I was advised by patent attorneys in China to file for a patent and a utility model for national phase filing. Utility model is not examined in China. Hence, a certificate for utility model may be obtained within one year from the date of filling. The certificate is valuable for enforcing IP rights in China. Their town council have enforcement rights to raid factories. Hence, factories manufacturing license are at the mercy of town councils.
The utility model may be withdrawn to make way for a granted patent. It takes three years to get a patent granted in China.