016-09-08,China Daily)

The copyright of "small target of 100 million yuan" ($15 million), a phrase originally coined by China's richest man Wang Jianlin and which erupted in popularity on the internet, does not just belong to him anymore.

A company named "Shenzhen earning 100 million yuan industrial limited company" was registered in Shenzhen, South China's Guangdong province on September 5, with a registered capital of 2.5 million yuan ($374,953), reported.

Wang Jianlin, founder and chairman of Dalian Wanda Group, said $15 million was a small target during a show on celebrities' daily lifestyles. "You shouldn't be that ambitious," Wang said. "Set a small target first, like earning 100 million yuan."

His statement went viral on social media sites such as Sina Weibo, with the post garnering 2.4 million hits.

The registration information shows the new company's business scope includes just about everything, including the development and sales of computer software; electronic products, communications products, LED products, daily necessities, clothing and footwear, machinery and electrical equipment, plastic materials, silicone materials, metal building materials; sales of primary agricultural commodities; investment in industrial projects; domestic trade, import and export of goods and technology.

Tang Guodian, the legal representative of the company, also registered eight other companies within one year in Shenzhen, with registered capital ranging from 1.2 million yuan to 5 million yuan.

Whether these companies running real business or not is unknown. But business scope of most of these companies include "electronic products, metal products, plastic products, fabrics and garments, machinery and equipment, cardboard and packaging products, building materials, sales of primary agricultural products and other domestic trade, import and export of goods and technology, research and development and sales of computer hardware, and sales of pre-packaged food."

Using network buzz words as the name of companies is not new.

On August 8, Chinese swimmer Fu Yuanhui, after she qualified for the women's 100m backstroke final, said during an interview with China Central Television: "I have used all my prehistoric power to swim", alluding to the fact that she had given every effort in the race.

The phrase "prehistoric power" became widely popular and was registered as a trademark by a citizen in Baoding, North China's Hebei province, two days later. The trademark covers several categories such as functional drinks, canned fruit, gym equipment and music and entertainment programs.

According to incomplete statistics, nearly 30 companies have registered the phrase "prehistoric power" as their names.

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NPC: TCM requires greater protection (2016-09-07,China Daily)

China should put greater focus on the intellectual property protection of traditional Chinese medicine to guarantee better development, said Chen Changzhi, vice-chairman of the National People's Congress Standing Committee, at a recent conference held for the review of the related draft law.

"TCM is far from being adequately protected in terms of IP, for we still have many weak points in such aspects as patents, trademarks, technical know-how and business secrets," Science and Technology Daily quoted Chen as saying.

The National People's Congress, the top legislature in the country, held its bimonthly session in Beijing from Aug 29 to Sept 3, reading and discussing draft laws on TCM, national defense, transportation and the movie industry.

About 10 days earlier, President Xi Jinping also stressed at a two-day national meeting on health the role of TCM in promoting people's health, underlining the importance of innovation, and the coordinated and complementary development of TCM and Western medicine.

However, China's TCM sector is facing a developmental predicament. A large number of valuable prescriptions were lost and trademarks have also been preemptively registered by overseas trademark squatters.

In addition, statistics from Japan's Daiwa Institute of Research Group show that China holds less than a 5 percent share in international TCM markets, while Japan holds an estimated 80 percent market share.

Li Andong, member of the NPC Standing Committee, said at the session that the lack of IP controls and awareness in the TCM sector has seriously hampered its innovation and progress. Li called for more official encouragement and support for the application of IP rights for innovative TCM achievements.

Participants also proposed to further protect traditional TCM knowledge through databases and catalogs, and establish a multilevel personnel training system to promote stewardship.

Other topics discussed included construction of a management system, TCM medical licensing examination and quality supervision on TCM materials.

So far, there is no clear standard for the kind of medicinal materials that are qualified, which has led to problems like the abuse of pesticides and chemical fertilizers, and excessive heavy metal content in those medicinal materials, said You Hongtao, president of Chongqing Pharscin Pharmaceutical Co, China Radio International reported on its website.

The draft, which has finished its second reading, stresses stricter management of farms used for herb cultivation, as well as better environmental protection for herb-growing regions and enhanced safety during processing.

In addition, research on projects crucial to TCM's development, such as prevention and treatment of major diseases, should be strengthened.

The initial draft was first read in December 2015.

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2016 Intl Graphene Innovation Conference to kick off in Qingdao (2016-09-07,China Daily)

The 2016 International Graphene Innovation Conference (GRAPChina 2016) is set to open on Sept 22 in Qingdao, East China's Shandong province, to discuss research areas, along with the application and promotion of the industrialization of graphene.

Jointly organized by Qingdao National High-tech Industrial Development Zone and the China Graphene Industry Technology Innovation Strategic Alliance, the three-day event is being held at the Qingdao International Convention Center, consisting of some 40 different sessions, with 2,000 experts and insiders from 600 enterprises attending, from more than 30 countries and regions.

The 2016 International Advanced Carbon Materials Exposition (IACM-EXPO 2016) will also be taking place from Sept 22 to 24. Covering an area of 10,000 square meters, it is expected to attract suppliers of graphene raw materials, equipment manufacturers, as well as downstream enterprises.

Graphene, first isolated by scientists in 2004, is a carbon isomer that can conduct heat and electricity with great efficiency. Its potential market is worth hundreds of billions of US dollars as the material is being used in producing semiconductors and electronics.

Carbon nanotubes are tubular cylinders of carbon atoms that have extraordinary mechanical, electrical, thermal, optical and chemical properties. Graphene is the thinnest and strongest substance known to mankind and is a carbon derivative.

China is now the global leader in patents and publications related to carbon nanotubes, graphene research and manufacturing, accounting for about 47 percent of the total patents, according to a report released by the National Physical Laboratory in the United Kingdom in October 2015.

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The name game (2016-09-07,China Daily)

Chinese brands need a strong identity to connect with global consumers if they want to reach the ranks of the world's most famous products

If you were to ask people outside China how many well-known Chinese brands they can name off the cuff, there probably wouldn't be that many.

However, if the question were asked about US brands, then Facebook, Apple, Starbucks and Ford would likely roll off the tongue.

The number of valuable homebred Chinese brands is clearly not proportional to the country's status as the world's second- largest economy.

With China expediting its efforts to transform a manufacturing-led economy to a consumption and service-driven one, branding is increasingly seen as a key strategy to achieve this goal.

The importance of branding has been recognized by the Chinese leadership in recent years, as the country is determined to see a transition from low-quality to high-quality production, and from unbranded or weakly branded products and services to strong Chinese brands.

In 2014, President Xi Jinping indicated that China must undergo serious restructuring, including a movement from "made in China" to "branded in China".

In June, the State Council released a document on how to upgrade domestic supply and demand structures by enhancing the quality of product brands in China, including expanding publicity for brands with independent intellectual property rights, and encouraging consumption.

Experts say this is undoubtedly the right strategy for China and Chinese companies to capture more of the production value chain.

According to a report by Brand Finance, a London-based brand valuation consultancy company, China came second in a list of the world's most valuable national brands last year, valued at $6.3 billion, behind the United States at $19.7 billion.

"China is trying hard to win respect from the rest of the world and restore confidence that a great nation like China needs. If there is no successful national and corporate branding, this will be difficult to achieve in global markets and modern society," says Paul Temporal, a global expert on brand creation and an associate fellow at Oxford University's Said Business School.

Temporal suggests China create a national task force to oversee branding efforts throughout the country, similar to those of Singapore and Malaysia, as branding activities in China are fragmented - provinces and companies are all looking to create their own brands.

David Haigh, CEO of Brand Finance, says it is common for national and regional government organizations to proliferate brands, which can confuse the overall image.

"There is a great deal of fragmentation at the city, regional and national level within China, which weakens the overall message for Brand China externally," he says, whereas in the UK, there is one coherent and unified national brand campaign.

The Great campaign, supported by the British government, has simplified and focused the message for the UK. It is now used in all British embassies, trade promotion activities and tourism promotions to help British tourism, exports and foreign direct investment.

Wang Qing, a professor of marketing and innovation at Britain's Warwick Business School, holds a slightly different opinion. She notes that the Chinese government has indicated recently that it wants to promote a number of large, state-owned enterprises as national champions, similar to policies adopted by Singapore and South Korea.

"While I agree that there should be a more coordinated approach to brand building, especially for international markets, the highly centralized approach by countries like Singapore and South Korea will not be suitable for a country as large and diverse as China," Wang says.

She says strong national brands should emerge from a competitive domestic environment based on free market mechanisms, and the rise of both Huawei and Lenovo as strong national brands is a good manifestation of a free market approach.

Apart from resources and investment, Wang says brand building also requires craftsmanship, patience and perseverance. The government's role is to create a legal environment where brands can flourish, copyright and intellectual property can be protected, and counterfeit brands are strictly prohibited, she adds.

Temporal, who is also a visiting professor at Peking University's HSBC Business School in Shenzhen, says: "Every nation has an identity, and if that identity is very positive, then this will help companies coming out of China into the world market because it is a country-of-origin effect, and if they do well, then this spins back to the national brand.

"This is what happened with countries such as Germany. They are known for reliability, quality and engineering, and therefore if all the brands that come out from Germany, particularly in automobiles, are fine, people are quite happy," he says.

For a long time, China's economic growth has been heavily dependent on low-cost manufacturing rather than marketing and branding, and research and development. R&D, however, creates intellectual property and trademarks, patents and copyrights, making it difficult for competitors to imitate.

Similarly, marketing activities create brands and loyal customers, which produce differential advantages for the country, Wang says. "All major advanced countries have both innovation capabilities and strong brands."

In a 2015 Best Global Brands report by Interbrand, eight in 10 of the world's 100 most valuable brands were from the US, with Apple ranking first with $170.27 billion, followed by Google, Coca-Cola, Microsoft and IBM. Only two Chinese brands were listed in the top 100, Huawei ($4.95 billion) at 88, and Lenovo ($4.11 billion) at 100.

Temporal explains that the secret recipe for these valuable global brands is the ability to emotionally connect with consumers, and most Chinese brands do not have the knowledge and skills so ably demonstrated by Western companies in this aspect of brand building.

Powerful companies always develop their brands based on emotions of universal appeal, says Temporal, who cites the example of Nike, driven by the emotional brand drive of winning; Coca-Cola, based on the concept of happiness; and Walmart, associated with enriching people's life.

Chinese brands and businesses might have corporate visions that deal with numbers and market shares, but they do not have brand visions, he says. "Brand visions are all concerned with what you want to stand for emotionally in the minds of your customers."

Haigh from Brand Finance agrees, saying: "World-beating brands all attract passionate loyalty from their customers because they create an emotional relationship and attachment. Such loyalty is like a great friendship or love affair. Emotional brand loyalty leads to higher prices and more frequent usage.

"Brands work best when they combine design and manufacturing superiority, functional excellence, superb service delivery with emotional attachment and an attractive and unique personality," he adds.

While China is gearing up to build its brands globally, many Western companies are keen to break into the Chinese market as a result of Chinese consumers spending a great deal on high-quality, luxury products. Yet something as simple as a name can make all the difference in success or failure.

Product naming can be a minefield for many Western companies, due to culture and language differences.

"Many people don't realize that there is quite an art to the naming process. Brand names in China are extremely significant to consumers, much more so than in the West. It could actually make or break a product, and getting the right combination of brand meaning and pronunciation is a fine art when launching a product in Chinese markets," says Stephen Knowles, managing director of Industrial Design Consultancy UK.

Industrial specialists say naming a product is not just a simple case of translating a word, as Chinese characters can be interpreted in a number of different ways and there are many different dialects in China, which can lead to misinterpretation if the naming is not well planned.

Launching a product in China is a big investment for Western companies so it is important to get the name right. A bad name can jeopardize that investment, whereas a great name can significantly increase the return on the investment.

The key to success, Knowles says, is the creativity and cultural understanding to link Western values with the needs, culture and language of the Chinese market.

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I-M-WAY sets out to offer clear path to tech upgrading of traditional industry (2016-09-06,China Daily)

The new Intelligent Manufacturing Way, or I-M-WAY-a 380-meter-long avenue located in Zhongguancun Science Park in Beijing's Haidian district-is aiming to become a landmark for intelligent manufacturing and boost the transformation and upgrading of China's traditional manufacturing industry.

Its creation also echoes the Made in China 2025 initiative, a 10-year program that aims to transform China from being a manufacturing giant into a world manufacturing power.

As the country's tech hub, Zhongguancun has gathered a large number of software companies and hardware retail shops.

I-M-WAY, which was officially opened last month, is Zhongguancun's newest move to make a breakthrough in the intelligent manufacturing field.

"I-M-WAY provides a one-stop hardware service to help small and medium-sized high-tech companies shorten their time in developing new products," said Cheng Jing, CEO of Zhongguancun Intelligent Manufacturing Avenue.

It is different from the existing Zhongguancun Inno Way, which mainly focuses on encouraging entrepreneurship and innovation, Cheng added.

The industrial ecosystem of I-M-WAY includes seven aspects, comprising hardware production, solutions, standards and testing, innovation services, brand promotion, incubation platform and innovative enterprises. Surrounded by Peking University, Tsinghua University, Beihang University and University of Science & Technology Beijing, I-M-WAY geographically enjoys an advantageous position to attract skilled staff and technological innovation.

About 40 companies have been gathered in I-M-WAY, including G-Wearables, Trustworthy and Han Tang Zi Yuan. They are involved in many key areas of intelligent manufacturing such as internet of things, sensors, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, 3-D printing and robots.

The annual output of these companies reached more than 3 billion yuan ($450.9 million). In order to settle down at this street, enterprises must be able to offer world-leading technology and services, with at least five patents, said Cheng.

The Innovation O.N.E Service Center is the core service agency in I-M-WAY, Cheng said. O.N.E Center works on certification, legal services, financial consultancy, tax services as well as policy guidance for firms that have established themselves in I-M-WAY.

Not only domestic companies but also international incubators have chosen I-M-WAY. For example, Plug & Play, the biggest incubation platform in the US and ARM Innovation Ecosystem Accelerator have set up there.

"Plug and Play was introduced here for its experience in growing startups and its rich resources in the Silicon Valley," Cheng said.

Many famous international groups including Microsoft Corp and Google Inc are going to cooperate with I-M-WAY as well.

In the next three years it is expected that transformation in scientific and technological achievements in I-M-WAY will escalate exponentially. Cheng added that more innovative firms would enter in the new avenue.

Yu Jun, the chief of Beijing's Haidian district, said the avenue would further continue to promote the commercialization of research findings and build up a development chain concentrating on intelligent manufacturing.

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Treating gastric cancer with a medical capsule like no other (2016-09-04,China Daily)

In the Shanghai Zhangjiang National Innovation Demonstration Zone, the constant drive for innovation in medical technology has produced one-of-a-kind products never before seen in the world.

One such product that was created in the zone is NaviCam, the world's first magnetically controlled capsule endoscope system. Weighing less than 5 grams, the capsule is able to capture images of a patient's digestive system with a tiny in-built camera.

Developed and commercialized by Ankon Technologies Co Ltd, the capsule can be safely ingested and expelled from the body without the need for anesthesia. Ankon said that the device also helps reduce pain and discomfort for patients and boosts treatment efficiency.

"The precise control and positioning functions of the NaviCam ensures a comprehensive examination of the stomach. A complete gastric examination can be done in just 15 minutes using the NaviCam," said Ji Pengsong, president of Ankon.

According to Ankon, the NaviCam combines cutting-edge technologies such as sensors, optical imaging, image processing, wireless communications and device packaging. The device comprises more than 300 parts and is supported by over 40 international technological patents. The company also claimed that such a technology is three to five years ahead of world standards.

China has one of the highest rates of gastric cancer in the world. There are about 400,000 new gastric cancer cases every year in China, accounting for more than 40 percent of all new gastric cancer cases worldwide.

The survival rate for advanced gastric cancer is less than 30 percent. However, if detected early, patients have a 90 percent chance of survival.

Gastric cancer is usually detected by gastroscopy, a process where a flexible tube called an endoscope is inserted into the patient's mouth and down into the stomach. Liao Zhuan, a gastroenterologist at the Shanghai Changhai Hospital, said that about 80 million people have refused gastroscopic examinations before because of the fear of the pain and discomfort the procedure causes.

As such, early detection of gastric cancer and the chances of survival becomes less likely.

Liao said that the NaviCam will likely be able to rectify this problem and allow patients to receive the necessary treatment at an earlier stage.

According to Ankon, the NaviCam has already been used in more than 100 hospitals and medical centers across China and will be available in about 500 hospitals and medical centers, including second and third tier cities, by the end of 2016.

Smart medical service cloud platform

Besides the NaviCam, Ankon has also established a nationwide medical network which unites experts and scholars in digestology. This internet-based cloud technology platform, the first of its kind in this field, is able to run a digestive system healthcare database that connects more than 1,000 experts and doctors from the country's top hospitals and medical institutions.

The platform also enables the photos taken by the NaviCam to be sent to the cloud platform. Experienced doctors will then be able to look at these images before making diagnoses and treatment suggestions.

The developer said such an online diagnostic and service platform allows medical service providers to share information and enhance working efficiency.

"The platform shortens the distance between doctors and patients, especially those living in remote areas. Patients can also choose the hospitals and doctors they prefer by using this platform," said Ji.

Ankon is currently also developing other types of innovative medical equipment and facilities for the treatment of stomach and digestive diseases, including a robot that can treat constipation and improve the intestinal environment, an instrument that can measure gastric dynamics, as well as surgical robots that can be used to perform minimally invasive surgeries.

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Saving lives with science (2016-09-04,China Daily)

Home to key developments in stem cell therapy, the Zhangjiang National Innovation Demonstration Zone is playing a crucial role in the fight against diseases

As the progress of traditional medical solutions such as drugs and surgery have slowed, the advanced technology of stem cell therapy has been hailed as the new way to repair or replace damaged cells and overcome diseases.

In recent years, Shanghai's Zhangjiang National Innovation Demonstration Zone has been promoting the development of bioengineering and pharmaceutical industries, in which research into such technology forms a vital part of their operations.

Stem cell therapy refers to the use of stem cells to treat or prevent a disease or conditions. Bone marrow transplants today are the most widely-used form of stem cell therapy. Other types of stem cell therapy include those that involve umbilical cord blood.

Research into the development of sources for stem cells and their application in treatments for neurodegenerative diseases and conditions such as diabetes and heart disease are currently being conducted as well.

Last year, a stem cell translational medicine industry project involving a total investment of 255 million yuan ($38.17 million) was approved by the Shanghai government. Located at Shanghai's Zhangjiang National Innovation Demonstration Zone, the project was led by the Tongji University-affiliated East Hospital. The hospital is responsible for integrating resources from the world's leading players in the medical and research sectors.

The hospital has established a stem cell alliance with more than 40 enterprises to carry out translational medicine work, including treating heart failure with bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells, treating Parkinson's disease with retinal progenitor cells and treating osteoarthritis with ectomesenchymal blood fat composition.

The project has also resulted in the creation of platforms related to stem cell preparation, quality control services, stem cell technology products and stem cell industry promotion services.

"Through this project, there will be breakthroughs in heart failure treatment, arthritis, Parkinson's disease treatment and immune disease treatment, which will benefit more patients across the country," said Liu Zhongmin, president of East Hospital.

"All these achievements by Zhangjiang's biomedicine industry have demonstrated the effectiveness of its world-class abilities to serve the public," he added.

The hospital has been carrying out stem cell translational medicine studies since 2012 and it currently has 296 stem cell storage-related independent inventions and patents.

In addition, the China Stem Cell Group Co Ltd has also been actively promoting the development of personalized stem cell medical treatment in Zhangjiang.

Established in 2004, the group has the largest repository of stem cell resources as well as the highest number of transplantation cases in China, and helps provide safe and effective stem cell therapy to patients suffering from blood disease and other illnesses.

As of July, the group had already performed about 2,000 cases of clinical transplantation, the most of any institution in the country. Wang Lei, general manger of the group, said that they have so far achieved a 100 percent match-rate for their patients.

