The European Patent Office (EPO) published its 2016 Annual Report in early March, revealing China showed the highest growth in patent applications. The number of patent applications from China increased 24.8 percent in 2016. China's applications for the first time exceeded that of South Korea and ranked sixth out of the top 10 countries of origin.

In 2016, patent applications from China totaled 7,150, among which 51 percent of the applications were from the fields of digital communications, computer and telecommunications technologies.

Huawei was the highest ranking patent applicant for the third time, followed by Microsoft, Samsung, while ZTE, also a Chinese multinational telecom equipment company, ranked fifth.

In 2016, China registered strong growth in sectors of engines, turbines, transport and biotechnology.