— This is the script of CNBC's news report for China's CCTV on August 11, 2020, Tuesday.
In the newly released Fortune 500 list, there are some eye-catching aspects. First, total revenue of these 500 companies reach $33 trillion, hit a record high, and even close to the combined GDP of China and the United States. The barrier to entry also rose from $24.8bn to $25.4bn.
After the 2008 financial crisis, global economy returned back to grow, and made further progress in 2018 and 2019. Revenue for these 500 companies also increased.
From the revenue aspect, Walmart comes as the first for 7 straight years, with total revenue of nearly $524 billion. Sinopec remains in second place and State Grid has moved up to third.
In terms of profits, the companies on the new list collectively made nearly $2.1 trillion in 2019.
Saudi Aramco still topped the list with a profit of $88.2 billion. Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway was a close second, with profits of $81.4bn, followed by Apple.
If corporate profits are spread out over the total number of employees, 18 big companies made more than $250,000 in profit per employee last year, of these, US mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie MAC are $1.9 million and $1 million respectively. Of course, not all fortune 500 companies are profitable. Forty-five companies on the newly released list failed to make a profit.
The five companies with the biggest losses had combined losses of about $52bn.
let's take a look at the performance of Chinese companies. One of the biggest issues on this year's Fortune global 500 list can't be ignored is the historic leap forward made by Chinese companies. This year, the number of companies in mainland China (including Hong Kong) on the list reached 124, surpassing the United States for the first time in history, with 121 companies. If adding Taiwan, China has a total of 133 companies on the list. No other country or region has seen such a rapid increase in the number of companies on the Fortune 500 list since 1995.
Following the rapid development of China's economy over the past three decades, Chinese companies are also playing an increasingly important role on the world business stage. Chinese Internet companies have also done well in recent years, with four of the seven internet-related companies on the latest list coming from China. Tencent and Xiaomi, respectively, are also rising in the rankings, with Alibaba rising the most, up 50 places.
However, compared with the world average, the profitability of Chinese listed companies still needs to be improved. Forbes pointed out that the average profit of the 124 mainland Chinese companies on the list in 2019 was less than 3.6 billion U.S. dollars, about half of that of the U.S. companies (7 billion U.S. dollars). The average profit of 500 companies was $4.1 billion. This is what the Chinese companies need to focus on improving next.It's worth noting that the list is based on performance in 2019. After 2020, the world economy and global businesses have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 epidemic, and the rise of trade protectionism in some major economies will also pose severe challenges to the development of global economy and business. Next year, we probably will see more changes in this list, we will keep an eye on this issue.