Aerial photo taken on April 22, 2017, shows buildings of a science city in Chengdu Tianfu New Area of China (Sichuan) Pilot Free Trade Zone, southwest China's Sichuan Province. (Photo: Xinhua)
As China has made advancements in protecting intellectual property (IP), foreign investors should not scare themselves away with IP worries from the world's biggest market, according to Randall MacEwen, president, and CEO of Ballard Power Systems, a leading high-tech fuel cell provider.
"In my view, China is changing significantly on the IP landscape front and China is a market that I think is just too big to ignore," MacEwen said when addressing a session titled "Global Economic Landscape: A Look at China" during the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
He said people always worry about IP theft, but "what I'm seeing in my own company and in our own industry is that this country is where you have an opportunity to do IP transfer, a paid transfer, and where you have the opportunity to do domestic R&D (research and development) with R&D partners."
When talking about China as a market "where they copy really well but don't necessarily have strong innovation," MacEwen argued that China is second only to the United States globally for the number of international patent filings, as well as annual R&D expenditure.
And China is now enjoying a highly entrepreneurial environment in terms of the number of incubator companies and companies that are moving to high scale volumes in a relatively short period of time, he noted.
China is also an innovator in the new energy vehicle sector, he stressed, adding that the country has become the leader of manufacturing battery packs for lithium-ion batteries, and is also in a commanding position in terms of the production of battery electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cells.
"What's interesting to me (in China) is the long-term strategic thinking on the supply chain and the positioning on the future materials that are important to the industries," he said.