You have probably guessed already: last year (2019) China lodged 1.54 million patent applications at the World Intellectual Property Organisation (see here). Staggeringly, this is about equal to the rest of the world put together.
By comparison, the United States dropped to 597,141, followed by Japan (313,567) and South Korea (209,992).
Simply put, China is now the world’s major scientific and innovation centre (see here).
This leap by China is in some respects a realisation of Deng Xiaoping’s dream: that the socialist system in China would one day prove to be superior to capitalist systems elsewhere.