Asian firms top Fortune 500 newcomers’ list

Jemal Countess / Getty Images for Time
Chinese companies are rapidly gaining a competitive edge, taking 106 places on the Fortune Global 500 list for 2015. From this year’s 23 newcomers and returnees, 11 are Asian-based companies.

This year China is second only to the US, which has 128 companies on the list, according to the annual rating released Wednesday. Japan (54 companies); France (31) and Germany (28) close the top 5 countries with the biggest number of revenue earners on the Global 500 for 2015.

Many of the Chinese companies entering the list for the first time aren’t new firms. The top 12 Chinese companies are all state-owned, which means they generally do not disclose their financials. They joined the Global 500 after Fortune gained access to their figures for the first time. China had 46 companies in the Fortune 500 list in 2010, and only 10 in 2000.

China's top oil refiner Sinopec is the second largest company in the world this year by total revenue, behind US retailer Walmart, which took the top spot. China’s largest oil and gas producer PetroChina remains in fourth place. Royal Dutch Shell is in third place and Exxon Mobil fifth. BP, State Grid, Volkswagen, Toyota Motor and Glencore are in the top 10 of this year’s ranking.

Russia is represented by Gazprom (26th), Lukoil (43th), Rosneft (51st), Sberbank (177th) and VTB Bank (404th).

Collectively, the 500 companies generated record revenues of $31.2 trillion, and $1.7 trillion in profits in 2014. Total profit for the Global 500 fell nearly 15 percent to $1.7 trillion from 2013. Together, this year's Fortune Global 500 employ 65 million people worldwide and are represented in 36 countries. The single biggest profit maker was Industrial & Commercial Bank of China (18th place). Its $44.8 billion in net income outpaced even Apple’s (15) robust $39.5 billion profit.

The Fortune Global 500, also known as Global 500, is an annual ranking of the top 500 corporations worldwide measured by revenue. The list is compiled and published annually by Fortune magazine.