Chinese corporate giants on Fortune Global 500 list exceed US multinationals for first time

A green & high-tech industrial park located in Nanjing, SE China’s Jiangsu Province. Fortune 500 company Tencent and others locate their R&D center here. Photo: Yang Suping / People’s Daily Online

The number of Chinese companies, including those from Hong Kong and Taiwan, stood at 133 on the Fortune Global 500 list for 2020, the first time China’s number surpassed the US — which had 121 companies — according to the Fortune Global 500 released on Monday.

Also, the business revenues of the listed companies continued to expand, and their status in the world’s top 500 grew too, the report said, adding that the operating conditions of Chinese companies have reached the average level of multinational companies.

In 2019, the average sales revenue of the world’s top 500 companies was $66.6 billion, and the average sales revenue of China’s listed companies was $66.9 billion.

The average net assets of the world’s top 500 companies stood at $36.4 billion, and the average net assets of China’s listed companies stood at $36.44 billion. These two indicators are equal to or slightly higher than those of the Fortune Global 500. Huawei’s ranking is up from No.61 last year to No. 49 amid pressure.

Chinese companies have moved forward since the list was compiled in 1995. In 1995, there were only four Chinese companies on the list, and since them the number has kept rising, especially since 2008.

First, China’s number surpassed Germany, France and the UK, and later it surpassed Japan. In this year’s rankings, the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong companies became the largest group of companies on the Fortune Global 500 list.

However, the profitability of Chinese companies is relatively low compared with overseas peers, as the average profit of the Fortune 500 is $4.1 billion, while the average profit of China’s listed companies is $3.56 billion.

Compared with US-based companies, the gap is obvious.

On the 2020 list, the 124 Chinese mainland and Hong Kong companies have average sales revenue of $66.9 billion, average net assets of $36.4 billion, and average profits of $3.6 billion. Their average profit is about half that of American companies.

Also, 10 Chinese banks entered the list this year, with a total profit of $194.1 billion, accounting for 44 percent of the total profit of all listed Chinese companies.

This compared with eight listed banks in the US, which accounted for 15.7 percent of the total profit of all the listed US companies.

Source: Global Times


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