China's top 500 catching up with world's largest businesses

HEFEI - China's top 500 enterprises reported smaller revenue gaps with their US counterparts, while outperforming their worldwide competitors in profitability amid the nation's rapid economic recovery, an industrial ranking report showed Saturday.


China's top 500 enterprises chalked up $4.05 trillion in operating revenues last year, equivalent to about 18 percent of the operating revenue total created by the world's top 500 companies in the same year, and the ratio was 2.62 percentage points lower than the figure recorded for the year earlier, according to a report released Saturday in Hefei, capital of east China's Anhui province, by the China Enterprise Confederation (CEC) and China Enterprise Directors Association.


The average profit margin of China's top 500 enterprises was 5.44 percent in 2009, compared with 4.16 percent for the world's top 500 companies.


Further, the net profits of the Chinese heavyweights grew by more than 20 percent last year, faster than the 17 percent for the world's top 500. It was the second consecutive year that Chinese enterprises outshone their foreign counterparts in annual profits.


Miao Rong, researcher with CEC, said despite the progress, China's top 500 enterprises obviously suffered from the impact of the global financial crisis as they reported slower growth in new employment and business revenues.


However, unlike the world's top 500 companies, most of which are service and high tech giants, a lion's share of China's top 500 businesses are traditional industrial enterprises in the fields of energy development, telecommunications and power generation, Miao noted.


"It is a tough job, in the short-term, to make Chinese corporations catch up with their foreign counterparts in terms of 'soft power' , such as the capability of resource integration, management expertise, brand building and intellectual property protection," he added.


Sinopec, Asia's leading refinery, topped the top 500 revenue list for the fifth consecutive year with 1.39 trillion yuan ($204.41 billion) in 2009. It was followed by the State Grid and PetroChina.


Also, private businesses were growing rapidly as five companies reported operating revenues exceeding 100 billion yuan. Huawei Technology Co Ltd, a telecommunication equipment producer, recently leaped into the world's top 500 enterprises club.

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