The group has been cooperating with 83 hospitals across the country, mainly providing cord blood storage and clinical transplantation services. It has also worked with the Shanghai Cord Blood Bank to establish an integrated medical platform that covers regular storage, research and treatment.

According to Wang, the group has been expanding its operations across the nation. One such project is the stem cell hospital project in Hainan province. This hospital, which is expected to begin operations in 2017, will be the country's first and largest hospital of its kind. More than 1,000 transplantation cases are expected to be held at the facility annually.

Wang added that the group is also planning to build the world's largest blood diseases hospital in Jiading Park within the Zhangjiang National Innovation Demonstration Zone.

However, Wang said that China is still far from meeting current demands for such treatments.

"China has about four million patients with various blood diseases and there are about 40,000 new cases each year. Unfortunately, only 3,000 to 4,000 of them are suitable to undergo transplantation treatment. There is still a large number of patients on the waiting list," said Wang.

"If more people are willing to store or donate their cord blood hematopoietic stem cells, more patients can be helped."

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China's ground zero for scientific innovation (2016-09-04,China Daily)

A look at the Zhangjiang National Innovation Demonstration Zone in Shanghai, which has been taking the lead in producing the cutting-edge developments in recent years

The world's first quantum communication experimental satellite was successfully launched into space from Jiuquan in Gansu province on August 16, marking yet another important milestone in China's space program.

At the same time, this latest achievement shone the spotlight on Shanghai's Zhangjiang National Innovation Demonstration Zone where much of the research into domestic quantum communication takes place.

Indeed, Pan Jianwei, the chief scientist of the satellite project at the Chinese Academy of Sciences Shanghai Institute for Advanced Studies, spends most of his time within this high-tech zone, which is today considered one of the most high profile scientific landmarks in China. China's first quantum communication industry park (phase one) is also located in this zone.

"Initially, many people believed that quantum communication technology is too front-ended to become applicable and think that it's still in the stage of basic studies and theory discussion," said Cao Zhenquan, deputy director of Shanghai Zhangjiang National Innovation Demonstration Zone.

"However, we believe that such technology has great potential to prosper given the right application. We want to be the first in the world to achieve this," Cao said.

Cao also disclosed that the quantum communication industry park has been working with the financial institutions in Shanghai's Lujiazui business district to establish the world's first long-distance quantum secret communication line connecting Shanghai and Beijing.

Innovative ecosystem and resources

In addition to the quantum communication industrial park, there are also a number of cutting-edge projects sprouting from Zhangjiang that have given the location a reputation for being the best location in China for scientific technology innovation. They include a terahertz technology products experimental base, a capsule endoscopy robot trial production line, a stem cells translational medicine industry base, an internet of things advanced sensor project and a mobile internet video industrial park.

The Shanghai Zhangjiang National Innovation Demonstration Zone comprises 22 industrial parks and 124 sub-parks that are homes to different industry clusters, such as new generation information technology, high-end facilities manufacturing, pharmaceutical, as well as energy and environmental protection.

The zone is also a massive repository for innovative resources contributed by the more than 70,000 scientific and innovative enterprises. There are also more than 1,400 research institutions in the zone. The total number of invention patents in this area exceed 51,000.

In 2014, Zhangjiang was identified as a vital element in Shanghai's planned transformation into a global science and technology innovation hub that would exert significant influence on a global scale.

According to Cao, the Zhangjiang zone has, for the past two decades, been working to build an innovative system that can cultivate new industries, attract skilled talent from around the world and implement key projects as part of the national strategy for innovative development and economic transformation.

Encouraging entrepreneurship and attracting talent

Zhangjiang has also released a series of measures to encourage entrepreneurship, especially the development of internet-based industry.

The demonstration zone released a guideline stating that a batch of maker spaces, or centers that provide technology and support to help businesses innovate, would be established from 2015 to 2017. These maker spaces are usually embedded into companies of distinctive and key industries so as to help accelerate the growth of startups. Besides that, business incubators will be created to provide various supports to startups.

To attract talent from home and abroad, Zhangjiang has been working to formulate more favorable policies that will benefit individuals.

For example, the zone's authorities have established 19 service sites for entry and exit procedures in its parks, making life a lot more convenient.

Last year, the Ministry of Public Security announced a series of measures to support Shanghai's transformation into a major science and innovation hub, such as lowering the exit and entry threshold so as to attract more overseas talent, as well as providing preferential policies regarding visa applications and residence permits.

"Our goal is to turn Zhangjiang into a place with world-class talent, world-leading universities and research organizations, as well as influential scientific innovative enterprises. It is only with these Shanghai can become a scientific hub with global influence," said Ma Wengang, head of innovation promotion division of Zhangjiang.

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Innovation, reform to revive global economic vitality (2016-09-04,China Daily)

Placing reform and innovation at the top of its agenda, the G20 summit will bring new opportunities for not only China but also the world at large.

"Toward an Innovative, Invigorated, Interconnected and Inclusive World Economy" is the theme that China, the host country, has chosen for the summit held in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou.

With global economy still in the doldrums, innovative growth has been conspicuously put on the G20 agenda for the first time.

Such a theme charts a clear course for the growth of the world economy and helps countries worldwide embrace the historical opportunities brought by a new round of technological and industrial revolution.

As an old Chinese saying goes, "to cure a disease, one should treat its root causes; to fix a problem, one should target its source."

Taking a closer look at today's global economy, we can see that the momentum generated by the last round of scientific and industrial revolution is waning and the potential for growth under the traditional economic system and development model is diminishing.

Meanwhile, the problem of uneven development is far from being resolved, and the inadequacies of the existing economic governance mechanisms and structures have become more evident.

These factors have weakened the momentum of global growth and dampened effective demands, causing a sluggish growth, rising unemployment, soaring debt levels, a slump in trade and investment, a deceleration of the real economy, excess leverage in the financial sector, and turbulences in the international financial and commodities market.

Both China and the world are now faced with a grave challenge to accelerate transition from old to new drivers of growth.

Economists have pointed out that the old approach of stimulating growth merely through fiscal and monetary policies has become increasingly less effective.

Historical experience shows that the dynamism and creativity unleashed through institutional reforms and the new industries and products made possible by advances in science and technologies have been essential for the world economy to turn the corner and recover from previous major crises.

Fully aware of the bottleneck of the old growth model, China is turning to innovation-driven development characterized by innovation, coordination, green economy, opening up and sharing.

By steadfastly implementing the strategy of innovation-driven development, China registered a GDP growth of 6.7 percent in the first half of 2016, remaining one of the major engines of global economic growth.

In 2015, China's R&D investment totaled 1,422 billion yuan ($212 billion), up 9.2 percent from the previous year, and the country totally granted 1.578 million patent rights, up 32.4 percent year-on-year.

China is now the world's second largest destination for venture capital after the United States. Helped by streamlined procedures, an average of 14,000 new businesses are being registered every day in China.

The state-owned firms are undergoing modernization and restructuring, coal and steel companies are slashing their overcapacity, and the government is ceding more power to the market.

The country also wants to advocate a new model of international development partnership that is more diverse, open and effective.

China's pursuit of win-win cooperation and common development is evident in many of its cooperative projects including the Belt and Road Initiative, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

China's efforts highlight a new perspective: A new model of economic governance featuring innovation, interconnectivity and inclusiveness is badly needed for the global economy to recover from sluggish growth and benefit more people.

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Hengtong has overseas ambitions (2016-09-02,China Daily)

Optical fiber products of Chinese company, represent 15 percent of world market

Hengtong Group Co Ltd, a Jiangsu-based company engaged in optical fiber manufacturing and electric power and network construction, aims to establish two to three overseas bases and achieve two to three overseas acquisitions annually. This plan is aligned with the country's Belt and Road Initiative.

The company is making efforts to speed up its overseas market activity. It has established seven research and development centers overseas, and set up branches for marketing and technology services in more than 30 countries and regions.

It established its first overseas factory in Brazil in 2012, followed by a joint venture in India in 2013. It also bought optical fiber and electric power enterprises in Indonesia, South Africa, Spain and Portugal in 2015.

It has registered trademarks in more than 100 countries and regions and its business covers 120 countries and regions. Its optical fiber products account for a 15 percent share of the global market.

"If there is no optical fiber web, there is no internet, let alone big data and cloud computing," says Cui Genliang, chairman and president of Hengtong Group.

The communication infrastructure is relatively backward in some countries along the Belt and Road Initiative, which provides huge opportunities for Chinese companies like Hengtong to expand overseas, Gui adds.

The initiative aims to build a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa, along ancient trade routes.

Founded in 1991, Hengtong has seen its businesses expand from telecom and electric power to finance, culture, tourism, real estate, capital investment and e-commerce platforms.

It has put forward a goal called the 5-5-5 internationalization target. That means that more than 50 percent of its products will be sold overseas, more than 50 percent of its capital will be from overseas and more than 50 percent of its professional people will have an international background, according to the company.

The optical fiber communication giant now serves various national programs, including intelligent cities and communities, ultrahigh voltage and intelligent power networks, big data, internet of things, high-speed trains, aerospace, national defense and other high-end fields.

In 2015, its overseas revenue accounted for 20 percent of total sales. In the next decade, Hengtong will seize the opportunities brought about by the initiative and continue to push forward its internalization strategy.

"The international market is a touchstone of an enterprise's competitiveness, in which we test our products and achievements, as well as the technology level of an enterprise," says Gao Anmin, the international vice-president at Hengtong Group.

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Alibaba pushed to block phonies (2016-09-02,China Daily)

Despite e-commerce giant Alibaba's promise to crackdown on counterfeits, trade groups are still saying the company isn't doing enough to monitor and pull fake goods from its e-commerce platforms.

In a letter dated Aug 23, a group of 10 apparel and accessories trade groups said that the Hangzhou-based Alibaba has yet to make good on its word and rid their various websites of the phony brand-name goods.

"Trust cannot be hostage to delay and this trust is tested when, for example, over a year ago Alibaba committed to optimize its algorithm to detect 'blurred images' where the offer is for a product with the logo hidden. Using such images is now a breach of your terms, but no software is in place to proactively spot this," said the group, which includes the Union des Fabricants, the Asian Coalition Against Counterfeiting and Piracy and the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry.

In a statement e-mailed to China Daily, Alibaba Group said that it welcomed the letter.

"We appreciate its constructive tone and look forward to working closely with the brands represented by the trade groups, many of whom have already built successful online businesses on Alibaba platforms," it said.

The American Apparel & Footwear Association, though not a signatory on the August letter, told China Daily that it too has communicated with Alibaba several times to address the issue of not having clearer take-down procedures and that the site is still flooded with counterfeits.

"We file a number of comments every year with the US Trade Representative outlining our concerns about the website itself - on any given day, any given moment you look at it, thousands and thousands of counterfeits of our members' brands," said Stephen Lamar, executive vice-president of the AAFA. "That's abating, that's continuing and in many cases it's continuing."

The US Trade Representative (USTR) office, which is responsible for recommending US trade policy and conduct trade negotiations, has requested public comment on whether or not to add Alibaba to its annual "notorious markets" list.

The list, published at the end of the year, highlights markets and platforms that, they say, engage in copyright piracy and trademark infringement.

Alibaba missed being put on the list last year, but the USTR said it is "increasingly concerned" about the company's efforts to remove fake goods from its websites, saying that Alibaba's enforcement program is "too slow, difficult to use and lacks transparency".

"The ultimate end result is that the situation we're trying to fix is not improving. We look at the tools being offered to fix it and they're insufficient. The takedown procedures that Alibaba has articulated and have made available to companies are difficult to use," said Lamar, citing ignored requests for take-downs or take-down requests being rejected for invalid reasons.

"Even if you're successful in navigating through all of this, and getting a take-down executed, the products pop back up again," he added.

AAFA has asked Alibaba to make it easier for brands to get certified and to initiate take-downs, allow brands to approve sales and enact a transparent verification process.

The association represents about 1,000 brands. It does not track how many of them sell on their wares on Alibaba platforms.

Alibaba made headlines earlier this year with backlash over the company's counterfeit policing efforts. Founder Jack Ma told an investor conference that fake goods were hard to differentiate from the real ones because they are often made in the same factories.

Critics reacted immediately, saying that Ma was trying to pass the blame to sellers of fakes. Ma subsequently responded in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal defending his remarks.

Earlier, Alibaba had been admitted as a member of the International AntiConterfeiting Coalition under a newly created category, and Ma was scheduled to speak at an IACC conference.

The coalition received such a swift backlash from many of the luxury brands it represents that it suspended the new category and cancelled Ma's appearance at the conference.

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China eyes multiple S&T breakthroughs in 5-year plan (2016-09-01,China Daily)

From artificial intelligence to smog control, the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) on Wednesday unveiled 60 major science and technology (S&T) breakthroughs the country aspires to make in the next five years.

"We will strive to occupy the international high ground in strategic hotspot fields and blaze the trail in cutting-edge and cross-discipline areas, achieving a series of major original achievements, technologies and products," said CAS President Bai Chunli, while unveiling the academy's 13th five-year plan spanning 2016-2020.

Key projects on its bucket list also include organ repair and reconstruction, water pollution control, research on Moon samples, a low-frequency radio telescope on the far side of the Moon and the development of a ground application system for the Mars mission.

Last week, China released images of a Mars probe and rover which the country plans to send to the Red Planet within five years.

These projects span the fields of life and health, resources and environment, new generation materials, energy, oceans, information, photoelectricity and space.

According to the plan, the country will join the world-leading club in physics, chemistry, materials science, math, ecology and Earth science by the end of 2020, while holding a series of independent intellectual property rights (IPR) and industrial technology standards.

It set the goal to double the country's 2015 IPR earnings by 2020, and help companies to create 150,000 jobs and additional revenue worth more than 4.8 trillion yuan (717 billion U.S. dollars) with the application of new technology.

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Hengqin's vision takes lead in push for more commercialization (2016-08-31,China Daily)

Commercializing intellectual property is the only way to realize IP's business value, said Xie Hong, deputy director of Guangdong IP department, at a recent forum in Zhuhai, Guangdong province.

The forum, whose theme was the commercialization of IP, was held by the Hengqin IP trading center to be a highend platform for discussion of this issue.

At the forum on Aug 24, IP specialists from Guangdong and Macao discussed the commercialization of university technology and IP operation.

Sun Mingke, general manager of Goscien Technology, said China owns many patents, but still has a lower patent industrialization rate than the United States. Sun made this assessment after comparing figures from Sun Yat-sen University and Harvard University, and others from the South China University of Technology and Stanford University.

He called for a cooperative organization that would work to change this situation.

The national Hengqin IP trading center was designed to be such an organization, said Xia Dexing, chairman of Hengqin international trading center. With the core businesses of IP trade, financial innovation and international operations, the platform covers e-commerce, finance and big data and went online recently.

"When small and mediumsized companies need technology, they cannot find it in a supermarket as we buy goods," said Guan Yonghong, director of the IP institute of the South China University of Technology in Guangzhou.

"Hengqin trading center is actually doing this job, where idle technology products can be placed on the website and wait to be bought by companies," he said.

If needed, a third-party institution can provide evaluation to decide an acceptable price for both parties, he added.

In the first six months of this year, 62,000 applications for invention patents were filed from Guangdong, with 109,000 patents granted at the same period, both ranking first nationally.

Zhuhai became a national model IP city in 2013, and had achieved 4,640 valid patents for inventions by June 2016, ranking second in the province after Shenzhen.

Xie Hong said Hengqin had provided good experiences in IP operation services along with rapid growth in innovation. She said that since the Hengqin platform was established, it has cooperated with Zhuhai Gree Electric, launched IP financial products, and proposed pledge and investment service alliances.

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Energy patents get better connected with new center (2016-08-31,China Daily)

The development of China's patents in clean energy technology and carbon financial markets will be better connected with the recent establishment of the Clean Energy Intellectual Property Commercialization Center in Dalian, Liaoning province, industry insiders said.

"We hope to build a complete operating system to promote the research and development as well as international technical cooperation of clean energy," said Feng Aisheng, deputy director of the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics.

The center, unveiled last week, was jointly founded by the institute and CAS Holdings Co Ltd. According to the agreement, they will set up a joint leading group and offices in Beijing and Dalian.

"In the past, patents were fragmented and we did not pay much attention to their commercialization. Many good patents were not commercialized timely," said Feng, adding that the center will help integrate patent resources inside the CAS and form a chain of patents in the clean energy field.

"With a market-oriented approach, efficiency in research, development and commercialization will be greatly improved," he said.

Li Zhonghua, vice-president of CAS Innovation and Investment Co Ltd, said the center will identify technology demand from the industry and provide technical solutions accordingly.

At the same time, the center will screen CAS' existing technical standards related to clean energy, cooperate with government institutions and carbon trading markets, facilitate agencies to construct a standard system for clean energy technology and carbon financial markets, and take part in the development of carbon quotas and the construction of a standard system for carbon measurement and auditing.

"We will provide support for the independent and sustainable development of China's carbon market. The center will provide basic technical support for the market," Li said.

With the Chinese government officially signing the Paris Agreement on Climate Change in 2016 and a national carbon trading market being set up in 2017, there will be great opportunities for the research, development, application and promotion of clean energy technology, Li said.

"Patents will play a fundamental role in international cooperation and competition in the carbon market," he said.

The center will launch pilot work to explore new patent commercialization modes in the field of clean energy technology, Feng said.

"When a successful and sustainable business model is developed, we will consider social investments and set up a special company for the commercialization of clean energy technology patents," Feng said.

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Consumer goods' quality to improve (2016-08-26,China Daily)

Premier says branding, R&D and marketing also will get big boost

China plans to raise the quality and standards for consumer goods through more market-oriented efforts and by adopting a wider range of global standards over the next five years, as part of the country's structural reform and to boost consumer confidence.

A new guideline on improving consumer goods standards from this year through 2020, initiated by the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, was approved on Wednesday at a State Council executive meeting presided over by Premier Li Keqiang.

The guideline is in line with the country's ongoing economic transition from an investment-driven economy to one driven more by consumption. In the first half of the year, final consumption expenditure contributed 73.4 percent to China's GDP growth, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

"Government departments should better enhance coordination, while enterprises need to have a stronger emphasis on quality, branding, R&D and marketing. They also need to fully setup awareness of branding," Li said. "It is important that the quality of consumer goods made in China can withstand the test of the market."

Further steps will be taken to upgrade consumer goods standards, improve quality and enterprise competence and develop more domestic brands with global appeal.

"With better products, our manufacturers can draw the customers who make purchases abroad back to our own market, which will boost domestic consumption," said Huang Qunhui, director of the Institute of Industrial Economics at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

According to the new guideline, by 2020, more than 95 percent of consumer goods in major sectors will meet inter-national standards.

From January through July, China's total retail sales of con-sumer goods reached 18.3 trillion yuan ($2.75 trillion), a 10.3 percent increase year-on-year, according to the NBS.

During the meeting, Li high-lighted the importance of product safety. "Product safety comes first and foremost for improving consumer goods quality and standards," Li said. "We should not leave product safety as a matter of concern for consumers. The government should also innovate our supervisory methods."

Major efforts in the next five years will also include optimizing the market environment, and the government will give more financial and regulatory support.

Efforts in branding will be enhanced by stronger protection and regulation of intellectual property rights, especially for patents and trademarks. Counterfeit goods will also be targets for law enforcement.

The premier said that the upgrading of consumer goods will go along with the development of the equipment manufacturing industry.

"By improving the consumer goods sector, we will force the upgrading of equipment manufacturing," Li said. "The manufacturing industry is the cornerstone of the country's entire industry."

The premier said more efforts are needed by companies to train workers with tailored skills through cooperation with vocational education institutions. "We need to train more highly skilled workers and foster a culture of craftsmanship," he said.

Chinese consumption overseas reached 1.5 trillion yuan last year, of which about half was spent on shopping, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

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Academic calls for research focus (2016-08-26,China Daily)

Internationally renowned Chinese scientist says the nation must concentrate on basics to strengthen economy

China needs to focus on basic research and development in order to develop as a strong nation with a knowledge economy, says Max Lu, president and vice-chancellor of the University of Surrey in southern England.

