China Outpaces US With Record 133 Firms on Fortune 500 List for First Time in History

Trade war heats up amid global unrest

Image Credits: DALE DE LA REY / Contributor / Getty.

The listing of the world’s biggest companies saw 133 Chinese firms across the mainland, Taiwan and Hong Kong make the roster compared with 121 US businesses.

The news comes amid a major surge in foreign investment in Chinese tech firms amid the ongoing US trade war with China.

Chinese firms listed on the Fortune Global 500 have surpassed US companies for the first time in history, it was found on Monday.

Three Chinese state-owned enterprises (SOEs) – Sinopec Group, State Grid and China National Petroleum – came in second, third and fourth, respectively, with Arkansas-based Walmart topping the list.

“Chinese companies outnumbering US ones shows that China’s economy is large enough to cause US concerns,” Zhang Lin, an independent political economist in Beijing said in a statement.

But many Chinese firms on the list were SOEs backed by the Chinese government in the world’s largest market, Fortune said.

“The good thing is that infrastructure and energy companies belong to the field of public utilities, and state-owned monopolies avoid redundant construction and enhances pricing power. But the bad thing is that these companies have huge scale, rely on administrative power and policy inclination to form monopolies, and they are different from companies that grow in the market,” Zhang Lin said.

Huawei Technologies also skyrocketed to 49th, up 12 places from 61, reaching the top 50 list for the first time in history, the report said.

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd also posted major gains on the roster, rising from 182nd to 132nd on the list, with numerous companies such as Tencent Holdings Ltd, ecommerce platform JD.com and Xiaomi making the grade.

China’s banking giants Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, China Construction Bank, Bank of China and Agricultural Bank of China, also retained places on the Fortune 500.

“There were precisely zero Global 500 companies based in mainland China in 1990 when we began our survey. Today there are more giant for-profit enterprises there than anywhere else on earth,” Fortune magazine editor-in-chief, Clifton Leaf, said in a statement.

According to the list, 53 Japanese firms, 31 French companies, 27 German firms and 22 British enterprises also made the list, Pandaily reported.

The news comes as the mainland Shanghai Stock Exchange’s Science and Technology Innovation (STAR) board became the second-largest platform in the world by initial public offerings, with foreign investment reaching record highs in July.

Shanghai-based Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC) also saw a massive surge in foreign investment in recent weeks after joining the STAR board and exiting the New York Stock Exchange.



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