In absolute numbers China might be in almost all aspects a giant. But in relative sense this does not need to be the case. Example: China has 5 million registered trademarks. But only one out of 10 market entities owns a registered trademark and the number is 40 percent for companies, Yuan Qi, an official with the Trademark Department of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC), was quoted by Zhang Zhao of the China Daily.
Ms Zhang Yumin, an intellectual property (IP) rights researcher with Southwest University of Political Science and Law (Chongqing municipality) said, according to Zhang Zhao, that every company should have a IP management department, directly under the leadership of the decision makers and that the government should encourage companies to register trademarks, internationally and domestically. Read more here.
Then quantity does not say much about quality (although some say quantity has a quality of its own). Where are the strong Chinese brands. Millward Brown has made a list of the Top 50 of Chinese brands:
1. Chinese Mobile;
3. Bank of China;
4. China Construction Bank;
5. China Life;
6. Agricultural Bank of China;
Read the other 40 Chinese brands here.
Of these China Mobile (57,326 million US dollar), ICBC (44,440 million US dollar), China Construction Bank (25,524 million US dollar), Baidu (22,555 million US dollar), China Life (19,542 million US dollar), Bank of China (17,530 million US dollar), Agricultural Bank of China (16,909 million US dollar), Tencent (15,131 million US dollar), PetroChina (11,291 million US dollar), PingAn (10,540 million US dollar), China Telecom (9,587 million US dollar), China Merchants Bank (8,668 million US dollar) are within the Top 100 most valuable brands.
UPDATE: China had 2.3 times the trademark filing activity in the second highest country, the United States. Read a compilation of WIPO statistics here.