Patent application cases concerning nanotechnology have grown rapidly in China over recent years, with the number following the United States and Japan to take the world's third place.
According to the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology (MST), during the decade before 2001, China's total applications for nanotechnology patents numbered less than 1,000. The figure soared in the past two years and amounted to 12 percent of the world's total. China now has more than 2,400 such patents.
China is one of the few countries which started focusing research on nanometric materials in the 1990s. Currently, China's research in nanometric materials and their applications, tunnel microscope analysis and monatomic control, has approached the international advanced level. However, domestic studies in nanometric electronics and nanometric biomedicine still lag behind developed countries.