The new focus on research efficiency in China's 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020), as well as the increasing realization by private firms that they must focus on developing technology, should be the new impetus to help the country become innovative and a technology leader, says Lu, a pre-eminent chemical engineer. He also is a nanotechnologist who was the first Chinese to become the head of the University of Queensland in Australia.

"As China shifts its economic development model away from labor intensive growth to high value-added services-led growth, the country will benefit greatly from increasing science and technology investment," he says.

"China's number of research publications, as well as its quality and citations and patent registrations, are all accelerating. At the same time, challenges still exist in terms of investing in basic science and also in the translation of research into practical applications."

In 2015, China filed 2.87 million patents, four times as many as it did in 2008. It also put the country on top in patent filings globally, a position it has held for 14 consecutive years.

China spends about 5 percent of its research funding on basic research, which is far behind most developed countries, which on average spend about 30 percent on basic science, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Basic science refers to research at the primary stages, such as mathematics, biology and physics.

Lu says one key reason behind China's lack of efficiency in translating research into practical and useful technology is that its rapid economic growth over the past 30 years has made it easy for companies to make money without truly leading innovation.

"To become a true superpower, China must rely on innovation to achieve and sustain her healthy economic development. The nation's future focus should be less about quick wins and more about achieving long-term strategic goals."

China's scientific ambitions are immense, but its areas of research strength have yet to be fully optimized, he says.

But Lu says this situation is changing because innovation is greatly needed in the knowledge economy China is trying to create. Internationalization has brought fresh opportunities to Chinese firms and universities for international collaboration in research and innovation.

Lu proposes three key areas where China's research collaboration with international partners can make a big difference, which he terms "fuel, heal and feed the world", explaining these are areas of challenge that face China and all other countries alike.

Fuel the world refers to developing environmentally sustainable and renewable energy sources. Heal the world refers to reducing and recovering environmental damage, and also finding innovative solutions to tackle healthcare challenges of a growing and aging population. Feed the world refers to improving food availability and sustainability, as well as alleviating poverty.

As a leading academic in engineering, Lu already has contributed to China's science and technology policymaking. Last year, he was invited by the Chinese Science and Technology Ministry to review China's seventh mid- to long-term science and technology plan, as one member of a 12-person international panel.

Lu says he sees China's research and innovation policies are heading in the right direction, and one example is the increasing focus on peer review in the process of allocating research grants, as opposed to having grants decided by government officials.

Another improvement Lu sees as particularly helpful is the growing flexibility in the way funding is allocated and managed. Previously funding for scientific research was allocated within a rigid structure in which only a certain amount of funding could be allocated each year, so that scholars felt an obligation to fully spend the amount allocated each year, leading to waste. Academics now have more flexibility when they receive funding across multiple years.

Lu says he thinks further changes can be implemented to bring greater impact, and in particular increasing government spending on basic science will help. This can be achieved through direct investment or incentive schemes to encourage private sector investment.

Meanwhile, Lu says China's private businesses are also becoming increasingly innovative. Tech giants have been known to be fast adaptors, but they are now embracing innovation to commercialize new ideas and use them to raise market share and profits, he says. This is shown by the proportion of engineers within companies, and the amount of investment they spend on R&D.

"They are all investing heavily because they realize if they do not invest more in R&D, they will be left behind and other firms will take over."

The benefits of cross-border research collaboration and commercialization of the research results can be great, especially considering China already has leading innovations in certain areas that can be shared with global partners to achieve greater impact, Lu says. Examples of such leading Chinese technologies include high-performance computing, material science, graphene, solar energy, Chinese medicine and rail engineering.

China's development of a fourth-generation nuclear reactor is strong, as China has invested heavily in the sector, and last year a deal was signed for Chinese nuclear technology to be deployed in the British nuclear power project at Bradwell, with China General Nuclear Power Group leading the project.

Lu says there are tremendous benefits in combining China's research strength with trade in sectors like nuclear energy and high-speed trains. He also says cross-border collaboration in many areas can benefit greatly from government-sponsored research collaboration that is concurrent with commercial collaborations.

Already, the University of Surrey is heading flagship collaboration projects with China. One example is Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei's participation as a founding member and industry partner in the University of Surrey's 5G Innovation Centre, where it has invested 5 million pounds ($6.5 million; 5.8 million euros) and provided expertise and equipment for testing.

The center, launched in 2013, focuses on developing a common standard for 5G technology, to reduce the risk of fragmentation, meaning that individual industries can better benefit from the integration of 5G.

Lu, born in 1963 in Jilin province, northern China, completed his first degree in metallurgical engineering at Northeastern University in China, where he also earned a master's. He started his doctoral degree at the University of Queensland in 1987. After completing his PhD, Lu spent three years in Singapore as a lecturer at Nanyang Technological University, and then joined the University of Queensland faculty in 1994.

He was recognized among Australia's top 100 most influential engineers in 2013 and has published over 500 peer-reviewed articles in top journals, attracting more than 31,000 citations.

Prior to joining the University of Surrey, he was provost and senior vice-president at Queensland, received a Queensland Greats Award in 2013 and won the inaugural Australia-China Achievement Award (Education) in 2014.

He says he chose the area of nanotechnology as it was a natural continuation from his first degree in material science and engineering. He says hard work helped, but also important are the opportunities that came along, and a supportive environment for him to achieve great goals.

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China's Silicon Valley reports rise in patents, R&D investment (2016-08-25,China Daily)

The Zhongguancun Science Park in Beijing, dubbed China's Silicon Valley, has reported a boost in patents, research and development funds, and new companies this year, helped in part by national policies and reforms.

In the first half of 2015, enterprises in the park gained 14,240 patent licenses, up 31 percent year on year, according to statistics from the park's administration committee.

The park's invention patents numbered 5,538 in the first six months, up 51.3 percent.

The pilot technological area based in Haidian District is the country's first innovation demonstration zone approved by the State Council in 2009 and aims to become a technological innovation center with global influence.

In May, Premier Li Keqiang visited the park and talked with young people to show support for entrepreneurship and innovation, which the country has been encouraging amid an economic growth slowdown.

Currently, the park has 1.75 million employees, about 25 percent of whom are technical personnel.

From Jan. to June, the total research and development investment of firms in the park reached 52 billion yuan (8.5 billion U.S. dollars), up 12.3 percent year on year.

Some 8,577 new tech companies were founded in the park in the first five months, according to the data.

The total revenue of designated large enterprises in the zone reached 1.59 trillion yuan in the first half, up 10.2 percent year on year.

The capital city aims to develop itself into an innovation center as part of its development plan, which also calls for the closure of polluting factories and the transfer of downtown wholesale markets elsewhere to deal with overcrowding.

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Wuxi Hanhe Aviation lands two national awards (2016-08-24,China Daily)

Wuxi-based Hanhe Aviation Technology won two awards for its crop dusting unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) at a national awards ceremony held in Beijing on Aug 16.

The CD-15, a farming-configured UAV, is fueled with regular gasoline, won awards for its promotion and contribution towards agriculture.

With sensors built in to make ease of operation paramount, the UAV can be applied in various agriculture related tasks, such as pesticide spraying, crop pollination, agricultural surveying and mapping as well as pest and disease monitoring, with all data being recorded to an internal hard drive.

So far, the CD-15 has been exported to the USA, Russia and countries in South America.

Hanhe Aviation Technology was founded in Wuxi Software Park (iPark) in 2008. It has been apioneer and navigator in the R&D and production of UAV technology nationwide, owning some 50 patents.

Its main products are UAVs with a take-off weight of 100 kg or less, capable of carrying payloads of 10 kg, 15 kg, 20 kg and 40 kg.

Currently, Hanhe is the only manufacturer in China that has begun small batch production. The majority of the company's output goes to the China Science Academy, and for other public uses such as aerial photography, electric power management, and pesticide spraying.

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Qihoo 360 dials into govt market (2016-08-24,People's Daily)

China's biggest internet security company Qihoo 360 Technology Co Ltd unveiled a new phone featuring data protection on Tuesday, in a move to meet the growing demand by government officials and business people for information security.

The move is part of the Beijing-based group's broad efforts to tap into the government internet security market, as a rising concern over national security prompts governments and State-enterprises to embrace domestic IT products.

Qihoo CEO and Chairman Zhou Hongyi said the new phone, priced from 1,999 yuan ($300), is equipped with two operating systems, with one designed as a private system where all information is especially encrypted.

"The new device is designed for political, military and commercial officials who have to store confidential information on their devices," Zhou said.

The new device, named Q5, enables users to make encrypted calls, which will be impossible to be hacked and can block receivers from recording the conversations, the company said.

Founded in 2005, Qihoo is well known for its anti-virus software, web browser and mobile application store business in China.

The move came shortly after Qihoo was delisted from the New York Stock Exchange, in a move to free it up to pounce at an "unprecedented" opportunity brought by China's mounting emphasis on cybersecurity.

According to Zhou, the company will soon become entirely funded by domestic investors, which will give it a purely domestic identity to expand its presence in the military and government procurement market.

"We already started serving some military departments. We would not have secured the deal, if we were a foreign-capital backed company," Zhou said, adding currently the company's clients also include governments, financial institutions and national defense research centers.

Jin Di, research manager at the research firm International Data Corp China, said smartphones procured by the government departments can reach several million to 10 million units every year.

"Qihoo's years of experience in internet security services and its abundant collection of patents can give the company an edge," Jin said.

Qihoo said it accounts for 32 percent of internet security-related patent applications in China.

"But it is not easy for the company to enter into the government procure market by starting with smartphones, because it has to compete with more established players such as Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and ZTE Corp," Jin added.

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China's Xiaomi to enter U.S. smartphone market soon (2016-08-24,People's Daily)

Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi has announced its intention to finally enter the US smartphone market.

The company's vice-President says plans are in the works to enter the smartphone battle in the United States sometime in October.

However, specifics about what product Xiaomi plans to launch, or exactly when it plans to launch it, have not been revealed.

Hugo Barra does say it will focus on social media, with a plan to reach out to younger consumers in the United States through new technology.

The move is not unexpected.

Xiaomi acquired around 15-hundred patents from Microsoft in June.

The Beijing-based company officially entered the US market last year through its online store.

However, Xiaomi has only been selling accessories, such as power banks and headphones.

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New solar cells ready to be made (2016-08-23,China Daily)

Third-generation design abandons silicon, mimics photosynthesis for high performance

A third-generation solar cell that produces zero pollution in manufacture, requires less light intensity and works with lower angles of sunlight, was handed off from its Chinese creator on Thursday to a commercial manufacturer in Shenzhen.

The transfer indicates that the cells are approaching the point of practical application in intelligent buildings, transportation and the so-called internet of things.

Shenzhen Precision Light & Automatic Equipment Co purchased the technology for the dye-sensitized solar cells - whose performance is said to surpass competitors worldwide - for 100 million yuan ($15 million) from the Shanghai Institute of Ceramics, under the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

In developing the cells over a 10-year period, researchers amassed more than 50 patents, all of which transfer to the Shenzhen company. The institute's existing production line is also included in the deal.

The cell, which differs from those of the previous two generations in light acquisition and principle of power-generation, will serve in a wide variety of applications in modern cities - for example, in household electrical appliances, wearable devices, traffic lights and outdoor big screens - said Liu Yan, the institute's Party chief.

"The first two generations of solar cells require strong and direct sunlight, but the third generation is able to work even indoors or on cloudy days or when the sunshine slants through. So it can be applied to more situations, such as an outdoor display screen that's shaded by trees," Liu said.

Shen Hujiang, a leading researcher of the project, added: "It can also be used for portable chargers, which will work despite environmental constraints. Portable chargers made with solar cells of the first or second generation can fail to work for tourists in jungles. But with the latest technology, a charger will continue to work."

Crystalline silicon is the main ingredient in the first two generations of solar cells. Its semiconductor properties have been used to produce and transport electrical signals, Shen said.

In the third generation, however, researchers simulated the process of photosynthesis. Light received by the cells is converted into electrons and stored in a special material, and when the electrons gather and reach a certain amount, they will produce voltage and electrical current.

"The chemical materials used during manufacture are widely used in food products and cosmetics, so they are safe and environmentally friendly," Shen said.

The cells were used in display screens at bus stops in Shanghai's Pudong New Area as part of a pilot project.

"Shanghai is building its intelligent public transportation system, one element of which is screens to show when the next bus will arrive," Liu said. "All the buses have been equipped with GPS. Screens with solar cells will be more energy-conserving and sustainable," Liu said.

Chu Junhao, a specialist in solar energy at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said he believes the cells will help people use energy more efficiently and achieve a rich and colorful life while building smart cities.

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Chinese scientists discover molecules to repair organs (2016-08-21,People's Daily)

Chinese scientists have discovered a small molecule that can regenerate tissue, which in the future could make tissue regeneration much easier for many.

The research was led by professor Zhou Dawang and Deng Xianming of the School of Life Sciences, Xiamen University, and professor Yun Caihong of Peking University.

The findings were published in the latest edition of Science Translational Medicine, on August 17.

Zhou said they have discovered a drug, XMU-MP-1, which can promote repair and regeneration in the liver, intestines and skin.

In the future, the pills may do away the need for organ transplant or complex biomaterial and cell therapies, he said.

Zhou and his colleagues specifically targeted a critical signaling molecule in the Hippo pathway, which controls organ size.

The XMU-MP-1 has proven to inhibit the activity of MST1/2, the central component of this pathway and promote cell growth in four different mouse models of acute and chronic injuries, including acetaminophen-induced injury, which is a common cause of liver failure worldwide.

Zhou said they have applied for a patent and are cooperating with pharmaceutical companies to produce the medicine.

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Trademark application acceptance site opened in Shenyang (2016-08-19,China Daily)

On Aug 18, China’s Trademark Office of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce set up a local trademark application acceptance site in Shenyang City, Liaoning province. It is hoped that this will simplify the process of trademark registration, resulting in much greater convenience for businesses in Liaoning.

The application acceptance site, which is located at the Shenyang Administration for Industry and Commerce, is aimed at all the businesses and financial institutions in Liaoning province. It is the only local trademark application acceptance site in Liaoning administered by national government.

Thanks to the newly established site, businesses in Liaoning province are now able to apply for trademark registration at the Shenyang site without having to travel to Beijing.

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Investors making a play for VR startups (2016-08-19,China Daily)

At least nine such overseas projects had received capital from 14 Chinese companies by end of July

Chinese investors are seeking foreign virtual reality startups with advanced technology that can help Chinese companies expand abroad.

Data from market researcher Digi-Capital show investment in virtual reality and augmented reality worldwide had reached $1.7 billion by the end of the first quarter of 2016.

Revenue in the global market is on track to hit $30 billion by 2020, with the Asian market a key driver, it says.

Chinese venture capital firms are naturally shifting focus to investment in VR and AR. At the end of July, at least nine overseas VR projects had received capital from 14 Chinese companies.

China Media Capital, an investment group in Shanghai, and gaming company Shanda Group are among the most active players.

NextVR Inc, a virtual reality startup in California, announced on Aug 15 that it raised $80 million in new financing. New investors in this round include China Media Capital, NetEase Inc, CITIC Guoan Information Industry Co Ltd, Founder H Fund and China Assets (Holdings) Ltd.

NextVR has 36 patents granted or pending for the capture, compression, transmission and display of VR content. With this new funding, it looks to establish a worldwide footprint for its platform for live sports, concerts and other events.

It's the second overseas investment by China Media Capital in the nascent technology in a year. In September, it jointly led a $65 million round of fundraising with The Walt Disney Co and investment firm Evolution Media Partners for Jaunt Inc, another Californian VR software startup.

Li Ruigang, the chairman of China Media Capital, calls the investment an important step in its foray into the global entertainment technology revolution.

According to data analytics platform Tracxn, Shanda is the most active in the global VR investment field. This year, it pledged $350 million to create a VR theme park in partnership with The Void LLC, a US entertainment company that specializes in VR technologies.

In December, Shanda and the private investment group of Chen Tianqiao, the founder of Shanda, invested in Iceland's Solfar Studios to develop its Everest VR, a travel adventure app.

Zhao Ziming, an analyst at Analysys International in Beijing, says overseas projects are leading the pack in VR technologies, and Chinese companies hope to enter the international market by using mature overseas projects. They are focusing on making hardware and the production of VR video content.

However, domestic VR companies will face fierce competition from overseas products.

"Although this may weed out some small and medium-sized startups, it is not a bad thing since more domestic VR enterprises have to produce valuable VR products," Zhao adds.

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LeEco and its smartphone affiliate Coolpad seek bigger market share (2016-08-19,China Daily)

Chinese internet major LeEco and its smartphone affiliate Coolpad Group Ltd said they will jointly sell 50 million to 60 million handsets this year, which will help them become the fourth largest smartphone maker in China.

The announcement came shortly after Jia Yueting, founder and CEO of LeEco, became the chairman of the Hong Kong-listed Coolpad. In the past two years, LeEco acquired 28.9 percent share of Coolpad for more than 3 billion yuan ($452 million).

Liu Hong, co-founder of LeEco, said Coolpad will remain independent in its operation, retain its brand and employees, and it will be able to leverage LeEco's sprawling industrial presence to grow business.

"LeEco's smartphones will target China's online population while Coolpad will stick to the offline-retailing channels. The two brands' products will also be different," Liu said.

According to him, Coolpad's roughly 10,000 patents and its abundant experience in supply chain, research and development will help LeEco accelerate its globalization effort, preventing it from getting involved in patent disputes.

LeEco, founded in 2004, started as a video-streaming service provider akin to Netflix Inc, but it rapidly grew into a heavyweight with presence in smartphones, TVs and cloud computing.

Last month, the company said it will launch its products in the United States and Russia later this year, highlighting its determination to take on Apple Inc in the global area.

Currently, LeEco only occupies a quite limited presence in China's smartphone market, but its ecosystem strategy can give it an edge. It sells smartphones and TVs that include a LeEco membership that allows their users to watch TV shows and movies.

Coolpad, once one of the top four players in China's smartphone market, hopes to leverage LeEco's new business model to revive its business.

On Tuesday, the two companies unveiled a new phone, priced from 1,000 yuan, to target young consumers.

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E-Town contributes to medical development (2016-08-18,China Daily)

The first Chinese biomarker has been discovered because of the Clin-TOF time-of-flight mass spectrometer developed by BIOYONG biological technology Co., Ltd.

The Clin-TOF time-of-flight mass spectrometer is a microorganism testing instrument, through which microorganism mass spectrum identification results can be instantly received. The device has changed clinical examination by enabling mass spectrometry analysis of high molecular compounds represented by a protein.

Professor Wang Wei from the Clinical Epidemiology Unit in Capital Medical University, using the spectrometer to confirm levels of glycosylation of immune globulin, can analyze the biological age of Chinese people and provide information about health status as well as create strategies to deal with inflammatory disorders and immunological diseases.

The Clin-TOF time-of-flight mass spectrometer was certified by the state food and drug administration in 2014 has been awarded nine authorized patents for invention and five software copyrights.

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Business world looks to turn sporting memes into gold (2016-08-17,China Daily)

The internet meme that has charmed audiences since it went viral after the performances of a Chinese Olympic swimmer has now began to attract the attention of the business community.

Last week, Wang Qingyu, the host at a radio and television station in Baoding, Hebei province, and deputy chief of the city's musicians association, filed a trademark application for the phrase "prehistoric power" in Chinese characters.

The phrase became widely popular after it was used in an interview with China Central Television by Chinese swimmer Fu Yuanhui after she qualified for the women's 100m backstroke final on Aug 8. "I have used all my prehistoric powers to swim," she said, alluding to the fact that she had given every effort in the race.

Many companies, such as 361 Degrees, Anta Sports, Mengniu Dairy and internet dating website Shiji Jiayuan, have also used the striking phrase in their advertising campaigns.

