Heap Big Numbers


Of the top 100 companies in the world, China and Hong Kong have 21 of them. The U.S. has 30. The difference between the two countries in terms of its corporate titans is quite stark, however. As expected, China is big because its banks are big — at least within the top 100. By comparison, the U.S. top companies are much more diverse. Banks lead the top 10, down the list includes the tech companies and energy companies and media and telecom firms. China is bank-heavy.

China is big – at everything. Its tech companies like HNA Technology are getting bigger. Asian e-commerce powerhouse Alibaba, founded by billionaire Jack Ma, is already a beast. China has some of the biggest airlines in the world. C-Trip International is bigger than Expedia by market cap. Car companies? Of the 32 auto and truck manufacturers on this year’s Forbes Global 2000 list, eight are Chinese. That puts them on par with Japan and clobbers the U.S. at just three.

Of the top 10 global companies ranked by Forbes, China and the U.S. are split down the middle at five each. All of the top companies are banks, led by the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (the biggest public company in the world) and China Construction Bank (the second biggest public company in the world). The U.S. is also bank heavy, except for Apple, which comes in at No. 9 on the Global 2000 list. Back in 2003, China and Hong Kong had a combined 43 companies on the list. China alone has 232 companies this year.

The country’s banking sector hit around $35 trillion in loans this year, accounting for more than three times the size of China’s GDP in dollars. China overtook Europe’s banking assets of $31 trillion two years ago.

If you’d like to read a really annoying piece that spends a fair amount of time on China, read this.

And if you really want to get annoyed, here are a couple of pieces (here and here) on the scam known as SPLC, much loved by the tech lefties. Ugh.

2 Responses to “Heap Big Numbers”

  1. feeblemind Says:

    I’ll wait until I am already in a poor mood to read about the SPLC,

    As for who has the most large companies . . . other than as a mile post marking the phenomenal growth of China . . . I am not sure how much it matters. I guess it must be too complex for my feeble mind to comprehend.

    The article strikes me as a little more than a scorecard, providing ammunition for bragging rights.

    Having said that, the amounts of money controlled by these companies is truly mind boggling.

    I recall my parents subscribing to Fortune magazine c 1970, and I poured over the numbers
    of the first 500 list I had ever seen. IIRC the largest company was worth about a billion dollars.

    Now the largest company is worth . . . what? . . . 500, 600, 700 times that?

    Where did all the money come from, particularly in an environment where 30-50% of income is taxed?

    This is a sterling example illustrating how little I know about the way things work.

  2. feeblemind Says:

    some other China stories:

    China is at work building a port, airport and virtual city on 45,000 hectares of Cambodian land with the premier’s express permission.

    In 2008, China’s Tianjin Union Development Group (UDG) was granted a 99-year lease to around 20% of the kingdom’s total coastline at the modest price of US$30 per hectare.


    Troubled waters: the Mekong River crisis


    China eyes its next prize – the Mekong


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