China's fast-growing petrochemical industry has taken the lead in the latest
list of top 500 Chinese-owned enterprises operating worldwide.
Sinopec Group, one of China's largest oil producers, topped the list with
revenue of 832.5 billion yuan (US$104 billion). The list was released by the
World Eminence Chinese Business Association earlier this week.
Twenty-three petrochemical enterprises appeared on the list. Despite the
small number, their sales accounted for 14.25 per cent of the total revenue of
the 500 companies. Three petrochemical companies are among the top 10 firms,
including China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), which was ranked third, and
Sinochem Corp, ranked eighth.
The list is the first of its kind ranking enterprises owned by Chinese around
the world. There are 368 companies from the Chinese mainland, 78 from Taiwan, 34
from Hong Kong, 11 from Singapore, four from Malaysia, two from Thailand, two
from the United States and one from France.
"The purpose (of releasing the ranking) is to show the impact of
Chinese-owned enterprises on the global economy," said Lu Junqin, executive
chairman of the World Eminence Chinese Business Association.
The firms are ranked by revenue. Their profitability, global brand image and
business potential are also taken into consideration.
The total sales of the 500 companies exceed 15 trillion yuan (US$1.9
trillion), which is almost equal to China's gross domestic product last year.
Their revenue account for 13 per cent of the total revenue of global companies
on the Forbes 500 list in 2005, and 12 per cent of that of Fortune 500
The final entry on the list has revenue of 7.1 billion yuan (US$887.5
"More than one-quarter of the companies on the list are from Southeast Asia,
which is a proof of the important role of Chinese-owned enterprises in the
regional economy," said economist Liu Guoguang, former vice-president of the
Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS).
Companies from the electronics and IT industries occupy the most rankings.
Although 87 firms from these industries appear on the list, their sales only
account for 12.65 per cent of the total revenue of the 500 enterprises.
"The overall level of Chinese-owned electronics and IT enterprises still lag
behind their international counterparts. There are few Chinese firms who are on
the same level of leading international giants such as IBM and Samsung," said Qi
Jianguo, director of the institute of quantitative & technical economics at
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