"Such an expression is so cute and Fu's lively personality is another kind of beauty that we have seen in the (Olympic) competition," Wang told Yanzhao Evening News. The newspaper's report said Wang came up with the idea of registering the phrase as a trademark when he created a rap song with the same name.

His applications cover four categories, involving such specific products and areas as functional drinks, canned fruit, gym equipment and music and entertainment programs.

Wang was not the first person to become interested in the phrase, which was originally coined by The Journey of Flower, a popular Chinese TV drama that debuted in June last year. However, the phrase only came to prominence after Fu uttered it at the Olympics.

Since last October, 14 results of similar trademark applications, with the same name, but in different categories, have been filed, according to the trademark office of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce.

Some of them are currently undergoing preliminary public review, and, if they are approved, Chinese consumers might one day find themselves drinking a bottle of tea emblazoned with the brand "prehistoric power" in Chinese.

China has been continuously improving its intellectual property protection and, as a result, national awareness of the importance of trademarks is also rising.

Since 2002, China has been ranked first worldwide for the number of annual trademark applications. By the end of June, more than 20 million trademarks applications had been filed.

In addition, the phenomenon of registering the names or images of celebrities, especially Olympic champions, has grown rapidly, and it has sometimes landed applicants in trouble.

For example, shortly after the London Olympic Games in 2012, the trademark office of SAIC received an objection from Usain Bolt's legal team against a Liaoning province-based company that had used the superstar athlete's image as its trademark without authorization.

The trademark included a graphic based on Bolt's image and used his iconic celebration gesture of stretching his arms outwards in the imitation of a bolt of lightening. It was officially declared invalid in 2014.

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China climbs to top 25 innovative economies (2016-08-16,People's Daily)

China becomes the first middle-income country to join the ranks of the world's 25 most-innovative economies, according to the Global Innovation Index (GII) released on Monday.

The country's improved performance has notched the 17th place in "innovation quality", an indicator that looks at the caliber of universities, number of scientific publications and international patent filings.

This makes China the leader among middle-income economies for this indicator, followed by India which has overtaken Brazil, according to the report jointly released by Cornell University, INSEAD and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

Despite China's rise, an "innovation divide" persists between developed and developing countries amid increasing awareness among policymakers that fostering innovation is crucial to a vibrant, competitive economy.

Switzerland, Sweden, and the United Kingdom again lead the ranking which have long been dominated by highly developed economies throughout its nine years of surveying the innovative capacity of 100-plus countries across the globe.

Fifteen of the top 25 economies in the GII come from Europe, including the top three. And among the GII 2016 leaders, four economies — Japan, the US, the UK, and Germany— stand out in innovation quality.

"Investing in innovation is critical to raising long-term economic growth," said WIPO Director General Francis Gurry. "In this current economic climate, uncovering new sources of growth and leveraging the opportunities raised by global innovation are priorities for all stakeholders."

Statistics show global research and development expenditure grew at an annual pace of approximately seven percent before 2009, but slowed down to four percent in 2014, amid economic downturn in emerging economies and tighter R&D budgets in high-income economies.

"Investing in improving innovation quality is essential for closing the innovation divide," said Soumitra Dutta, dean of Cornell College of Business and co-editor of the report.

"While institutions create an essential supportive framework for doing so, economies need to focus on reforming education and growing their research capabilities to compete successfully in a rapidly changing globalized world," Dutta added.

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Chinese investors seek overseas VR (2016-08-12,China Daily)

Chinese investors are keen to invest in overseas virtual reality companies that possess advanced VR technologies and can help Chinese enterprises expand to overseas markets, experts said.

Statistics from research firm Digi-Capital showed that investment in the global VR/AR field reached $1.7 billion at the end of the first quarter of this year and that Chinese venture capital firms have shifted their focus to VR/AR investment. Revenue in the global VR market is on track to hit $30 billion by 2020, with the Asian market a key driver.

At the end of July, at least nine overseas VR projects had received investment from Chinese capital, with 14 Chinese companies participating.

Shanghai-based investment group China Media Capital and top gaming company Shanda Group are very active in investing in overseas VR projects.

California-based virtual reality startup NextVR Inc announced on Monday that it raised $80 million in new fnancing round. New investors in this round include China Media Capital, NetEase Inc, CITIC Guoan Information Industry Co Ltd, Founder H Fund and China Assets (Holdings) Ltd.

NextVR has 36 patents granted or pending for the capture, compression, transmission and display of VR content. With this new funding, it looks to establish a worldwide footprint for its platform for live sports, concerts and other events.

It is the second overseas investment for CMC in the nascent technology within one year. It co-led a $65 million fundraising with The Walt Disney Co and investment company Evolution Media Partners for Jaunt Inc, another California-based VR software startup, in September.

Li Ruigang, chairman of CMC, called the investment an important step in its foray into the global entertainment technology revolution.

According to the data analytics platform Tracxn, Shanda has become the most active investor in the global VR investment field

Earlier this year, it pledged $350 million investment to create a VR theme park in partnership with The Void LLC, a US entertainment company that specializes in VR technologies.

In December, Shanda and the private investment group of Chen Tianqiao, the founder of Shanda, invested in Iceland's Solfar Studios ehf to develop its Everest VR, a VR travel adventure app.

Zhao Ziming, an analyst at Beijing-based Analysys International, said overseas VR projects are leading the pack in VR technologies, and Chinese companies hope to enter into the international market by using mature overseas projects. They focus on hardware making and the production of VR video content.

"The amount of investment from Chinese companies is high. Receiving investment and establishing cooperative relationships with Chinese investors will help overseas VR developers to enter into Chinese market more easily," said Zhao.

However, domestic VR companies will face fiercer competition from overseas products.

"Although this may weed out some small and medium-sized startups, it is not a bad thing since more domestic VR enterprises have to produce valuable VR products," Zhao added.

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Rare earths firms go high tech to tap world market (2016-08-10,China Daily)

The rare earths industry in Baotou, the Inner Mongolia autonomous region, is seeking more technology-intensive deep processing to further tap into the international market, said officials in the city.

Wang Zhonghe, Party chief of Baotou, said that the city has set the goal of upgrading its rare earths industry from just exploiting raw materials to developing more comprehensive deep processing technologies with higher added value.

"By the end of 2017, the value of the annual rare earths output in Baotou is expected to reach more than 40 billion yuan ($6 billion). The city will become the biggest rare earths hydrogen storage and technological research and development base," said Wang at the China Baotou International Rare Earths Industry Forum on Monday.

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IPOS office aims to open global market to Chinese innovators (2016-08-10,China Daily)

A new representative office of the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore, or IPOS, in the Pearl River Delta will help link more Singaporean IP service providers with the growing number of Chinese innovation companies, especially those in the technology sector, according to industry insiders.

"As more companies from the Delta bring their innovations to the world, IPOS' first representative office in China will help them link with Singaporean IP service providers, to help them protect and manage their innovations in Southeast Asia and beyond," said Ong Ye Kung, Singapore's acting minister for education and senior minister of state for the Ministry of Defense.

IPOS, a statutory board under the Ministry of Law of Singapore, announced in late May plans to establish its first overseas representative office in the Sino-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City, Guangdong province.

"The knowledge city is an important flagship project that aims to become an innovation zone and catalyst for the economic transformation of Guangdong, a testing ground for China's process of reform and opening-up since the 1980s," said Ong, who is also the co-chairman of the Singapore-Guangdong Collaboration Council.

The representative office is currently undergoing approval procedures administered by the authorities in both China and Singapore, according to Ng Kok Siong, chief executive officer of the Sino-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City Investment and Development Co Ltd.

Ng said that the office will become an important platform for the protection of international intellectual properties.

"Chinese companies will be able to enter overseas markets, and especially those in Southeast Asia, much more rapidly if their intellectual properties and copyrights are registered in Singapore," said Ng.

He added that China's burgeoning IP-intensive economy, fueled by the country's incentive-driven policies in innovation and technology, will benefit Singaporean intellectual property service providers.

According to a report by the State Intellectual Property Office of China, more than 1.1 million patent applications were recorded in China last year, an 18 percent year-on-year growth rate from a year earlier.

"In addition, the representative office will work to make it easier for foreign companies to enter the Chinese market through a range of service provisions, including the protection of overseas intellectual properties," said Ng.

Lin Guanghai, deputy chief judge of Guangzhou Intellectual Property Court, said the representative office will ensure that bilateral intellectual property cooperation between Singapore and China is deepened.

"It will contribute to the development of a joint IP demonstration zone, increase bilateral exchanges and attract IP service providers to locate in the Sino-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City," said Lin.

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Insiders give new patent fee policy a cautious welcome (2016-08-10,China Daily)

Industry insiders have welcomed a recently-announced policy that focuses on cutting patent-related fees, saying that it will give further support to financially-strapped companies. Concerns have been raised, however, about the strictness of the requirements for individuals and companies applying for reductions in their patent application costs.

The policy, which was released by the Ministry of Finance and the National Development and Reform Commission, will come into effect on Sept 1. It aims to further reduce the burden on both companies and individuals applying for and maintaining patents.

Chen Xueying, secretary-general of the Quanzhou Intellectual Property Protection Association, said the new policy differs from the old one in that it allows organizations to save money if they make a collective application for patents, a Quanzhou local newspaper reported.

Chen said the reduction for single organizational patent applicants and owners has also increased under the new policy.

The patent fees reduced in the new policy include the annual fee payable in the six consecutive years following the authorization of a patent, and part of the filing cost. The new reduction percentage for single patent applicants and owners, including businesses, is 85 percent and group patent applicants and owners may receive a discount of 70 percent.

Zhu Xiduo, secretary-general at the Z-Park Non-governmental Science Technology Entrepreneurs Association, said the new policy means a further fee reduction for micro and small innovation startups, Beijing Business Today reported.

Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises make heavy capital investments in the research and development of technologies and products, and the return cycle on their investments is long, Zhu said, adding that the cost of patent filings following successful research and development can be prohibitive for such firms.

According to Beijing Business Today, available statistics show that the annual fee for maintaining an invention patent's 20-year validity in China is slightly less than that in Germany. However, it is 2.2 times that of the United Kingdom, 80 percent higher than in France, 70 percent higher than in Japan and 2.7 times higher than in South Korea.

Despite the likely benefits the new policy will bring for enterprises, insiders have questioned the strictness of its requirements for both individual and company applicants.

According to the new policy, individuals with an average monthly salary of less than 3,500 yuan ($525.55) in the year prior to their application, and companies whose taxable annual revenue was less than 300,000 yuan, are eligible to apply for the reduction.

Li Binglin, general manager of the patent division at Chofn IP, said the average monthly income stipulation of 3,500 yuan is problematic for many inventors, especially those working in cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, as monthly salaries in such places are much higher than the requirement.

He added that the 300,000 yuan requirement is also less than many small and medium-sized companies' annual taxable revenue. If companies cannot benefit from the preferential policies, their enthusiasm for filing patents will be dampened, Li said.

Chen from the Quanzhou IP protection association echoed the concerns around the strict requirement for companies, adding that larger companies, especially listed ones, would be unable to benefit from the patent-related fee reduction.

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Database offers joined-up solution (2016-08-10,China Daily)

China's first integrative, multiple-resource database of intellectual property-related information was unveiled last week following two years of development and testing.

Developed by Intellectual Property Publishing House Co Ltd, the system, called DI Inspiro, uses big data technologies and combined data including patents, trademarks, industry standards and court rulings, as well as academic papers and science journals from China and overseas.

DI Inspiro provides more than 600 search portals, and has introduced many advanced big data technologies such as machine translation, visual search, smart analysis and chemical constitution search, said Li Cheng, the publishing house's deputy general manager, at the system's launch ceremony on Aug 3 in Beijing.

He added that as the largest IP database in China, the system will offer comprehensive IP solutions, including search, download, analysis, pre-warning, data management and project management, to global high-end users including companies, universities and research institutions.

"In the era of big data, there is growing demand for IP information services, and IP information has high value as it combines technologies, the economy and markets," said Li.

He added: "IP information is playing a crucial role in helping the government shape economic and technical policies, helping companies analyze market competition and avoid IP risks, and increasing the efficiency of universities and research institutions.

"Using big data technologies to fully display the value of IP information is an important part of building a strong IP powerhouse and supporting China's sustainable development."

According to the World Intellectual Property Organization, about 95 percent of the world's inventions are first publicized in patent documents.

Liu Huabing, head of the patent information department at the Intellectual Property Publishing House, said the use of big data technologies in China's innovative industries is a symbol that the nation is becoming an IP powerhouse.

"IP data has been like isolated islands in a vast ocean," he said. "We generally search for patent data via different official websites, and this is true also when we search for trademarks, court rulings, geographical indications, administrative enforcement data, new plant varieties, industry standards, domain names and integrated circuit designs.

"DI Inspiro aims to integrate these resources around the world."

Liu said the system now includes patent data from more than 100 countries and regions, 60 million patent owners, 25 million trademarks and 140,000 patent-related court rulings, adding that there are plans to add more databases, such as copyright, new plant varieties and integrated circuit designs, into the system by the end of this year.

Big data technologies allow users to have automatic access to all relevant information when they search for a particular kind of data. "If you search for a patent, you can find journals in which it is mentioned as well as related industry standards and trademarks," Liu said.

The system also allows personalized data processing and analysis, such as the ability to compare two documents.

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China sets R&D targets for 2020 (2016-08-09,Xinhua)

China expects knowledge-intensive services to contribute 20 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) by 2020, up from 15.6 percent in 2015, according to the country's five-year plan for science and technology progress by 2020.

The State Council plan, published on Monday, lists targets for science and technology from 2016 to 2020 as well as government action to help realize the targets.

Total factor productivity, of which technology is a sub-set, aims to account for 60 percent of growth in 2020, up from 55.3 percent last year.

The number of patent applications in 2020 is expected to be double that of 2015, according to the plan.

By 2020, out of every 10,000 workers, 60 will be engaged in research and development, up from 48.5 in 2015, the plan said.

Priorities for the government over the next five years include directing resources to strategic areas, fostering creativity, creating a favorable policy environment and removing barriers to innovation.

The country will spend more resources in research areas key to its national strength and security, including computer chip, integrated circuit equipment, broadband mobile telecommunication, digital machinery, nuclear power, genetic modification, water pollution control, new medicines, manned space programs and lunar exploration.

China also hopes to make breakthroughs in areas such as deep-sea exploration, quantum computing and brain science. Agriculture, computing, green energy, biology and environmental protection will also receive more attention. The government promises greater support for basic research, science labs and international research.

China will take an active part in the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) project and the Square Kilometer Array (SKA) telescope project, according to the plan.

The plan lists measures to improve legislation on research and development, streamline fund raising and raise the efficiency of governance.

The government will encourage enterprises to invest more in R&D and offer preferential policies to knowledge-intensive startups while pushing universities and research institutes to improve efficiency.

China will also expand cooperation in science and technological development with other countries, especially those along the Belt and Road.

The government will encourage joint research projects between Chinese and foreign institutes and enterprises to attract more high-level foreign experts to work in China.

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Forum plots path to more innovative economy (2016-08-03,China Daily)

Large but not strong, comprehensive but not high quality - that is the current situation of China's overall industrial development, said Wu Handong, professor at Guangdong ZhongCe Intellectual Property Research Institute, during a recent intellectual property forum.

Under the economic framework of the new normal, a phrase introduced by President Xi Jinping to describe slower but more sustainable economic growth, "IP strategies are the key to the shift from a resource-driven to an innovation-driven economy, which China should effectively implement to promote the development of both its economy and industry", Wu added.

The first Pearl River Forum on Intellectual Property, which was held on July 31 in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province, attracted more than 300 participants from nationwide government agencies, companies, colleges, research institutions and IP agencies.

More than 20 Chinese and overseas experts, along with industry insiders, delivered keynote speeches covering issues ranging from regional cooperation to capital operation of IP on the basis of supply-side reform.

Lin Ji, deputy secretary-general of the Guangdong provincial government, said at the forum that the province will increase IP cooperation and exchanges with countries along the route of the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road and deepen regional cooperation in the Pan-Pearl River Delta region.

IP officials from Guangdong and Sichuan provinces signed a cooperation framework agreement and plan to carry out in-depth collaboration in seven fields including innovation and reforms of IP systems.

In addition, a list of the top 100 Chinese companies in patent and technological innovation capacity was launched during the event. It established an index system to evaluate four main aspects of corporate IP capabilities: quantity, quality, protection and application of patents.

Huawei ranked first in terms of comprehensive capacity, followed by State Grid and ZTE.

The list also compared companies in their own industries. Tencent, for example, topped the internet industry list, with nearly 13,000 invention patent applications filed between 2010 and 2015. Guangdong-based TCL Corp ranked first on the household appliances list.

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New channels to speed up filings (2016-08-03,China Daily)

The trademark application process is expected to be cut by at least three months thanks to additional channels which will be opened to the general public, according to a series of guidelines on convenient registration, recently unveiled by the State Administration for Industry and Commerce.

Previously it took about a year to register a trademark and applicants had a six-month wait following the filing of their application. At the end of this process, the national trademark office of SAIC would inform them whether or not their application had been successful.

In the event of a successful application, there would be an additional three-month examination period followed by a three-month public review.

The national trademark office will "optimize procedures and hire more employees to cut the time required in information input, and publicize the examination standards" to ensure that successful trademark registration applicants are notified within three months, said Cheng Meng, an official at the office, at a news conference on July 26.

Cheng said the main reason for the current prolonged period is the contradiction of surging trademark applications on the one hand and backward examination models on the other.

China has led the world in annual trademark applications for 14 consecutive years since 2002. There were 11.2 million valid trademarks in the country as of the end of June, accounting for one-third of the global total.

The guidelines proposed 22 measures to streamline the trademark registration process and improve trademark services and management. Electronic registration is a central measure by which the goals can be achieved.

In the past, only trademark agencies were allowed to apply for trademarks online, but in the future, the online service model will be open to all applicants, according to the guidelines. The services will include not only trademark application, but also renewal, transfer and cancellation.

SAIC will also commission its local branches to handle trademark filings so that applicants no longer need to travel to Beijing to file applications. The first two pilot offices opened last month in Ya'an, Sichuan province, and Taizhou, Zhejiang province, and more are planned.

Trademark examination centers will also be established nationwide later this year to share the duties currently handled by the Beijing center.

From next year, applicants will be able to file trademark applications online or at local trademark offices, according to the guidelines.

In addition, the trademark database will be open to other administrative agencies, such as the market supervision authorities, to improve trademark management.

Cui Shoudong, deputy director of the national trademark office, said the guidelines focus on the current challenges facing trademark registration and management.

"We should first solve the problem of the slow process," he said. "We will encourage eligible local authorities to become trademark handling offices, and instigate electronic registration methods."

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Anti-piracy, plagiarism fair game at entertainment expo (2016-08-03,China Daily)

Discussions about intellectual property protection for China's mobile gaming industry dominated discussions among industry insiders attending this year's 14th China Digital Entertainment Expo, also known as ChinaJoy 2016, which ended on July 31 in Shanghai.

Talks at the event revealed a growing demand for anti-plagiarism and anti-piracy initiatives in the industry, People's Daily reported.

The four-day event attracted record crowds, with more than 320,000 visitors watching and experiencing in excess of 4,000 mobile games showcased by exhibitors from over 30 countries and regions.

Sun Shoushan, deputy chief of the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television, said during the expo that China's mobile gaming industry generated 140.7 billion yuan ($21.2 billion) in sales revenue last year, recording an average annual growth rate of 34 percent over the past five years.

Despite the fast-growing market, Sun said the domestic industry is facing a number of challenges, including low innovation capacity, weak international competitiveness and lack of classic works.

Commenting on the nature of mobile games in the Chinese market, Sun said many are developed based on similar themes and generally lack the playability necessary to hook gamers. He added that IP problems, such as piracy and copycats, still exist.

"The low cost of research and development is one of the main reasons for the rampant infringements in mobile games, which results in the influx of a large number of small- and medium-sized companies," Zhao Zhanling, a legal adviser with the Internet Society of China, told The Economic Observer.

