In recently released data from the Chinese National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA), the number of Chinese trademark authorizations dropped just over 45% in the first half of 2023 versus the first half of 2022. Specifically, there were 2,018,119 trademarks granted in 2023 H1 versus 3,673,925 in 2022 H1. The number of foreign-originated trademark grants also dropped from 98,650 to 60,776 in 2023 H1 (down about 38%) although as a percentage foreign-originated trademark grants increased from 2.7% to 3% of total trademark grants.
CNIPA did not provide any reasoning for the drop in trademark grants but several factors may be at play including the crackdown of malicious trademark applications, a slowing economy as indicated by the 0.8% Q2 GDP quarter-on-quarter growth rate (trademark filings may be considered a leading economic indicator) and the end of lockdowns in the fourth quarter of 2022 (leading to a wave of COVID-19 infections and therefore potentially slowing filing and examination of trademark applications due to worker absence). Note that Hu Wenhui, Deputy Commissioner of CNIPA, stated that CNIPA “cracked down on a total of 249,000 malicious registrations of trademarks” in 2023 H1 in a press conference earlier this month meaning the latter two factors may be more likely.