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September 3, 2018

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Top 500 Chinese firms blossom

China yesterday published the 2018 list of the top 500 Chinese enterprises, whose performance improved amid stable economic growth.

The list, jointly published by the China Enterprise Confederation and China Enterprise Directors Association, showed the largest 500 companies have generated combined revenues of 71.17 trillion yuan (US$10.44 trillion) in 2017, up 11.2 percent from one year earlier.

The growth accelerated from a rise of 7.64 percent registered in 2016.

State Grid Corporation of China, China Petrochemical Corporation, and China National Petroleum Corporation topped the list, which is compiled according to the companies’ operating revenues.

State Grid is the biggest Chinese company, with an operating revenue of 2.36 trillion yuan, or about US$3.46 billion.

The smallest of the top 500 had an operating revenue of 30.69 billion yuan, up 7.7 percent from last year and exceeded the 30 billion yuan mark for the first time.

The 500 enterprises posted a 13.28 percent jump in combined net profits from a year earlier to 3.2 trillion yuan in 2017. The growth reversed a downward trend since 2014 and marked the fastest pace of increase in six years.

The rate of return on common stockholders’ equity, an indicator measuring the profitability of net assets, was 9.34 percent, marking the first rise since 2012.

Wu Changqi, a professor at Peking University, said the rising profit rate was “particularly delightful” as it indicated higher enterprise efficiency.

Moreover, profit increase is conducive to the expansion of corporate investment, according to Wu.

Research and development has been high on the enterprises’ agenda, with 426 of them spending 895.09 billion yuan, up 21.63 percent from the previous year.

The 2018 list revealed the country’s major companies have continued to push innovation and industrial upgrades over the past year and made progress in boosting competitiveness, improving efficiency, and expanding businesses, said Wang Zhongyu, head of CEC.

Wu warned about challenges such as emerging external uncertainties and rising labor costs but said China’s stable economic growth and development of the Belt and Road Initiative will create opportunities for the companies.


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