Yet the rest of the article doesn't really support that conclusion. People are obtaining lots of patents, issued only since 1985, but whether they are innovations worthy of a patent remains open to question. It turns out there are two kinds of patent, a sort that requires a determination of novelty and is good for 20 years and the other, a finding of utility and good for only 10 years. The latter are far more numerous.
The other part of the story is that the government is pushing hard for more patents, offering incentives like academic tenure, residence permits in desirable cities, company bonuses, etc. The incentive effect has been obvious, in the rise of patent creating companies that sell their products on the basis of such collateral rewards. But I wouldn't sell the Chinese short over the longer run. They do respond to market incentives.
China's patent system is likely to be a problem for foreign companies which want to sell or invest there. From experience in other countries which were sticky about honoring foreign patents, until they have a substantial portfolio of their own IP, that of other countries tends to honored only sporadically and minimally.