"For them, money and survival are more important than copyrights," he said.

In addition, the income from illegal operations usually exceeds compensation rulings issued by courts, which also adds to the difficulty in curbing such infringements, Zhao added.

Tencent Games, which is part of China's internet giant Tencent, moved to establish a special team to safeguard the IP rights of its mobile games. Last year, the team filed more than 100 lawsuits involving trademarks, copyrights and unfair competition in large cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen.

Mao Xinliang and his team, which produced Fight For Freedom, also hired a professional company to conduct worldwide patent layout for the mobile game, which boasts eight patented technologies.

Unlike Tencent Games and Mao's team, many startups in the industry pay little attention to IP protection and patent application, which could make it difficult for them to prove the originality and prior use of their inventions when disputes arise, experts said.

Commenting on likely development trends in China's mobile gaming industry, Zhao said the rampant problem of IP violation will be addressed in the long term, but there are unlikely to be significant changes in the coming two to three years, which will act as a deterrent to companies that focus on innovation and creating high-quality games.

Chen Nan, partner in a Beijing law firm, suggested plaintiffs claim both copyright infringement and unfair competition when filing a lawsuit, because the latter offers a wider range of protections and it is easier to collect evidence in such cases.

Issuing a lawyer's letter is also a helpful way to rapidly deal with infringements, Chen added.

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Chongqing Changan autos aid Baidu with data collection (2016-08-02,China Daily)

Chongqing Changan Automobile Co recently promised to provide 81 cars to Baidu for more accurate information collection.

The cars will collect data on bad road conditions even in deserts, plateaus and the far north over an area of 6.5 million kilometers.

Baidu intends to raise its data gathering ability by cooperating with the company, and the firm in turn hopes to use Baidu’s map and voice technology to assist drivers in traffic navigation, car condition inquiries and communications. Changan automobiles, including the best-selling EADO and RAETON, have been equipped with Baidu’s Internet applications including CarLife, MyCar and CoDriver.

The company owns 5,635 technical patents, has won 110 science and technology innovation prizes and leads in over 60 intelligent technologies related to driving.

It will go on to cooperate with Baidu in high-edged technology research and development such as Advanced Driver Assistance Systems and L3 unmanned driving technologies.

Li Dongmin, general manager of Baidu Maps, said that more efforts will be made to build the maps into artificial intelligent platforms based on big data gathered by the Changan autos.

Liangjiang New Area is China’s biggest auto manufacturing base. Last year its production volume reached 2.13 million units, 8.6 percent of China’s total figure.

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Canadian doctors use novel Chinese heart valve to save patients (2016-08-01,China Daily)

Johanna Eisenhuth, an 88-year-old lady who suffered from leaky aortic valve, was cured thanks to a novel Chinese heart valve that saved her from an open-heart surgery too risky to operate at her age.

Vancouver Sun reported Saturday that doctors at St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver had been prepared to perform a revolutionary procedure that would fix her heart using the J-valve, a new device from China.

Her operation was performed under the guidance of cardiac surgeon Dr. Jian Ye and cardiologist Dr. John Webb from St. Paul's Centre for Heart Valve Innovation.

Only four implantations of the J-valve have been performed outside of China -- all of them at St. Paul's over the past six months, according to the report.

People with a leaky valve suffer from blood flowing backward into their lungs, which can cause shortness of breath and lead to congestive heart failure.

Ye said most prosthetic valves currently available are designed for calcified valves, but the J-valve is unlike traditional prosthetic valves in that it has "claspers" to clip it onto the leaky native valve.

Traditional replacement valves are anchored in place by calcification -- but if there isn't enough present they can be pushed into the heart or arteries, which can cause health complications or death, Ye said.

According to the report, J-valve implantation is a minimally invasive procedure that takes only a few minutes and the whole operation can be done in less than an hour. The patient is put asleep for the procedure but their heart is not stopped.

The report said Eisenhuth's operation was the first in the world to use an easier-to-implant, second-generation J-valve.

Just five days after the operation, Eisenhuth went back home, safe and sound. To the delight of her family, she is doing very well now, the report said.

Doctor Ji Zhang, inventor of the miraculous J-valve, told Xinhua in a recent interview in Vancouver that J-valv e has made a successful debut here since February and more operations using J-Valve to treat patients in other countries are expected in the future, such as Italy.

Zhang said J-valve was invented while he was working in Suzhou city in east China's Jiangsu province in 2009 and he got a patent in China.

He also mentioned that J-valve has completed more than 100 experimental operations in China and is now waiting for approval from relevant authorities in China.

When the approval is done, tens of thousands of patients will get their lives saved due to the efficient and comparatively cheap J-valve, which is a contribution not only to the Chinese society but also to the world, Zhang said.

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Lights add 'unforgettable' scenes to visitors' night life (2016-07-29,China Daily)

Night life is an important symbol of a modern city.

The newly upgraded West Lake with its music fountain lighting system and the launch of a 3D light show make night life in Hangzhou more colorful, and create a memorable visual effect for visitors.

In August, the city began its intelligent lighting project on the three islands of its most famous scene, Three Pools Mirroring the Moon.

Later, lights were installed on Yang Gong Di causeway, the walking path along the West Lake as well as the mountain area.

"It looks like a Chinese ink painting," said Shao Ning, infrastructure division chief of the West Lake Scenic Area Management Committee.

In early July, the city unveiled a 3D light show on crowded Wulin Square in the downtown area, where people can enjoy the show without wearing 3D glasses.

The show, said to be Asia's largest outdoor 3D light show, was projected onto the wall of the Zhejiang Exhibition Hall, equivalent in size to 10 IMAX screens. The show will be staged every night starting at 8 pm.

Zheng Jing, the Public Space Art Department director of The China Academy of Art, came up with the idea for the show early this year.

According to Zheng, the show on Wulin Square is designed for all weather conditions, and the stability of the equipment regarding heat radiation, air quality filters, and humidity control must meet strict standards.

"The mist sprayer will rise automatically when the show is on, spraying mist to match the picture on the wall. The sprayer will automatically drop down to the ground when the show is off. We are applying for a patent for the world's first Ultra High Pressure Mist Effect Lifting Module," Zheng said.

"I hope the show will make all visitors experience an unforgettable night in Hangzhou," Zheng added.

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Huawei Korea faces tax audit amid patent lawsuits against Samsung (2016-07-28,Xinhua)

South Korea’s National Tax Service is conducting a tax probe into Huawei Korea, the local branch of Chinese tech giant Huawei Technologies, on suspicion of offshore tax evasion, the company told the Korea Times on July 26.

Investigators from the Seoul branch of the National Tax Service are currently examining the transactions between Huawei Korea and its headquarters in Shenzhen, in south China, the report said. The audit is part of a regular tax audit to which the company submits every five years, according to the report. Companies with sales of more than 500 billion won (2.9 million yuan ) are subject to these regular audits.

The latest audit took place after Huawei and Samsung, South Korea’s largest cellphone manufacturer, fired on each other over infringements on 4G-related patents in the past three months.

In May, Huawei sued Samsung Electronics in the U.S. and China, claiming that the Korean IT giant infringed on as many as 11 patents related to the industry standard for fourth-generation (4G) mobile devices.

On July 22, Samsung countersued Huawei for patent infringements through multiple courts in China, escalating the legal conflict between the smart phone rivals.

This audit is the latest case of the Chinese company being hit by the Korean government.

Last month, the prosecution raided Huawei's local unit in downtown Seoul, seizing documents related to the case of a Korean executive of the firm suspected of stealing telecommunications technology from Ericsson-LG, according to South Korean media.

Huawei shipped 108 million smartphones to destinations across the globe in 2015, a figure dwarfed only by Apple's 231.5 million iPhones and Samsung’s 317.2 million phones shipped in the same period.

But Huawei has topped both Samsung and Apple in the Chinese market. According to Strategy Analytics data, in 2015, Huawei shipped 62.2 million units, making the company second only to another Chinese smart phone manufacturer, Xiaomi.

Huawei finding success on global patent battlefield

Chinese media has reported that Ren Zhengfei, or Richard Ren, founder and CEO of Huawei, predicted a “war” over patents between telecoms operators and terminal equipment manufacturers years ago.

“Huawei’s high-profile war against Samsung, the world’s number one smart phone maker, helps advertise its own brand recognition worldwide, and build a reputation as a high-tech holder (I mean it holds key, important technologies). Seeking compensation from possible patent violations is also a common practice among global high-tech companies to protect their due benefits,” read one comment on Guancha, a Chinese news website.

Huawei logged $9.2 billion in R&D spending in 2015, significantly more than Apple’s $8.1 billion.

In recent years, Huawei has continued establishing its patent strength, whether through cross-licensing agreement or lawsuits.

In January 2016, Ericsson and Huawei agreed to extend their global patent licensing agreement, which enabled Huawei to access and implement Ericsson's standard essential patents and technologies globally.

Ren was reportedly “very happy” about the collaboration. He commented, “It’s like I got a pass to the world,” according to Guancha.

On July 5, Huawei filed a lawsuit against T-Mobile U.S., claiming that T-Mobile has been using Huawei’s patented 4G wireless network technology without paying for it.

For the Samsung case, Huawei's intellectual property chief indicated in an interview with the Korea Times that the company was seeking permission to use some of Samsung's technologies rather than asking for financial remuneration.

According to a report from the Guangdong Intellectual Property Office, Huawei licenced 769 patents to Apple in 2015, while the American company offered Huawei 98 patents in return. It has also been revealed that Apple currently pays patent fees to the Chinese telecommunications giant to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars per year.

Previously, Chinese smartphone manufacturers have been thwarted in their pursuit of success in the global market, due to failure in patent lawsuits.

In December 2014, a court forced Xiaomi to stop selling its phones in India after Ericsson claimed that the upstart company had infringed upon its patents.

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Capital poised to become robotics hub (2016-07-28,China Daily)

Beijing's booming robotics industry has the potential to deliver transformative technology that could help raise living standards and save lives.

That was the message delivered at a municipal government news conference, which highlighted the capital's recent achievements in the digital technology innovation sector and released a two-year plan for its development.

By the end of 2017, Beijing's digital manufacturing industry is expected to have an output value of more than 23 billion yuan ($3.45 billion), creating a "Made in Beijing" brand, according to the plan.

Robots, as the core of digital manufacturing development, will be central to developments in areas such as auto manufacturing, logistics circulation, healthcare and cultural education, it said.

Qin Huang, vice-president of Beijing Unisrobo Technology Co, said the company had developed a service robot called "canbot", which is the first of its type with the capacity to be commercially produced in China.

"It is also the second commercialized robot in the world after 'pepper', a Japan-made robot," he said.

Canbot is 1.28 meters tall and is equipped with two high-quality video cameras. It can verbally communicate, distinguish human' facial expressions and respond appropriately.

According to Qin, the robot has potential future applications in banks, shopping malls, convention centers and restaurants.

"In many industries that lack laborers, the robot can be used to supplement the workforce. The advantage of this type of robot is that clients can easily write codes to manipulate it," he said.

Zhang Jihong, deputy director of the Beijing Municipal Science and Technology Commission, said the local government will actively promote digital manufacturing innovation over the next two years, with the aim of developing a series of robots that can be adopted in areas such as elderly and disabled care, medical rehabilitation, family service and public security.

Need for nursing robots

"In the nursing sector, robots are badly needed since China has an increasingly aging population," said Zhang. "Beihang University, a key university in Beijing, has developed an integrated robot that functions as a bed and chair and can also provide services such as feeding and massages for the elderly or the sick."

He said such robots could also physiologically monitor patients, which has the potential to raise living standards and prevent health problems before they occur.

Sijiqing Homes for the Elderly, a nursing home in Beijing's Haidian district, is currently piloting one of the robots, Zhang said.

Given the capital's rich supply of universities and research institutions, many high-tech robots have been developed in recent years.

Beijing Institute of Technology has produced a fifth generation simulation robot, for use in areas such as national security and China's manned space program. The institute owns 40 patents on the invention.

Zhang said the simulation robot has broken the Japanese monopoly in the sector.

Last year, the market for robots worldwide reach about $27 billion. It is expected that the average annual growth rate of the industry in the next 10 years will be about 9 percent, which means that the market could be worth $67 billion by 2025.

Encouraged by the central government, many provinces and regions around China are pushing forward with robot manufacturing, Zhang said.

Beijing will strengthen its advantages in scientific research and focus on high-end products to take on the competition, he added.

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Officials call for closer IP ties among Belt and Road nations (2016-07-27,China Daily)

High-ranking officials from countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative called for close regional cooperation in the intellectual property sphere at an international IP conference held in Beijing last week.

The Belt and Road Initiative refers to President Xi Jinping's 2013 proposals which seek to improve international collaboration through the development of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.

"The prospects of IP cooperation in the region, with systemic capacity building and critical reevaluation, will ensure effective ecosystems that foster ingenuity within each member country's unique socio-economic landscapes," said Cham Nimul, under secretary of state at the Ministry of Commerce in Cambodia.

"Priorities in advancing regional IP cooperation rest upon the acknowledgment that countries along the Belt and Road each have their own challenges in comprehensive and effective IP development and implementation.

"Thus, those challenges will have to be addressed domestically with regional and global outlooks," she told China Daily in an email prior to the High-level Conference on Intellectual Property for Countries along the Belt and Road routes.

The event was co-hosted by the World Intellectual Property Organization and several central government departments, along with the Beijing municipal government. It took place from July 21 to 22.

"Technical assistance in terms of capacity building and developing a well-planned strategic framework is key to promoting satellite ecosystems that integrate lasting cooperation between and among countries of the BRI region," Nimul said.

Sheitha Senarathna, additional secretary of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce of Sri Lanka, said during the event that her country is "an emerging economy in the Asian region and has prioritized the upgrading and strengthening of its National Intellectual Property Office".

She said she hoped that enhanced regional cooperation and assistance could be extended specifically to "protecting genetic resources, traditional knowledge and folklore, and copyright protection in the digital environment in the countries in the region".

Alicja Adamczak, president of the Patent Office of Poland, said: "Poland desires to play a major role in the economic and cultural cooperation with China, which was declared during the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Poland in June, within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative.

"I believe that membership of the countries from the region in the WIPO and the fact that we are all signatories of various international treaties standardizing IP protection would create a great platform for cooperation."

"Development of such collaboration would require our joint efforts as we are currently facing a unique opportunity of creating a New Silk Road that opens limitless perspectives for economic success," she added.

Abdullah Juma Al Shibli, assistant secretary general for economic and development affairs at the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, said the coordination in the policies and strategies of intellectual property and innovation is one of the most important of those priorities, and is the result of cooperation in IP information and database exchanges, capacity building and training in these fields.

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Experts warn of spike in graphene patent cases (2016-07-27,China Daily)

As the thinnest, lightest and strongest compound known to man, graphene has become one of the most fascinating new materials and attracted the attention of investors from many businesses, and gained support from governments from across the world.

Experts have warned that the number of graphene-related patent lawsuits will likely increase in the near future, as many companies have not yet realized the importance of international patent layout.

According to the Report on Patenting Activity of Graphene Technology, which was unveiled last year by the Ningbo Institute of Industrial Technology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, or CNITECH, China is the top source of graphene technologies globally, with patents in the area accounting for 46 percent of the world's total, followed by South Korea, the United States and Japan.

Altogether, the four countries have a more than 90 percent share of the world's graphene patents.

However, the report noted that only a small number of Chinese patent applications have been filed overseas, while the other three major patent-filing countries are more active in global protection. For example, South Korea contributed 26.9 percent of all graphene patent applications in the US and 27.5 percent in Japan.

"If a company wants to conduct research into graphene technology but doesn't know about previous studies or patent applications, its efforts might be in vain," said Zeng Weilin, technical supervisor of Jiangxi province-based Ying Peng Chemicals, which established a graphene research center in May.

He told Science and Technology Daily that the international patent layout is a weapon that safeguards the development of a nation's industry.

"International patents will increase the global competence of graphene companies and allow companies from different countries and regions to take part in the forging of international industry standards", said Liu Zhaoping, a researcher at CNITECH.

"Patent disputes exist where market interests are," said Liu. He suggested Chinese companies form patent alliances, establish technical standards, and improve their global patent map to more effectively bargain in patent cross-licensing with overseas competitors.

The report found that China has 23 of the world's top 35 graphene patent applicants. However, only one of those applicants is a business while the rest are universities and research institutions.

Industry insiders suggested universities and research institutions cooperate with companies and called for continuous government investment, especially during the initial research stage.

Another challenge that China faces is that the majority of domestic patents focus on application and few are about basic technologies "that can be industrialized and used to set limits to market competitors", said Hua Bing, general manager of a Beijing-based IP consultation company and a patent agent, in a commentary in the Xinhua Daily Telegraph.

"The large number of patents shows the Chinese people have started to pay attention to their intellectual property, but overlooking the issue of patent quality has made it difficult to commercialize the patents," she said.

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China promotes easier trademark registration (2016-07-26,China Daily)

The State Administration for Industry and Commerce issued a notice on July 25 to promote the reform of trademark registrations nationwide.

In the first half of 2016, the number of trademark applications reached 1.74 million, up 32.3 percent from the same period of 2015.

Convenience being the key to reform, application channels will be expanded. Pilot zones have been set up in places such as Ya’an, Sichuan province, and Taizhou, Zhejiang province, this year, and more places will start the reform testing.

Starting this year, trademark review collaboration centers will be set up in pilot areas. From 2017, applicants can apply through the Internet or go to local trademark registration centers.

The reform will simplify and optimize related registration procedures. The notice will be released within three months, shortened from six months. The required documents will also be simplified.

The reform will also improve the review process and efficiency. Review collaboration centers will be responsible for over 70 percent of the reviews. Moreover, the reform will enhance trademark credit supervision through information technologies such as big data and cloud computing. Illegal actions will be published and punishment will be increased.

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Huawei plans to beef up its R&D (2016-07-26,China Daily)

Huawei Technologies Co's revenue growth accelerated in the first half of the year as upgraded smartphones and network gear helped China's largest vendor of telecommunications equipment counter deteriorating global demand.

The world's third-largest smartphone brand grew revenue 40 percent to 245.5 billion yuan ($37 billion) in the first six months, the Shenzhen-based company said in a statement. That's up from the 30 percent growth it managed in the first half of 2015.

Founded in 1987 by Ren Zhengfei, Huawei has sprung to the vanguard of a crop of Chinese smartphone vendors trying to compete with global leaders Samsung Electronics Co and Apple Inc.

The company used its business of selling networking gear to bankroll an expansion into premium phones, becoming China's biggest mobile label last year.

"We are confident that Huawei will maintain its current momentum, and round out the full year in a positive financial position backed by sound ongoing operations," Chief Financial Officer Sabrina Meng said.

Competition, however, is weighing on profitability. Huawei's operating margin came to 12 percent in the first half, narrowing from 18 percent in the same period last year.

Huawei didn't break out the performance of individual units of a business that also encompasses cloud computing and enterprise services. Its Consumer Business Group, which sells phones, watches and laptops, is scheduled to announce results on Tuesday.

That unit chalked up 73 percent sales growth in 2015 to 129.1 billion yuan, out of the corporation's total revenue of about 395 billion yuan. Richard Yu, chief executive of the consumer business group, has said the company aims to eventually displace Apple and Samsung from the top spots in global smartphones.

Xiang Ligang, a telecom veteran and CEO of the industry website, said despite a string of patent disputes with Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, Huawei's smartphone business is growing quite robustly, which will give the Shenzhen-based company a good boost in its year-end financial performance.

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Experts identify conditions for success in IP (2016-07-22,China Daily)

Legal frameworks, education, extensive cooperation and the integration between the government and the private sector are some of the factors necessary to build an intellectual property ecosystem, said officials and experts from China and overseas at the High-Level Conference on Intellectual Property for Countries Along the Belt and Road on Thursday.

Long known as an economy based on energy, Saudi Arabia aims to build an innovative society with appropriate policies, regulations, and education and training mechanisms, according to the country's latest strategy called Vision 2030.

