China Has 2nd Most Firms on Fortune Global 500 List

For the second consecutive year China ranks second after the US in the number of companies listed on the Fortune Global 500 list of the world’s largest corporations.

The Global Fortune 500 list for 2012 contains 132 US firms. But US retailing giant Wal-mart lost the top spot to Royal Dutch Shell of the Netherlands which had revenues of $484.49 bil. and profits of $30.9 bil. Wal-mart also slipped behind Texas-based Exxon Mobil to take the third spot with $446.95 bil. in revenues and $15.7 bil. in profits.

China has 73 firms on the list counting the four based in Hong Kong. Many Chinese would also include the six based in Taiwan for a total of 79. But all three Chinese firms in the top 10 are based on the mainland — Sinopec Group (5th with $375.21 bil. revenues and $9.45 bil. profits), China National Petroleum Corp (6th with $352.34/$16.31 bil.) and State Grid Corp of China (7th with $259.14/$5.68).

The next largest Asia-based firm is Toyota (10th with $235.36/$3.59 bil.), which tops 68 Japanese firms on the list, the same number as in 2011 when Japan lost the number two spot for the first time to Greater China. China had 69 on the list last year when counting those based in Taiwan as well as Hong Kong.

Samsung Electronics is the largest Korean company (20th, $148.94/$12.06 bil.). Its main rival Apple has risen to 55th from 111th in 2011. Apple’s revenues of $108.25 bil. only two-thirds of Samsung’s, but Apple’s profits of $25.92 bil. are twice as large as Samsung’s

The top electronics firm in Greater China is Taiwanese contract manufacturer Hon Hai Precision Industry — better known as Foxconn — in 43rd place with $117.51 bil. in revenues and $2.78 bil. in profits.

Korea’s top carmaker Hyundai Motor ranks 117th, with $70.227 bil. revenues and $6.91 bil. profits.

China’s top PC-maker Lenovo Group Ltd ranks 370th, up from 449th in 2011.