ZTE Corporation, a major international provider of telecommunications, enterprise and consumer technology solutions for the Mobile Internet, has been included among major participants and setters of the global 5G standards for leading the world in 5G technology, patents, standards, industries, and terminals, according to the latest report “Challenges and Prospects for China's Telecommunications Industry and Intellectual Property Market” by established investment management company Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL).
According to the report, ZTE has also been ranked in the first tier of global patent layout in recognition of its contribution to the research and standard settings of the global 5G technology. To date, ZTE's patented technology value has exceeded RMB 45 billion.
Committed to creating value for customers through the accumulation of high-quality patents and aimed to be a “digital economy road builder”
With the advent of the digital economy era, a new generation of mobile information technology like 5G, has developed into a key driving force for the digital transformation and upgrading of the entire society. Enhancing independent technological innovation and strengthening the cultivation and layout of high-quality patents are playing an important role in the development of China's enterprises. As a major contributor to the global 5G standards, ZTE insists on building its stronger core competence and continues to research and develop in key technologies and basic sciences. The company has invested more than RMB 10 billion on a yearly basis in the R&D over the past years. In 2020, its R&D spending reached RMB 14.8 billion, accounting for 14.6% of its operating revenue.
As 5G technology becomes mature and gains increasing popularity, major global manufacturers are building their core competitiveness in the iterative patent layout. ZTE has launched a high-quality patent layout in many 5G-related fields. The company constantly strengthens its innovative R&D capabilities to maintain its competitive advantages in the domestic and international markets. Furthermore, by virtue of its global strategic layout,the company continues to bring its customers the innovative products and high-quality services, and is committed to creating value for its customers as a “digital economy road builder”.
ZTE, backed up with its high R&D spending and continuous technology accumulation, has filed over 80,000 global patent applications by March 2021, and accumulated more than 38,000 granted patents globally, including 4,270 chip patent applications and more than 1,800 granted patents. According to the latest report “Who is leading the 5G patent race?” published in February by IPlytics, ZTE has been included global top 3 for its sustainable leadership in 5G declared Standard-Essential Patents(SEP) to ETSI.
Efficient operation strategies effectively driving the conversion of innovation achievements, boosting high-quality growth of the intangible assets
With the significant improvement of the innovation and creation capabilities, ZTE has been constantly strengthening the utilization of intellectual property (IP). In addition to reinforcing the cultivation and layout of high-value patents, ZTE proactively promotes the application, conversion and implementation of patents under highly efficient operation strategies. On the one hand, it makes efforts to increase the alignment of patent applications and technology R&D with market demand, while continuously improving the quality of patent applications. On the other hand, with the establishment of a management system across the entire IP life cycle, IP management is performed in all work flows including R&D, marketing, procurement, production design and sales and so on. In this way, a well-conceived and efficient patent protection network is built to promote the high-quality growth of the commercial value of the company’s intangible assets.
“As one of China's high-tech companies in global competition, ZTE is fully aware of the value and significance of independent R&D and technological innovation. The company has maintained powerful investment in R&D for decades and has accumulated a large number of innovative technological achievements,” said Hu Yi, Vice President and Head of Intellectual Property Department at ZTE Corporation. “Some of these achievements have been transformed into high-tech products to help ZTE expand overseas markets like Europe and North America, and some of them have developed into intangible assets including intellectual properties, such as patents.”
“With the progress of the times and the development of the industries, ZTE actively seeks how to further explore and leverage the value of intangible assets. The company reaches patent cross-licensing with mainstream companies in the telecoms industry, thereby achieving rapid iteration of new technologies and products through commercial interactions and promoting telecoms industry technologies to further impact vertical industries.”
“Besides, we collect reasonable R&D investment through transfers, licensing and other management methods to build a closed loop of sustainable development of “Innovation - Operation - Re-innovation”. In the past few years, ZTE's intellectual properties income has grown steadily, which has brought cash benefits to the company and will continue to create predictable benefits. It is estimated that our intellectual properties will bring nearly RMB 4.5-6 billion revenue to the company during the period from 2021 to 2025.” added Mr Hu Yi.
As the best practitioner of global innovation and intellectual property commercial value, ZTE has always regarded intellectual property as the core strategy for enterprise development. Moving forwards, ZTE will continue to improve its core competence by enhancing the quality of intellectual property creation, and the efficiency of utilization and management of IP. While achieving a good balance between technological innovation investment and intellectual property return, ZTE will join forces with all partners to promote a high-quality development of the IP ecosystem, and empower the digital and intelligent transformation and upgrading of society.