Abdulaziz Alswailem, vice-president for scientific research support at King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia, said that both the government and private sector are engaged in the strategy, and that "the best and brightest ideas will be incubated in the right incubators" with the proper guidance and legal framework to contribute to a better society.

The initiatives will cover the entire chain from ideas to end products, he said.

To encourage innovation and build an innovation ecosystem, he called for simplified IP filing processes and management, mechanisms to share information and experiences, maximized benefits for innovators, improved motivation for those involved in the process and greater international collaboration to reduce redundant works.

"We need to look at IP as living things because they live, feel and die," he said. "We don't want ideas to die. We always want to keep them in a healthy way."

Also, "we need expand the education and training strategy towards cultivating a society that respects the practices of IP and values the benefits it encompasses", said Cham Nimul, under secretary of state at the Ministry of Commerce in Cambodia.

"For Cambodia and anywhere else, public awareness and proper education hold the key to fully embracing a culture of innovation," she added.

Carsten Fink, chief economist at the World Intellectual Property Organization, commented on certain findings from WIPO's research into how innovations evolve and what ecosystems nurture them.

One of the most important findings is that governments are "critical as funders of scientific research", according to Fink.

"Scientific discoveries are really critical in driving promising ideas forward," he said. "Also, governments are important in moving technologies from laboratories to the production stage."

Market forces and the efforts of the private sector are also important, said Fink, as companies are critical for the process of adapting technologies to the needs of the market.

In addition, he noted the importance of "linkages" in the innovation ecosystem, including "informal linkages" between researchers and "formal linkages" - collaboration agreements between universities and firms and agreements between firms.

In China, "IP work has been incorporated into industries, trade, finance and other fields with policies formulated synergistically", said Lyu Wei, director-general of the Research Department of Techno-Economy at the Development Research Center of China's State Council. However, she added that "the quality has yet to be improved for China to be an IP power".

She said the strategy of innovation-driven development has raised new requirements for IP work, adding that the country is shifting its development focus from quantity to quality, and from creation to utilization of IP.

With the emergence of new industries, IP protection has been confronted with new problems, such as the patentability of genes and business models, internet piracy, the abuse of IP rights and unfair competition, she said.

As a result, Lyu believes that new trends will emerge in China's IP policies, including the integration of government efforts and market means, more stringent IP protection, improved IP service and increased international cooperation.

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China speeds bullet train exports to aid cooperation (2016-07-22,China Daily)

China is preparing to export more bullet trains and rail technologies, especially to countries along the routes of the Belt and Road, in a bid to strengthen international production capacity cooperation.

The majority of countries along the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road are currently either planning to build high-speed rail lines or upgrade their existing railway systems to improve regional connectivity.

They are exploring the possibility of acquiring technological support from Chinese rail companies that hold proprietary intellectual property rights and diverse core technologies, ranging from design, construction, equipment, management and system integration.

Among the many positive outcomes of the move is that China's bullet train projects in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, an important trading partner of China in the initiative, have effectively helped boost local economic development.

Construction began on the first high-speed train link in Indonesia at the beginning of the year.

The building work was carried out by PT Kereta Cepat Indonesia-China, a joint venture between a consortium of Indonesian State-owned companies and China Railway International Co Ltd, a subsidiary of China Railway Corp.

The 150-kilometer route linking Jakarta and Bandung is scheduled to be completed in 2019, with a total investment of $5.5 billion.

"China's first high-speed rail project in Indonesia will spur the interest of more countries that are keen to put their economic growth on a firmer footing through efficient transportation systems and regional connectivity," said Wang Mengshu, deputy chief engineer of China Railway Tunnel Group Ltd.

Ridwan Kamil, mayor of Bandung, commented that the project was expected to create about 40,000 new jobs annually.

Russia's high-speed Moscow-Kazan railway is also under construction, with bullet trains supplied by the China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation, the country's largest train maker by revenue.

Scheduled for completion by 2018, the 770-km line will run through seven Russian regions with a total population of more than 25 million.

In addition, China Railway Construction Corp rebuilt the 1,344-kilometer Benguela Railway, which opened in February last year. Traversing Angola, it is the second-longest railway a Chinese company has constructed in Africa, after the Tanzania-Zambia line that was built in the 1970s.

Roughly 99 percent of the materials for the project such as screws, steel, cement and communication equipment were purchased from China.

"In order to successfully realize the aims of the country's Belt and Road Initiative, CRCC has expanded its scientific and technological innovation input and explored a new mode of patent operation," Han Fengxian, chief engineer of the company, told China Intellectual Property News.

CRCC filed its first patent application in 1994 and started to implement its innovation and patent integration strategy in 2010. It has now established a core patent pool in the railway sector.

Taking the large track maintenance machine for example, CRCC has developed a series of patented products based on technological gaps in the sector after analyzing more than 20,000 Chinese and foreign patent documents.

It filed nearly 160 patent applications, including 67 for invention patents.

China, however, still lags behind a number of foreign countries in terms of the number of railway-related patents owned and has not yet established a sizable overseas patent layout, Han said.

Chinese rail companies need to focus more on risk control and patent layout, as well as patent licensing, transfer, investment and financing, he added.

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Samsung sues Huawei in China for patent infringements (2016-07-22,China Daily)

Tech giant Samsung Electronics Co Ltd said on Friday it has sued Huawei Technologies Co Ltd for patent infringements in Beijing, escalating a legal battle between the smartphone rivals.

According to the South Korean media reports, Samsung criticized Huawei in a statement, saying that the latter's smartphones and tablets infringe on its patents for mobile communications technology, data storage for images and others.

The South Korean telecom multinationals also accused Huawei of filing "irrational" patent suits against it and claimed compensation up to 80.5 million yuan ($12 million).

"Despite our best efforts to resolve this matter amicably, it has regrettably become necessary to take legal action in order to defend our intellectual property," Samsung said in a statement.

"Currently we've not received the relevant prosecutions in regards to this, and we'll conduct an appropriate response after fully understanding the case," said Huawei in a written statement to China Daily.

"Judicial decisions are one of the most effective ways to resolve differences when intellectual property disputes emerge between two sides".

Earlier this month, the Chinese telecom company filed patent infringement lawsuits against rival Samsung in two courts in China, demanding 80 million yuan ($12 million) in compensation against three subsidiaries of Samsung in the Chinese mainland.

In May, Huawei sued Samsung in both the United States and China, accusing its rival of infringement on patents for fourth-generation (4G) cellular communications technology, operating systems and user interface software.

According to China Daily, data from IDC shows that Huawei shipped about 27.5 million smartphones in the first quarter of this year, far less than Apple's 51. 2 million units and Samsung's 81.9 million units.

But the Chinese company managed a robust growth rate of 58 percent, while Apple saw a sharp decline and Samsung's sales remained roughly flat.

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Chinese scientists develop new metal 3D printing technology (2016-07-22,Xinhua)

Researchers with Huazhong University of Science and Technology in central China's Hubei Province have successfully manufactured metal parts and molds using new 3D printing technology, sources with the university announced on Friday.

The new metal 3D printing technology addresses existing problems in traditional metal 3D printing methods, said Zhang Hai'ou, leader of the 3D printing technology research team at the university.

These problems, such as flowing, dropping or crumbling of fused materials due to gravity, cracking, stress and rapid heating and cooling can severely affect modeling performance and accuracy, according to Zhang.

After over a decade of research, Zhang and other researchers have independently developed the new method of metal 3D printing, called "intelligent micro casting and forging." The method combines metal casting and forging technology and significantly improves the strength and ductility of metal molds to expand their life and reliability.

The invention has also reduced the costs for forging equipment and raw materials through a computer-controlled modeling process, Zhang said.

The technology has been awarded both national and international patents. It can be applied in the aerospace, medical, and auto industries, among others.

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World's telecommunications giants battle for a tech standard worth billions (2016-07-22,People's Daily)

The US has made substantial inroads into 5th generation mobile networks or 5th generation wireless systems (5G).

US President Barack Obama announced on July 14 that the US government will grant $400 million to support the Advanced Wireless Research Initiative, according to the White House website.

The website described some of the technology's potential benefits for mobile users, such as downloading full-length, high-definition movies in five seconds - 100 times faster than on a 4G connection.

It also told of how the technology could provide first responders and emergency room doctors with real-time videos and sensor data from police vehicles, including patient vitals and medical records, well before the patient arrives at the hospital.

"There can be little doubt that the US's big budget is meant to help the country control the next generation of mobile technology," said Wang Yanhui, secretary-general of the Mobile China Alliance.

US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler said as much at a congressional subcommittee hearing on Tuesday, according to a report in the newspaper USA Today.

"5G can put this country, its manufacturers, its entrepreneurs and innovators on … a home-field advantage," he said.

The US shares this ambition with just about every other country - China included - with a high-powered telecommunications sector. Setting a 5G standard is about a lot more than just coming up with a set of criteria for a new technology. It's also about money.

Those with a bigger say in formulating the international standard for 5G will reap quite a few benefits, Wang said.

"The standard is made up of numerous patents," he said. "Enterprises with a voice can collect a large number of patent fees. In addition, they can obtain greater market share due to their advanced technology and early entry into the market."

"Along with the patent fees, the companies who influence the standard can earn profits by selling their products," said Chen Wei, a senior consultant at the Beijing-based investment consultancy China Venture.

The promise of 5G

The world's major powers and major global communications companies have all been working on 5G technologies in recent years. The standard promises big things for users.

So far, most of the public attention has focused on 5G's speed. And rightly so. 5G will provide users with data transfer speeds that are 10 to 100 times faster than 4G, according to the FCC.

However, the technology's ability to connect with all manner of devices might be far more important, Wang said.

"4G mainly applies to mobile communications, but the application of 5G will be far broader. It will expand mobile data connections to cars and the Internet of Things," he told the Global Times on Tuesday.

There is a huge market for the Internet of Things, China Mobile Vice President Li Huidi said on June 29 at an industry summit in Shanghai.

By the end of 2020, there will be 50 billion devices connected to the Internet around the world, 10 billion of which will be in China, Li noted.

Everyone wants a say

There has been a lot of hype about 5G, but there is still no international standard for the emerging technology, though the big players are working on it.

Consequently, the argument has intensified of late about who will get how much of a say in the technology's formulation.

Some think that countries and companies with a bigger say in formulating the standard will become the dominant players in the 5G era.

Consider Qualcomm Inc. The telecommunications giant owns a number of core patents for 3G and 4G mobile technologies. Any company that wants to use the standard has to either buy Qualcommm's equipment or pay it licensing fees for its patents.

China Mobile experienced this first-hand.

"It is estimated that in 2014 China Mobile would pay at least 5 billion yuan in additional patent fees to Qualcomm for using Qualcomm's 3G patent technology in its TD-LTE terminal equipment," the Chinese telecom's former chairman was quoted as saying by the National Business Daily in July 2014.

Japanese companies are also in on the act. The telecom giant NTT DOCOMO Inc long ago began researching 5G and has already started testing its technology, aiming to become a leader in creating the 5G standard.

China has also taken numerous steps in advancing its own ambitions in this area. In February 2013, the Chinese government established a team to advance research into 5G.

The government has released five white papers about its vision for 5G and its framework for the technology.

Furthermore, China officially started testing its 5G technology in January.

The world's telecom heavyweights are well on their way toward creating their own 5G technology. US-based AT&T Inc and Verizon Communications Inc have both begun 5G testing.

France's Alcatel-Lucent has been making large-scale investments in 5G since 2010, and its research and development (R&D) arm has participated in nearly all 5G development projects organized by the EU.

South Korea-based Samsung and Sweden-based Ericsson have also dipped their toes into 5G R&D.

China's efforts

The situation is similar in China. "All major telecom operators and telecommunications equipment manufacturers will join the competition to formulate the 5G standard," Wang said.

China Mobile announced on June 29 that it is working to realize commercial uses of 5G by the end of 2020.

China's telecommunications equipment makers ZTE Corp and Datang Telecom Technology have each issued white papers on 5G.

In the past, Western companies have controlled the formulation of the 2G, 3G and 4G technology standards, but experts said China has an opportunity to break the trend in the era of 5G.

"China is expected to have a much greater voice in formulating the international standards for 5G," Wang said.

Chen, the senior consultant, noted that because China's telecom operators, such as China Mobile, China Unicom, China Telecom, and telecommunications equipment makers including Huawei and ZTE, have greatly expanded their global market shares in recent years, China is bound to have a greater voice in the formulation of the 5G standard.

For example, if all three of China's major telecom operators boycott some of the technology in the 5G standard, it will be difficult for the technology to take off in China, Chen noted.

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Building IP-friendly Belt and Road (2016-07-21,China Daily)

New guidance document aims to promote an environment conducive to innovation, sustainable growth

A guidance document for increasing intellectual property cooperation between countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative is expected to be adopted at an ongoing international meeting.

"The guidance document aims to inherit and promote the tradition of the Silk Road and advance IP cooperation in the region," Shen Changyu, commissioner of the State Intellectual Property Office, told China Daily in an exclusive interview.

He was speaking prior to the High-level Conference on Intellectual Property for Countries along the Belt and Road, where the document titled "Common Initiatives for Strengthening Cooperation between Countries along the Belt and Road in the Field of Intellectual Property" is being rolled out.

The World Intellectual Property Organization and several central government departments - SIPO, the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, the National Copyright Administration and the Ministry of Commerce - along with the Beijing municipal government are co-hosting the conference in the capital from Thursday to Friday.

The document will offer suggestions for IP collaboration from such perspectives as legal systems, professional services, rights protection, public awareness, training, and information sharing and use.

"It is designed to help build an IPfriendly ecosystem in the countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative, improve their related legal systems and thus promote an environment conducive to innovation and sustainable development," Shen said.

The Belt and Road Initiative refers to President Xi Jinping's proposals in 2013 to improve international cooperation through the construction of a Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.

"Taking into full consideration the difference in development levels, cultures, innovation capacities and legal systems, the planned statement will reflect the trends of multi-polarity, economic globalization, cultural diversity and IT-based developments," Shen said.

With about $21 trillion in economic aggregate, some 29 percent of the world's total, the countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative, most of which are emerging economies, are encouraging innovation to promote growth.

"Their innovation will become a key growth spot in the regional and even world economy." Shen said. "As IP is playing an increasingly instrumental role in both international trade and the development of countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative, how to integrate it into the initiative is a common issue we face."

The Chinese government has long cooperated on IP with countries along the routes. Shen said his office has signed bilateral cooperation agreements with 28 out of 65 core countries involved in the initiative. And it has developed a trilateral cooperation mechanism with its peers in Mongolia and Russia.

At the same time, SIPO has partnered with regional organizations including the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and the Visegrad Group, an alliance comprising four central European countries - the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.

This international cooperation covers a wide range, including patent filing processing, international training, data exchanges and documentation sharing. It has made marked progress and been widely acclaimed among the countries involved in the initiative, Shen said.

Against such a backdrop, the ongoing conference has gathered together IP leaders from 50 countries and international organizations involved in the Belt and Road Initiative, as well as representatives of the business community and the academic circle in China. They will discuss how to improve regional cooperation for "a more general preferential, inclusive, and balanced international IP system", he said.

"The event provides an effective communication channel and also helps create an IP-friendly environment for companies entering countries involved in the Belt and Road."

Government data shows that Chinese companies made direct investments worth $14.82 billion in 49 countries in the region last year, an 18.2 percent increase from 2014, accounting for 12.6 percent of total direct overseas investments by domestic investors.

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China's progress in innovation 'quite remarkable': WIPO Director General (2016-07-21,Xinhua)

China's progress in innovation is remarkable, said Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization Francis Gurry in a recent exclusive interview with Xinhuanet.

According to Gurry, the target for China by 2020 is to be a leading innovation power.

China is now undergoing a transition from a labor-intensive model of "Made-in-China" to an innovation-driven model of "Created-in-China", he added.

The spirit of innovation, in turn, is highlighted in hope of a more healthy and effective economy.

Speaking of the progress in intellectual property protection in China, Gurry stressed the speed and influence China has achieved.

"It's 32 years exactly since the first patent law was established in China, and since then we now see the country has the largest patent law office and trademark office in the world. Increasingly, the promotion of intellectual property in China, the inventions, branding and designs are internationalized and we see that reflected radically across the world," said Gurry.

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China emphasizes global innovation exchanges (2016-07-21,China Daily)

China has in recent years seen growing innovation exchanges with the economies involved in the Belt and Road Initiative, said Gan Shaoning, deputy commissioner of the State Intellectual Property Office.

The Belt and Road Initiative refers to the development of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, proposed by President Xi Jinping in 2013.

Government data shows that patent filings to SIPO from 34 out of the 65 core countries in the region increased by 20.8 percent year-onyear to more than 1,600 in the first half of this year.

"The increase reflects the faith the involved countries have in China's market and intellectual property rights protection climate," Gan said at a ceremony last week for the release of a series of reports on IP environments in the countries involved in the initiative.

Last year, SIPO received more than 3,100 patent filings from 41 countries involved in the initiative, including some 2,800 from top 10 sources, which altogether accounted for 90.6 percent of all filings.

Among the countries, Singapore ranked first for its number of filings, followed by Israel and India. Russia and Saudi Arabia took fourth and fifth place respectively.

The lowest 19 countries in terms of filings each posted less than 10 patent applications annually in China.

At the same time, nearly 3,290 patent applications from China were filed in 15 countries along the Belt and Road routes, with IT, telecommunications and other electrical equipment manufacturing listed as the main sectors in which patent applications were filed.

Also among the top 10 industrial sectors for Chinese patent filings in the region were machinery manufacturing and healthcare.

All of these are priority sectors listed in the "Made in China 2025" policy.

"The data also shows that Chinese companies are accelerating their pace of globalization," Gan said.

Among the Chinese companies exploring opportunities along the Belt and Road routes is ZTE, a Shenzhen-headquartered telecommunications giant.

With 176 applications filed last year, the company ranked second on the list of China's top 10 patent filers in the countries along the routes of the Belt and Road. It was closely after internet service portal Tencent, which reported 180 filings, according to data from SIPO.

However, Guo Xiaoming, ZTE's chief IPR officer, told China Daily in a written response to questions that according to his company's statistics, it has filed more patents in the region. He put the discrepancy in the figures down to the fact that some data has not been publicly disclosed.

Guo said, "Currently, our technological focus in the (Belt and Road) region is on fundamental patents concerning international telecommunications technology standards in such sectors as cloud computing, big data and 5G/4G networks, as well as other core patents related to key technologies in the telecommunications industry."

"Our IP strategy serves the group's businesses worldwide. Some of the countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative are emerging markets for ZTE's businesses so they are also a priority on the company's global IP landscape," he added.

While China is advancing cooperation in developing infrastructure such as transportation facilities, ZTE is campaigning vigorously for the building of smart cities worldwide and it is deploying IP resources in a variety of sectors including the IT-backed transport network, he said.

Guo also called on companies to implement IP strategies that are tailored to local markets - including trademark registration and patent filing for core technologies - before they look to expand, in order to avert huge IP risks.

Qian Haifeng, legal general counsel at Beiqi Foton, an automobile company headquartered in Beijing, recalled the IP crisis that faced his company in Vietnam about 10 years ago. Its trademark was forestalled because one of its local distributors had already registered it without authorization.

"A trademark is the first step in an overseas IP strategy," Qian said.

Qian added that the company has since increased its overall protection awareness and has experienced few such problems in recent years.

The countries and regions involved in the Belt and Road Initiative account for about 90 percent of the company's sales abroad, with a focus on the markets in Southeast Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

Lyu Wei, director of the Department of Technology and Economy at the Development Research Center of the State Council, said, "Despite a rich diversity of cultures and a wide variety of economic development, the countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative need technological cooperation and commonly accepted rules for intellectual property protection.

"After all, communication and connectivity are the keys to the initiative."

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Chinese HPV vaccine in final stages of clinical testing (2016-07-21,Xinhua)

If approved, an HPV vaccine currently in the final stages of clinical testing should be available in China within two years, said the developer on Thursday.

