Japan has been for the first time surpassed by China in the Fortune Global 500 list. China ranked second with 73 companies, followed by Japan with 68 firms.
The list is still dominated by the United States with 132 companies but the US is on the decline. “Although the US still hosts the lion’s share of Global 500 corporations, no country has lost more companies during the last decade. There are 132 US-headquartered businesses on this year’s list, down from 197 a decade ago,” Fortune said.
The number of Chinese companies rose by 12 since the last version of the famous list, while the number of European firms decreased to 161 from 172.
The top 10 is dominated by eight companies from the energy field, from which three are Chinese: Sinopec Group, China National Petroleum and State Grid.
“Despite financial turmoil in Europe and disasters in Japan, the world’s largest corporations had record profits and revenues in 2011,” the authors of the list said. “Total profits rose seven per cent, to $US1.6 trillion, roughly equal to the gross domestic product of India.”