Strong Chinese firms favored by Fortune Global 500
CGTN's April Ma
Data showing that Chinese firms account for one in five of the 500 firms that brought in the most revenues and were the strongest drivers of the global economy this year epitomizes the vastly expanding influence of the world’s second largest economy.
Merely 26 companies on the Fortune Global 500 list, which ranks the world’s largest firms, were headquartered in China a decade ago. That number has grown fivefold 10 years later.
In the past five years in particular, the trend has been been amplified, with Chinese names accelerating in popularity and prestige, shooting up from 38 companies in 2012, to 115 this year. American companies top the list at 132nd which may be interpreted as a narrowing gap in the business forces of the world’s two largest economies.
Finance, energy, motor vehicles and manufacturing, telecommunications and pharmaceuticals tend to be the sectors where most of these globally recognized big companies originate, and China is no exception. Here’s a closer look at the Chinese firms that have made their mark.
Following behind retail giant Walmart at the top this year are three Chinese state-owned energy titans, the State Grid, Sinopec Group and China National Petroleum in second, third and fourth, respectively. The three are frequenters in the top 10, and often take turns leading the Chinese pack.
Other Chinese energy companies, such as China Southern Power Grid, at number 100, and China National Offshore Oil 15 places behind, as well as China Huaneng Group, a traditional coal energy company that is increasingly branding out into cleaner businesses, dropped slightly in revenues.
Royal Dutch Shell, Exxon Mobil and BP, other globally powerful energy counterparts, have all seen their positions slide by a few slots in the past year
Banking and Finance
This industry, according to this year’s list, came in second only to energy in ranking. The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, a state-owned bank, leads the rest of the pack of the “big four” in 22nd place, with the China Construction Bank, Agricultural Bank of China and Bank of China in the 30th and 40th. These four have steadily climbed up by around 50 positions over the past decade, rising from the mid 100’ in 2007 thanks to expanding business and investments.
Privately owned Ping'an Insurance, a player in the insurance sector with immense clout, first appeared on Fortune Global 500’s radar in 2009. It ranked 39th this year, and comes in as the largest non-government Chinese company on the list. Anbang Insurance, which has gone on a shopping spree for overseas assets since 2014, is also heading towards the top.
The two, together with Huawei, a network and communications equipment vendor that is making strides in becoming a top consumer device maker, and Shandong Weiqiao, a privately-held textiles manufacturing firm, are the only four companies that have ended in the top 200.
When it comes to new economies shaping trends of how the world works, lives, and spends, China and its firms are often ahead of the curve. And technology is the sector that is generating the greatest number of newcomers to this year’s Fortune Global 500 list, including Facebook, ranking 393rd, and Chinese companies that have already earned a global reputation such as e-commerce giant Alibaba, social media and entertainment titan Tencent, and Suning, a home appliance retailer that has successfully crossed over into logistics and online retail.
Alibaba’s rival Jd.com is no longer a newbie to the list, ranking 261st this year, a huge step forward after making its debut at 366th place last year. Huawei has been a force to be reckoned with since setting sights on the smartphone business, leapfrogging from 397th in 2010 to 83rd this year.