The China IP “Hits” Parade

How do foreigners obtain on-line information on IP developments in China?  Is language a major barrier? The data from on-line hits and page views suggests that Chinese government sources may be a major source of information and that Americans are not major consumers of this data in Chinese or in English.  In fact, American-origin hits are more likely for Chinese content websites, rather than English.  However, not all foreigners are the same.   Europe had more than 10 times the utilization of the Chinese patent office websites compared to Americans.   The difference is not attributable to increased patent filings by Europeans: the US was the second largest foreign grantee of SIPO patents (78,902), after Japan, with over two times the number of grants as Germany (34,833) and about an equal number to the total patent grants to European countries in 2012, according to SIPO data.

For CY 2012, 71.57% of the hits on SIPO’s website were from China itself, or about 633 million. The total page views for the same period was about 960 million.  Europe was number 2, with 11.20% and nearly 100 million hits and the US was 0.95%, with less than 10 million.

Rank

Visitor’s Country

Views

Percentage of total visits

1.

China

632690537

71.57%

2.

Europe

98993196

11.20%

3.

IANA[1]

35616307

4.03%

4.

United States

8389181

0.95%

5.

Japan

2265222

0.26%

Surprisingly, most of the hits from the United States and Europe were for Chinese language pages.  The hits on SIPO’s English language pages were a comparatively small 4,173,509, about half the total number of total United States hits. Eighty percent of those English language hits originated from China. The United States was in second place with 8.87%, at about 230,000 hits.

Rank

Visitor’s Country

Views

Percentage of Total Visits

1

China

2081650

80.01%

2

United States

230659

8.87%

3

Europe

78356

3.01%

4

India

12957

0.50%

5

Uruguay

7509

0.29%

How does this compare to Western sources of information on the Chinese IP system?  The EU China IPR Help Desk had 38,000 unique visitors, which made 118,000 page views between January 2011 and June of 2012. The average time of these visits was 4 minutes and 10 seconds. (Source: EU IPR Help Desk, email).

The data is hard to compare with SIPO’s data, since the SIPO website and the IPR Help Desk serve different functions.  Filing patents is by itself an information intensive effort.   In fact, the SIPO website shows that most of the page views in the English language were search related.  However, the number of English language page views on the SIPO website on law and policy, FAQ, News and related page views did compare with the numbers of hits on the IPR Help Desk website:

Rank

Webpage Name

Page Views

Percentage

1

Patent_Search

2339691

89.84%

2

LAW_&_POLICY

150407

5.78%

3

FAQ

42188

1.62%

4

NEWS

16882

0.65%

5

Patent_Examination

9941

0.38%

6

ABOUT_SIPO

6169

0.24%

The data suggests to me that the 118,000 total English language page views on the EU IPR Help Desk for 18 months, while very low compared to Chinese language hits from Europe, compares well to the policy oriented English language hits on SIPO’s English language websites from Europe (78,356), as well as with SIPO English language page views for Law and Policy (150,407).  If one assumes that some of SIPO’s English language content and the IPR Help Desk are competitive in their content, the data also suggests that the IPR Help Desk is performing an important function in providing Western language information on China’s IP system to Europeans.   In aggregate, the data also suggests that English language websites serve an important function in disseminating information on developments in China.

How does this data compare to this blog?  We launched in November 2011.  We had 24,947 visitors in 2012, of which 15,373 are from the United States, with HK in second place at 1,905 visits, followed by the UK, Canada, Germany, and then China (722). It’s possible that those using VPNs in China may be tallied as having a different location as VPNs assign IP addresses from foreign countries to bypass the firewall. Viewers in China tell us that the site is sometimes blocked, which may make it difficult to access from China.    For a newly launched website, we are proud of this data, and we thank you for your readership and comments.

Some of you may wonder whether we are personally responsible for inflating the numbers of hits on SIPO’s websites from the United States.  Yes, we frequently look at the SIPO website, however we do not believe our hits are statistically significant — yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s