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China tech

China triples US in blockchain patent filings

Alibaba and compatriots push for domination in fast-growing field

Chinese companies are aggressively applying for blockchain patents as the technology spreads from cryptocurrencies to logistics and financial services.   © Reuters

TOKYO/SHANGHAI -- As businesses around the globe eye new uses for blockchain beyond cryptocurrencies, China is quickly outpacing the rest of the world in patent applications for related technology.

The U.S., China, Japan, South Korea and Germany together received about 100 to 200 blockchain-related patent applications annually in the six years through 2014, according to Tokyo-based research firm Astamuse. Applications have skyrocketed in the last few years, largely thanks to China, with the cumulative tally reaching roughly 12,000 for 2009 through 2018.

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