Work on the vaccine began in 2002 and clinical tests began in 2011. The research is led by the National Institute of Diagnostics and Vaccine Development in Infectious Diseases, based in Xiamen University in southeast China's Fujian Province.

It is the third human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine to reach the clinical test stage, following those developed by Merck and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).

The GSK vaccine was approved by the China Food and Drug Administration on Monday. Under the commercial name of Cervarix, it is the first HPV vaccine licensed for use in China.

The World Health Organization recommends use of HPV vaccine to prevent cervical cancer, which kills about 30,000 women in China each year. Around 130,000 new cervical cancer cases emerge in China annually, accounting for 28 percent of the world total.

During the third phase of clinical tests which started in 2012, more than 7,000 volunteers were vaccinated, according to leader of the vaccine program, Zhang Jun of Xiamen University.

"The data that we collected has proved the vaccine effective in preventing infection," he said.

Zhang pointed out that the difference between his team's vaccine and the GSK product lies in the effective antigen source.

"GSK uses insect cells as the effective antigen, while our vaccine uses coliform bacteria," he said.

Zhang claimed his vaccine to be more cost-effective than its competitor, giving it an edge in the market, if approved.

The team has obtained 18 patents for the vaccine in China and abroad.

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President of Xinhua News Agency meets with chief of World Intellectual Property Organization (2016-07-19,Xinhua)

Xinhua News Agency will give more coverage to intellectual property rights (IPR) in a bid to encourage innovation, said President of Xinhua News Agency Cai Mingzhao Tuesday.

In a meeting with Director General Francis Gurry of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) at Xinhua's headquarters in Beijing, Cai said the role of IPR protection must be highlighted as Chinese government encourages more creative thinking and invention.

As a news agency, Xinhua not only produces intellectual property but also shoulders a social obligation to protect it, said Cai, stressing Xinhua stands ready to cooperate with the WIPO to raise public awareness of the issue.

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Beijing court files first internet trademark dispute (2016-07-17,China Daily)

A Beijing court has filed the first trademark dispute in the internet financial industry and accepted the plaintiff's application to preserve evidence.

Beijing Intellectual Property Court confirmed last week that Qihoo 360, China's largest security software provider, filed the lawsuit in February and claimed that an Internet financial company named 360 Daidai Web had a similar trademark and made use of its popularity to attract users.

Qihoo 360 announced at that time that it never had a relationship with the company, also the platform providing person-to-person services, and it asked for 30 million yuan ($4.49 million) in total, according to the court.

On June 3, Qihoo 360 applied for the preservation of evidence to the court.

Now, the website's domain name,, has been frozen, which means it cannot be transferred, canceled or changed, the court said. It added it will be key during the following trial.

Evidence preservation is also regarded as an effective measure to protect intellectual property rights and that it will take advantage of it before hearing related disputes, the court explained.

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China has approved its first sound trademark (2016-07-14,China Daily)

China has seen the highest number of trademark registrations in the world in the last 13 years, and the country's first "sound" trademark has now been registered too.

The news was confirmed by Liu Junchen, Vice Director of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, adding that the signature tune of China Radio International has been approved as a sound trademark.

"The newly revised Trademark Law rules clearly that a single sound can be applied as a trademark. For instance, the opening tune of China Radio International has been reviewed and approved as the very first sound trademark."

A sound trademark is a sound that is used to perform the trademark function of uniquely identifying the commercial origin of a product or service. Famous examples include the Nokia tune and the "I'm lovin' it" jingle of McDonald's.

China's top legislature revised the Trademark Law to allow sound to be registered as a trademark in 2013.

The administration has received 450 applications for sound trademarks as of the end of January, since starting to accept such applications in May 2014.

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Huawei moves to safeguard its patents to crack the US market (2016-07-13,People's Daily)

Huawei Technologies Co Ltd's intensified efforts to safeguard its patents highlight the Chinese tech giant's desire to crack the US market, which the Shenzhen-based company must conquer to fulfill its ambition to be the world's biggest smartphone vendor, experts said.

Huawei confirmed last week it had filed patent infringement lawsuits against rival Samsung Electronics Co in two courts in China.

The news came shortly after the Chinese telecom equipment maker filed a patent suit against US telecom operator T-Mobile US Inc.

Di Jin, a researcher at International Data Corp, said as China's smartphone market slows down, the country's handset makers are stepping up efforts to build up their overseas presence.

"A strong patent portfolio is key to rapid international expansion. For Huawei which has poured millions of dollars into research and development, taking Samsung to court can boost its international brand image," Di said.

Huawei's consumer electronics unit has quickly evolved into the world's third biggest smartphone vendor. The company said earlier this year it wants to beat Samsung and Apple Inc within the next five years to top the global ranking of handset makers.

But industry observers say it will be impossible to realize the goal if Huawei can't expand its presence in the US, the global hub of innovation and the world's most competitive market.

"Patent disputes can accelerate the process. The lawsuit against T-Mobile can give Huawei a bigger say in local partnerships, " said Xiang Ligang, a telecom veteran and CEO of the industry website

Data from IDC shows that Huawei shipped about 27.5 million smartphones in the first quarter of this year, far less than Apple's 51. 2 million units and Samsung's 81.9 million units.

But the Chinese company managed a robust growth rate of 58 percent, while Apple saw a sharp decline and Samsung's sales remained roughly flat.

"Huawei is rolling out innovative products. Though national security concerns will make it difficult to quickly build a strong foothold in the US, filing patent lawsuits against arch rivals can help boost Huawei's influence among consumers," Xiang added.

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China begins crackdown on online IPR infringement (2016-07-13,China Daily)

China on Tuesday kicked off a five-month campaign against unlicensed distribution of literature and audio and visual products on the internet.

The crackdown targets mobile device applications, e-commerce websites, online advertisements, music and video streaming websites, cloud storage services and online news providers, according to a statement released by the National Copyright Administration (NCA).

It urged local police and copyright, internet and telecom departments to strengthen supervision and "severely crack down on" intellectual property rights infringement on online forums and social-networking platforms.

According to the statement, authorities will also toughen monitoring of app stores and their uploaders.

The action was jointly initiated by the NCA, State Internet Information Office, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and the Ministry of Public Security.

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Turning clever ideas into market leading products (2016-07-13,China Daily)

Helping Chinese companies turn their inventions into money-making products in the global market will be a key topic at the eighth China Trademark Festival in October.

With the theme of "to serve innovation and development, and boost transformation and upgrading", the festival will be held from Oct 27 to 30 in Kunshan, Jiangsu province, according to a recent news conference in Beijing.

Although China has been leading the world in the number of trademark registrations for 15 consecutive years, with more than 10 million valid trademarks by the end of last year, "it is still far behind many Western countries in terms of the contribution of trademarks to national economic growth", said Wang Peizhang, secretary-general of the China Trademark Association, organizer of the annual festival, at the news conference.

As one of the largest and most influential events for trademarks in China, it will provide opportunities to display the world's trademark and brand culture, encourage research and exchanges in the trademark and brand community and promote the nation's trademark strategies, said Wang.

He added that this year's festival will center on national plans for innovation-driven development and intellectual property strategy to help domestic companies build globally competitive brands and upgrade the nation's economic structure.

The festival will include the China Trademark Annual Meeting, the China Trademark Expo and other themed activities.

The annual meeting will invite senior government officials, international scholars and experts to give keynote speeches on trademark and brand policies and on how to build globally influential brands.

There will also be many sub-forums on topics such as trademark laws, online trademark infringement and risk control, international trademark registration, trademark design, geographical indications and legal case studies.

The event will also help companies in traditional industries find partners in the internet business sector, Wang said.

Compared with previous sessions, the forums this year will pay more attention to the Chinese companies' brand building capacity, international trademark protection in the regions involved in the Belt and Road Initiative, the convenience of trademark filing, and brand building in the financing industry and agriculture, said Wang.

The host city, Kunshan, is one of the most developed small cities in China with advanced electronics, machinery and textile industries.

Deputy Mayor Jin Ming said hosting the festival would help the city's international trade and cultural exchanges, and encourage the overseas development of local companies.

"The trademark gala will promote innovation in Kunshan, and brands will lead the city's industrial upgrading," Jin said.

Local companies and individuals owned 151,200 valid trademarks by May, including 115 recognized as well-known trademarks.

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China's mobile manufacturers quickly catching up with big names (2016-07-11,China Daily)

Beijing - As technological advancement temporarily slows down in today's telecom scene, China's local mobile manufacturers are quickly catching up with the industrial big names, market trends suggest.

China's leading indigenous smartphone company Huawei produced 17.3 percent of devices sold in China in May, according to stats by Counterpoint Research. Taking the next three spots are Vivo, Oppo and Xiaomi, all of them local brands as well. Apple, now dropping to the 5th, trails behind with a share of only 10.8 percent.

Just three years ago, Samsung was still the No.1 mobile vendor in China, commanding as much as 18.8 percent of the market. The ever-popular Apple has managed to secure a spot in the top two until as late as early 2015. Things changed in 2014 as the native brands, probably finally done with biding their time, entered the scene with a blast led by Xiaomi. The soar of Xiaomi that year didn't end even after taking the lead in the domestic market; it also became the 5th largest overall in the world, as if to declare to the world that China is striving to become more than the "World's factory".

Stats last year from tech industry researcher Strategy Analytics put Huawei and Xiaomi comfortably in the leading spots, while Samsung's name is nowhere to be found in the top five. Indigenous Chinese brands constitute eight of the top 10, compared to a mere four in 2011.

Financial services group Canaccord Genuity published a set of data in 2015 showing the global market share of Samsung and Apple at 23.9 and 17.2 percent respectively. Commentators at International Business Times have pointed out that growing Chinese brands tend to enter the scene with low-end budget models and gradually climb up the hierarchy.

"Most [up-and-coming manufacturers] were all low-brow versions of the Samsung Galaxy or the iPhone," notes Forbes in a column, "But companies like Xiaomi and Huawei in particular have made big leaps in quality and are winning over local buyers."

Xiang Ligang, analyst and founder of the Chinese telecom portal site CCTimes, told the media that local manufacturers have "improved so much in technology, build quality and after-sales service that a better price is the only thing left to distinguish them from Samsung and Apple models."

As the largest production center of smartphones in the world, years of foreign outsourcing have endowed the local manufacturers with a mature environment for both research and production.

This enabled them to quickly draw consumers through not only cost, but performance as well.

"Even their marketing strategy is unlike any other," adds Xiang, "No one else in the industry compares to them."

According to Samsung, their sales in China has been declining for the third year in a row, adding now up to only 15 percent of their total revenue. The situation isn't much different for Apple either; the 26 percent plunge in second quarter turnover this year went so far as to make Yahoo exclaim "Apple Is Getting Killed In China".

The prestige associated with such names as Apple and Samsung is waning as Chinese companies venture steadily further into the high end sector.

Meanwhile, it is also not infrequent for foreign companies in China to suffer setbacks here and there outside of the marketplace. In recent months, Apple is noted to have been repeatedly sued for patent and trademark conflicts, while its online media distribution services facing censorship and suspension. Huawei also brought a case against Samsung in May this year claiming patent infringement.

"Whether it's Apple of Samsung, the Chinese native industry has now caught up to them in terms of technology," Xiang asserts, "when it eventually comes to new technological advancements in the future, we won't know for sure who's going to take the lead. Right now it's the same starting line for everyone."

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Mongolia company enables self sufficiency in steel tubes (2016-07-07,China Daily)

Self-developed manufacturing equipment is key for China's high-end manufacturing drive, said a top executive of Inner Mongolia North Heavy Industries Group Corp.

The company's independently developed steel tube extruder has made the country self-sufficient in high-end steel tube supplies to the power generation industry, said Pang Haiping, director of IMNHI's special steel department.

Inner Mongolia-based IMNHI is a key manufacturer of military equipment in China. Its portfolio covers military products, special steel and tram cars with technologies covering smelting, forging, heavy extrusion and machining.

Pang said heavy extrusion-the core technology for producing large diameter steel tubes widely used in power generation, aviation and national defense-has a great bearing on the country's security.

"Conventional forging can easily result in small creases on the surface of the steel, which makes the tube break easily. In comparison, extrusion exerts pressure from all directions so that the raw material is pressed into a whole entity to ensure that the product is solid," Pang said.

China has been importing heavy extrusion equipment for a long time and US company Wyman-Gordon used to be a major manufacturer in the sector.

"IMNHI's independently developed metal manufacturing and exploitation equipment has broken the monopoly of foreign companies to supply higher quality steel products to the domestic market," Pang added.

IMNHI's 360 extruder has been used in making military, aviation, and nuclear high-end steel tubing that is gradually replacing imported steel tubes, Pang said.

Zhang Lin, analyst with Lange Steel Information Research Center, said that China has great demand for large-scale and high performing tubes as its electricity, aviation and national defense industries develop.

"China's annual crude steel output, which was 804 million tons in 2015, ranks number one in the world. The volume is 7.5 times of that of Japan," he said.

"However, the number of patents of China's steel industry is only 54 percent of those of Japan. The innovation in China's steel industry is not on par with its output."

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Huawei sues Samsung, T-Mobile to protect its IPR (2016-07-07,People's Daily)

Chinese telecommunications equipment and services provider Huawei Technologies Co. confirmed on Wednesday that it has filed patent infringement suits against its rival Samsung Electronics Co. in two courts in China as part of a series of intellectual property rights (IPR) disputes the company is currently dealing with, according to a report made by

According to another report made by Quanzhou-based Southeast Morning Paper, Huaiwei alleges that a total of 16 Samsung products infringed on the company's patent rights. As such, Huawei is demanding 80 million yuan ($12 million) as compensation from Samsung (China) Investment Co., the Beijing-based subsidiary of Samsung Electronics, along with joint defendants Samsung Electronics Huizhou Co., Tianjin Samsung Telecom Technology Co., the telecom operator and the electric appliance firm in Quanzhou.

According to the report, the Chinese company has filed the suit with Quanzhou Intermediate People's Court in southeastern China's Fujian province and with Shenzhen Intermediate People's Court in southern China's Guangdong province.

Huawei alleges that it was granted a patent for certain technical solutions on terminal displays by China's State Intellectual Property Office on June 5, 2011, according to a report by China Business News. However, Huawei declined to comment on the details of the suit in an interview with as it is still ongoing.

Huawei has been actively and strategically treating IPR as a battlefield to help the company compete against global tech giants such as Apple Inc. and Samsung.

In 2015, Huawei invested 15 percent of its annual revenue, $9.2 billion, in research and development, while over the past decade the company's total investment has exceeded $37 billion, according to Huawei's 2015 financial report, published in April.

Reuters has reported that Huawei's suit against Samsung is for patent infringement related to the unlicensed use of fourth generation (4G) cellular communications technology.

In addition to the legal action against Samsung, Huawei also filed a patent suit against U.S. telecommunications operator T-Mobile U.S. Inc. with a U.S. district court in eastern Texas on Tuesday (U.S. time). That case is regarding a 4G wireless license Huawei granted to T-Mobile on terms and conditions that Huawei alleges were fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND).

T-Mobile's U.S. firm refused Huawei's FRAND offer but nevertheless continued to use its technologies, according to a legal document published on the U.S. document-sharing website

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Court upholds original decision over injunction (2016-07-06,China Daily)

The Beijing Intellectual Property Court upheld its injunction on Monday to stop Global Star China Media, the previous Chinese partner of the original series creator and rights owner of The Voice, Talpa Global, from using the Chinese name of the popular TV talent show The Voice of China.

It is the first preservation that a Chinese IP court has issued so far.

The verdict deals solely with pre-litigation preservation and the ownership of the TV program's Chinese name and rulings on other outstanding issues are still pending further investigation, according to the court.

Star said it respects the court's decision and will announce the new name of its reality show in the near future, Xinmin Evening News reports.

The verdict came after a heated debate between Star and Talpa's current partner Zhejiang Tangde, which also goes by the English name Talent International, at a hearing on June 29.

Shanghai-based Star acquired the copyright of The Voice from Dutch TV producer Talpa and produced a Chinese version of the show, which became a national sensation after its debut on Zhejiang Satellite TV in 2012. The show's popularity continued to grow over the following three years.

The partnership between Talpa and Star soured, however, after the two companies failed to reach a new agreement on licensing fees and other terms.

Just as Star was preparing to produce the fifth season of the show, Talpa authorized Zhejiang-based Talent to produce seasons five through eight.

Talent filed a complaint against Star and another Chinese company with the Beijing court, claiming 510 million yuan ($76.5 million) in damages. It also obtained an injunction from the court that ordered the Star to stop using the Chinese name of The Voice of China, although the other terms of the dispute were not ruled upon.

Star's CEO Tian Ming told the court at the hearing that the deal between his company and Talpa is still in a negotiation period.

"It is a primary issue of the sequence in terms of legal authorization," he said. "The authorization granted to Talent is currently invalid."

The Chinese name of the program, The Voice of China, was born in China - it was created by Star and Zhejiang TV, he said, adding the fact that the original series was produced overseas and has an English name makes no difference. The Voice of China is a separate entity.

Generally, imported TV and radio programs are given Chinese names for better adaptation to the domestic market.

"It is hard to separate the original shows from their Chinese name, as they are already associated and indivisible, unless they are already intentionally in separate use, and they have each established their own reputation," a senior IP attorney, who asked to remain anonymous, told China Daily.

Tian said, "This year, our program's format, mode, stage design, production and promotion have all changed, so we can hardly be accused of infringements. It's far from infringement on mode."

Wu Hongliang, board chairman of Talent, told local media that the Talpa format was in large part responsible for the huge success of The Voice of China.

"Many so-called original programs merely discard some signature elements of the program they are emulating, while the rest remains largely unchanged, with, perhaps a slight change in form. Let's wait and see what happens," Wu said.

"From a legal and administrative perspective, it's important that there is a serious attitude towards piracy, or emulation, as far as radio and television programs are concerned, or else TV market development as a whole will suffer," he added.

Talpa CEO Pim Schmitz said at a press release in June that his company has not adjusted its China plan in light of the trademark dispute, which he considers "normal" and "part of the business".

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Apple sued in China over film copyright (2016-07-05,People's Daily)

World tech giant Apple is involved in another lawsuit in China and this time it is over the copyright of a film, according to which cites The Sydney Morning Herald website.

A Beijing court says it has been alleged that Apple has infringed the exclusive online rights of China Movie Channel, an agency under the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television of China over the broadcasting of a film. The film, first screened in 1994, focuses on China’s resistance war against Japanese aggression in northern China in the 1930s.

The plaintiff is also suing the company which developed Youku HD and put the Youku HD app on Apple's app store. The move made the film available to any user of the app, according to the plaintiff.

The plaintiff is demanding the immediate suspension of the broadcasting of the film by Apple and Youku HD and compensation of 50,000 yuan (around 7,500 USD), plus reimbursement for its costs incurred in trying to stop the broadcast of 20,158 yuan (around 3,025 USD). No comments from Apple and Youku HD developer have been received.

It is not the first time Apple has been involved in a lawsuit in China, the company's second biggest market.

In March, Apple was forced to close its iBooks store and iTunes Film store in China as a result of a reported investigation by the supervision authorities. The services had been open for just seven months before they were shut down.

In May, the intellectual property authority in Beijing handed down a verdict that the design of the iPhone6 and iPhone6Plus was an infringement of a patent owned by a Chinese company in Shenzhen. The court ordered Apple to stop selling the products in Beijing as it believed the outer appearance of the Apple phones were too similar to a phone produced by Shenzhen Baili. Apple has denied the charges and is appealing the decision.

Also in May, Apple lost an appeal to use its trade mark, iPhone, exclusively in China as a court passed a verdict that allows a leather company to legally use it on its bags and other leather products. The leather company won the case as it filed the application to use the iPhone trade mark to the Chinese trade mark office in 2007, over two years before iPhones were sold in China, according to the court.

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Sanhua HVAC business heating up (2016-07-04,China Daily)

Honeywell, BMW, and General Electric have one thing in common: Some air conditioning and refrigeration parts used in their products come from the same supplier, China's Sanhua Holding Group.

