According to the statistics released recently by the Chinese Trademark Office, as of the end of June 2015, China had 2,790 cumulative geographical indications (GIs) registered as trademarks, among which 83 were owned by foreign entities.

The data showed that the top three foreign countries by number of registered GIs in China were France (33), Italy (18), and the US (14); as for domestic GIs, the leading Chinese provinces with most registered GIs were Shandong (399), Fujian (258), Hubei (214), Chongqing (198), and Jiangsu (188).

A geographical indication, as defined under Article 16(2) of the Trademark Law of China, refers to "a sign which indicates specific goods as originating in certain region, where a given quality, reputation or other characteristic of the goods is essentially attributable to the natural or human factors of the region".

China started the protection for GIs in the manner of appellations of origin upon its accession to Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property in March 1985, whereas protection of GIs in the form of trademarks was first written into Trademark Law in its second revision in 2001.