The three brands represent the three industries that Sanhua's products are being widely used: HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) machines for commercial and residential buildings, air conditioning and thermal systems in automobiles, and home appliances that need cooling and heating functions.

Sanhua in Chinese means "three flowers," a coincidence that Sanhua's products have now blossomed in three areas. When Zhang Daocai founded Sanhua in 1984 in a small town in Southeast China, he hoped that the flowers of "management, technology, and talents" could lead his small refrigeration components factory to a bright future.

By focusing on technology, Sanhua has developed into one of China's leading manufacturers of cooling and thermal parts and systems, employing more than 10,000 people worldwide with production bases in China, North America, Europe and Asia.

Sanhua's dedication to innovation has won it big-name followers. According to Zhang Yabo, president of Sanhua and son of the founder, Carrier, the inventor and global leading manufacturer of HVAC machines, has signed a strategic agreement with Sanhua to co-develop a control system for Carrier's products.

"We also recently won a bid to provide electric expansion valve (EEV) to the leading electronic car manufacturer in the US, who has very high standard in energy efficiency," said Zhang, stopping short of naming the car company.

"Our valve smartly controls the temperature of the vehicle battery to enable it to run at the most energy efficient way," he said.

Sanhua is among the pioneers of Chinese companies to sell products in the US market, first through a trade company in 1990s, then establishing its own US operation in 2002 to manage sales and distribution.

Sanhua's US connection went deeper in 2007 when the company acquired Ranco, the inventor and world's leading manufacturer of four-way valve (FWV), which is used in HVAC machines to control the flow of refrigerant to switch between cooling and heating.

Sanhua continues to build upon Ranco. Its FWV product is now on its fourth generation, supplying leading global HVAC brands including Carrier, Trane, Honeywell and Goodman, along with other parts.

"The FWV we sell now is 80 percent smaller than the original Ranco size, which greatly reduced price and energy consumption," said Lin-Jie Huang, Sanhua's vice-president and chief scientist in charge of the company's R&D efforts worldwide.

Huang started his career in automotive research and design with General Motors as a research scientist upon receiving his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in 1989. Before joining Sanhua in 2012, Huang was vice-president for global R&D at Danfoss, a Denmark-headquartered global producer of HVAC machineries.

"I chose Sanhua because of its dedication to innovation," said Huang, who holds more than 300 international patents and was admitted to the Innovation Hall of Fame at Delphi in 2004, a spinoff from GM and now the world's leading auto-parts manufacturer.

According to Huang, it took Sanhua five years to master the skills it takes to manage an acquired foreign company and maximize its value. The Ranco process prepared Sanhua well for its next phase of globalization.

Sanhua bought bankrupt AWECO Appliance Systems, a Germany-based producer of home appliance parts and system, in 2012, and moved the production base to Poland, where the cost of labor is one-third of Germany's, but kept and expanded the R&D team in Germany. AWECO started to generate profits in the last quarter of 2015.

Sanhua further expanded in the US in 2012, acquiring Mississippi-based R-Squared Puckett Inc (R2), a local manufacturer of precision heat transfer. Sanhua is using R2 as a base to expand its presence in the US, increasing its employees from about 20 to currently more than 150, adding production lines, and buying nearby lands to make the facility a campus to include logistics, service, and technology centers. Now the US operation accounts for Sanhua's 45 percent output.

Sanhua is also planning to set up an operation in Detroit to be closer to its customers in the automobile industry, who now include General Motors, Ford, Mercedes-Benz and BMW.

Sanhua's global footprint now also includes Mexico, India and Thailand. A facility in Turkey is in planning.

With its rapidly growing capacity worldwide, Sanhua's goal is ambitious: reaching $4.6 billion by 2020 and doubling that by 2025. How will it achieve that? Zhang's answer: relying on innovation to go green.

"We are dedicated to make products that are more energy efficient. That is our fundamental goal. We want to contribute to the environment," said Zhang, an engineering major with an executive MBA.

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LeEco forays into electric cars, partners Formula E team (2016-07-04, China Daily)

Chinese conglomerate LeEco is creating a brand name for itself in the field of electronic cars through collaboration with the Formula E team Dragon Racing, the company announced in London on Friday.

The collaboration is achieved through a strategic partnership between Dragon Racing and Faraday Future, a California based electric vehicle technology developer founded in 2014 and financially backed by LeEco.

However, the two companies have refused to disclose the exact amount of investment LeEco has in Faraday Future.

Under the strategic agreement Faraday Future will supply financial and technical assistance to Dragon Racing, and the team will be renamed Faraday Future Dragon Racing.

LeEco, founded in Beijing in 2004, is a technology conglomerate keen to build a "Le Ecosystem", which is an online platform with content, devices and Internet TV, video production and distribution, smart gadgets and large-screen applications to e-commerce, eco-agriculture and internet-linked electric cars, although the company is yet to build its first electronic car.

"We decided to work with Dragon Racing by sharing our technology with them and give them financial sponsorship because we believe such collaboration fits in with our company's ideologies on sustainability," said Lei Ding, co-founder and global vice chairman of LeEco.

"The strategic partnership with Faraday Future is a critical part of LeEco's SEE plan. LeEco gives its full support towards Faraday Future Dragon Racing, and believes in the future of Formula E, as it aligns LeEco's vision for future eco-transportation. We look forward to working closely with Formula E in this new and exciting motorsport," Lei said.

LeSEE is the electric car developed by LeEco, currently still in its concept stage.

Lei said there are many ways LeEco can contribute towards the collaboration, examples include using LeEco's sports television division to promote the program in China and the world, and using its internet platforms to help Dragon Racing and Formula E racing reach a wider audience.

Officially the FIA Formula E Championship, Formula E is a class of auto racing that uses only electric-powered cars, with inaugural season started in 2014. Each season, the first race begins in Beijing and the last ends in London.

Nick Sampson, senior vice president of R&D and Engineering at Faraday Future, said Faraday Future will give some technical guidance to Dragon Racing's existing electronic racing car technology in the next racing season, and the exact nature of the technical collaboration will be determined at a future date.

"Partnering with Dragon Racing allows us to further showcase our electric vehicle leadership and technical capabilities in one of the most exciting Formulas in the world. I clearly see Formula E as the right venue to challenge our engineers and technologies in the most extreme performance conditions," said Sampson.

Although Faraday Future is also yet to make its own first electric vehicle, the company has revealed a concept vehicle already, known as FF Zero1, earlier this year. Faraday Future is currently building a $1 billion factory in Nevada with financial support from LeEco.

Faraday Future currently has a team of over 1,000, of which over 500 are engineers. It has about 320 patents in the electric vehicle field.

Jay Penske, president of Dragon Racing, said the technology collaboration between Faraday Future and Dragon Racing will cover many aspects, including powertrain, software, and intellectual property.

Penske said Faraday Future's young and strong workforce, its location in the tech hub Silicon Valley, the fact the company focuses purely on electric vehicles and its long term vision to bring connectivity to electric vehicles are all elements that make the partnership attractive for his team.

"We hope dragon racing will be a small part of the future of Faraday Future," Penske said.

LeEco, most famously known for its TV division, launched its electric car division two years ago when it introduced its first electric car ahead of the Beijing auto show. Called LeSEE, the concept sedan is designed to be fully autonomous with a fold-away steering wheel.

LeEco, known as "the Netflix of China," said it intends to make in-car entertainment a key part of its foray into transportation, so essentially integrating automotive into its ecosystem as a medium to access digital content.

This April, LeEco opened its new North American headquarters in San Jose, California, earlier this year with the objective of tapping into Silicon Valley's talent and innovation.

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Shanghai's infamous fake market on its last legs (2016-07-02,China Daily)

Shanghai’s infamous Hancity Fashion & Accessories Plaza, widely regarded as the go-to place for counterfeit goods in the city, is facing imminent closure as authorities move to strengthen the protection of intellectual property.

Shops from Shanghai Hancity Enterprise Management Co Ltd have already put up signs announcing the closure though the reason cited was that their businesses have been affected by the e-commerce boom.

There are currently about 300 stalls still open for business in the market, with almost all of them having clearance sales. Many of the owners are still awaiting the refund of their two-month rent deposits.

“The 10-year leasing contracts signed between the company and most of the stalls will end at the end of June,” said Yu Minqiu, a shop owner in the plaza who has been selling fake sports team jerseys for six years.

“I still have about 2,000 jerseys left to sell. I will sell each for 20 yuan but I don’t know whether I can even sell all of them before the closure, which still is not confirmed by the company.”

The four-story building located in West Nanjing Road has been a famous tourist attraction in the past decade. Here, visitors can find all sorts of fake products including art pieces, apparel, electronics, bags and kitschy Chinese propaganda. Hundreds of foreign travelers used to disembark from buses at the back entrance of the plaza every day.

Zhang Xia, a shop owner on the second floor who sells silk scarves and qipaos, said that the company that owns the building used to have partnerships with tourist agencies that help promote their businesses. It even post advertisements in Shanghai’s various expat communities.

Zhang added that most of the shops would relocate to places such as the shopping area at the Line 2 Shanghai Science & Technology Museum metro station.

“I come here with friends and my mother once a month to buy clothes, shoes, electronics and whatever I need as everything here is very cheap,” said Amber Hollis, a 16-year-old student at the British International School Shanghai.

Hollis said she wasn’t too concerned about the impending closure, saying that there are at least two other places in the city where she can go to buy fake items. Other students, however, have expressed dismay at the news.

“Many foreigners, particularly students like myself, rely on these places for cheap goods. It is a shame that the place will be closing down,” said Richard Britton, a Panamanian student from the University of Nottingham Ningbo China who often visits Shanghai to shop at Hancity.

This is not the first time that the local government has clamped down on counterfeit goods in the city. In 2006, the Xiangyang Road Market faced a similar fate.

According to the Shanghai Intellectual Property Court, one in six lawsuits received by the court in 2015 involved an overseas party and most of them were luxury brands such as Burberry, Louis Vuitton, Gucci as well as Fortune 500 companies such as General Electric, Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft. The foreign companies that were suing for trademark or patent infringements came from 15 countries and regions, including the United States, Germany, France, Italy, Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Established in December 2014 to strengthen the management of intellectual property disputes, the Shanghai Intellectual Property Court received more than 1,640 cases in 2015, a yearly jump of nearly 127 percent.

Vice president of the court, Li Shulan, said that IP cases have surged more than 20 percent year-on-year in recent years.

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China rides biotech wave (2016-07-01,China Daily)

The United States' biotech industry is the world's leader, but China is moving forward, pushed by the central overnment and increasing demands on healthcare for the population, LIA ZHU reports from San Francisco.

In an hour, four investors had stopped by Alex Zhang's booth to seek investment opportunities at the international biotech convention in San Francisco.

"It was unimaginable in the past that US investors should be interested in a Chinese biotech company," said Zhang, investment and financial director of Sinobioway Group, a major biotech company in China at the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO)'s annual convention.

The United States is the world's leader in the biotech industry with the best technologies and the most intellectual patents, but China is moving forward at a very fast pace, said Lin Shunjie, director general of trade and investment at the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT), who led a delegation of more than 130 people and 37 companies at the BIO convention.

Despite that China lags behind the US by a big margin in the biotechnology sector, there is great potential for the two countries to collaborate with each other, not only in terms of investment but also broader areas, Lin said.

The growth of China's biotech development is fueled by the country's focused national policies and continuing investment in life science and technology, as well as the increasing pool of professionals with globally-trained backgrounds.

Biotechnology is one of the seven strategic emerging industries that the Chinese government designated in the 13th Five-Year Plan. "Made in China 2025", an initiative of the central government to upgrade industry, also designates biotechnology as a key industry to push economic development.

The bio-pharmaceutical market in China is expected to reach about $601 billion and the market for biotech manufacturing will be at about $150 billion by 2020.

China's market

"The growth of China's bio-pharmaceutical market is the result of the increasing demand on healthcare in the country," said Zhang. "Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and chemical drugs can't meet the need, especially in the treatment of cancer. China is undergoing an industrial transition from chemical drugs to bio-pharmaceuticals."

Any ambitious pharmaceutical company in China must "go out" to increase its competitiveness, said Lian Zuo, vice-president and chief science officer of Hainan Hualon Pharmaceutical Co, Ltd.

"We are not only interested in the US, but also many other countries to explore partnerships," said Zuo, who had several meetings with European counterparts at the convention to discuss possible collaborations.

"In recent years, China has implemented some policies to encourage Chinese pharmaceutical companies to be geared to international standards," said Zuo. "For instance, if a new drug is approved by FDA (Food and Drug Administration) or EU (European Union), its review process in China will be expedited."

At the same time, small and innovative R&D biotech companies in the US also have a strong desire to collaborate with big Chinese companies, according to Zuo. "We often receive such inquiries from overseas," she said.

Zhang agreed. He said collaboration with overseas companies means more than just marketing products. "Sinobioway aims to find the best technologies and best partners through direct investment," he said, adding that they expected to build their awareness in the US market and seek potential partners by attending the BIO convention.

"Some innovative companies in the US have very limited resources in capital, manufacturing and marketing. A partnership with Chinese companies like Sinobioway means they have access to China's huge market and production capacity," he said.

BioAtla LLC, a San Diego-based company focused on the development of Conditionally Active Biologic (CAB) antibody therapeutics, is working with Sinobioway to develop several CAB candidates for the Chinese market.

In May 2015, the two companies entered into a strategic collaboration for the development and commercialization of select CAB antibodies and other CAB-based therapeutics in China.

In January this year, they selected the first product programs for development. BioAtla also received $19 million in program payments and equity investment from Sinobioway as part of a total of more than $70 million in payments and investment from Sinobioway over the next 12 months. In return, Sinobioway has exclusive rights to develop and commercialize the selected CAB antibodies in China.

Last month, Sinobioway opened an office in San Diego to facilitate further investment and other potential partnerships.

Chinese direct investment in the US biotech and health sector has seen a dramatic increase recently. Last year, 23 deals were reached with a total value of $900 million, compared with only six deals worth $28 million in 2012, according to Rhodium Group China Investment Monitor.

"Chinese investors are becoming increasingly savvy about the investments they choose to diversify their portfolio. Quite frankly, the biotechnology market in the US is very healthy," said Greg Meiselbach, director of International Affairs with BIO.

Meiselbach said BIO has been leading missions to China almost every year to "play a facilitator's role for cross-border partnerships".

Development opportunities

China is at the forefront of significant growth within the biotech industry and Western biopharmaceutical leaders increasingly look to China for business development opportunities, said the organization in an article posted on its website.

BIO's member companies are exporting more products and technologies to China than ever and it has been working with China to encourage the country to remain open to foreign medical technology and to deliver the broadest possible range of products to its patients, the organization said.

"China has a growing educated class of researchers that can help develop new innovative therapies. It also has the largest spending market with the largest healthcare system to deliver the therapies to its patients," Meiselbach explained, adding that biopharmaceuticals are sometimes the best therapies to treat the leading diseases in China, like lung cancer and heart disease.

"But like every relationship, there's positive and negative," he said, referring to the challenges faced by the US biotech companies, especially the emerging ones.

"There are areas in the industry that China can improve on - to increase access of Chinese patients to the best leading therapies in the world. Those issues mostly fall into regulatory harmonization and speeding the drug approval, and strengthening intellectual property right for the developer of the medicine," he said.

Intellectual property laws are the driving force for innovation and biotech progress and the ability to enforce patents is critical, said BIO, which predicts that China will become a hub of innovation if it remains committed to putting into place an innovation-friendly ecosystem.

"Innovation is happening in China, but the reason why the US biotech economy is so strong is that we foster innovation through a variety of policies that really foster innovation and collaboration between companies and researchers and universities," said Meiselbach.

"This collaboration is called a bio-ecosystem, which incorporates strong corporate regulatory systems, strong IP and low barriers for investment into the companies in order for bio-economy to really flourish," he said.

According to BIO's data, the investment in life sciences in the US takes up 23 percent of the country's total investment in innovation, even higher than the IT investment, which accounts for 18 percent.

The US has many other resources for early stage biotech companies, which are, however, comparatively fewer in China, such as incubators that provide financial assistance and expertise to startups.

"It takes time for a market to appreciate and accept a new technology. We found the US is more sensitive to innovative technologies," said Yuling Luo, founder and CEO of Advanced Cell Diagnostics, Inc, a Bay Area-based biotech company focused on RNA-based cancer diagnostics.

He said his team had thought of starting their project in China 10 years ago, but they felt it was more difficult than in the US mostly because the investors and the authorities had difficulty fully understanding their concept.

With an initial fund of $250,000 from the US government, Luo said they secured a total of $40 million later and the company has made rapid growth. "All the top 10 pharmaceuticals in the US and universities like MIT and John Hopkins are our customers," he said.

Last year, Luo's company set up an office in China to access the lucrative market. He said some Chinese investors recently reached out to him and were interested in acquiring his company.

"I think it's a good trend to leverage the Chinese capital and the US cutting-edge technologies," Luo said. "The innovations here need financial support and the huge population in China - 1.4 billion people and 200 million to 300 million middle-class - can afford, more high-value technologies now than a decade ago."

Chinese students

Like Luo, who came to the US as an international student, more and more Chinese students with US training are attracted by the huge Chinese market and plan to start their companies in China.

According the China Chamber of International Commerce, up to half of overseas Chinese students majored in biotechnology and medicine before 2000, and they have formed a Chinese-American biotech community and play an important role in bridging the biotech exchanges and cooperation between the two countries.

Liu Fei, a postdoctoral fellow in nanomedicine at Stanford University School of Medicine, said his team - three scientists in Silicon Valley and two in China - was in talks with venture capitalists in China for their precision cancer early detection product.

"Now is an opportune time to start up a business in China with the availability of capital, the large consumer market and manufacturing capability," he said.

"The high energy consumption and low productivity industries still predominate in China, and the government has realized it and put a priority on innovation," said Liu. "Compared with the United States, it takes less time to get a product to market, which will help us in expanding our business globally."

Liu and his team also participated in the Chunhui Cup entrepreneurship competition organized by the Chinese government in order to get more exposure to potential investors.

"We hope to set up the company by the end of this year and realize the R&D in Silicon Valley, manufacturing in China and sales in the world," he said.

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Hwatsing: China's CMP tech propeller (2016-07-01,China Daily)

As the only company in China capable of developing 12 inch (300mm) copper polishing equipment and the owner of several patented technologies, Tianjin Hwatsing Technology Company Limited (referred to as Hwatsing) enjoys a formidable reputation in the field of chemical-mechanical planarization (CMP) research and development and the industrialization of the equipment manufacturing.

According to a principal of Hwatsing, the company was established in 2013 and is a high-tech enterprise jointly invested by the Tianjin Government and Tsinghua University. Located in the Haihe Technological Zone, Jinnan District in Tianjin, the company is responsible for promoting cooperative relationships between Beijing and Tianjin.

The team consists of members from top research institutions such as Tsinghua University and has obtained several internationally acknowledged certificates, including SEMI S2, SEMI F47 and ISO9001.

The CMP technology, one of the five crucial gordian techniques in IC fabrication process, has been developed by Tsinghua University into the 12-inch copper polishing equipment. It is Hwasting’s mission to commercialize the research findings by putting them on an industrial production line.

In recent years, Hwasting has increased its pace in its industrialization of products by constantly releasing new ones, including: the Universal-300 (the 12 inch copper polishing equipment), the Universal-150 (a small-size device), the Universal-150 Cluster (a polishing and cleaning machine), and the Universal-300 Plus (an updated version). In 2015, six inventions and one utility model received patents.

The quick development of Hwasting is closely related to strong support system, particularly in its finances, by the Tianjin municipal government, Lu Xinchun, chairman of the company, said.

Hwasting pays special attention to its talent structure by hiring a group of employers with high academic degree. Now, 17 percent of its research and development team members are doctors and 57 percent postgraduates, according to Lu.

Hwasting will keep on its close interactions and cooperation with Tsinghua University and IC manufacturing companies to make CMP technologies and home-made CMP equipment available to the Chinese public.

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