Sinopec Group made it to No. 1 on the list of top 500 companies on the Chinese mainland in terms of revenue for the third year running, according to the 2013 rankings released on August 31 in Kunming, Yunnan Province, by the China Enterprise Confederation (CEC) and the China Enterprise Directors Association.
Sinopec's revenues reached 2.83 trillion yuan (US$456 billion) in 2012, earning it the top position on the list. Sinopec is followed by the China National Petroleum Corp, whose revenues hit 2.6 trillion yuan last year.
The last spot on the list was taken by Tianjin Textile Group, which recorded 19.87 billion yuan in revenue in 2012.
Two other lists, China's Top 500 Manufacturers and Top 500 Service Companies, were also made public.
A total of 1,084 enterprises have been ranked on these three lists. Among these, 268 from the Top 500 Manufacturers and 148 from Top 500 Service Companies are included in the country's 500 largest firms.
A total of 95 Chinese companies made the 2013 global top 500 list as compiled by Fortune magazine. Of these companies, 86 hail from the Chinese mainland.
"China's biggest firms are growing much slower, at a tottering pace, during the stalled global economy." said Wang Zhongyu, president of the China Enterprise Confederation.
"China's top 500 companies chalked up 50.02 trillion yuan (US$8.07 trillion) in operating revenues last year, increasing by 11.41 percent year-on-year, equivalent to two thirds of total operating revenues from the top 500 companies in the U.S., " Wang said.
These companies also reported net profits of 2.17 trillion yuan, increasing by a mere 3.58 percent from last year. 43 companies reported losses in 2012, 30 more than was the case in 2011.
The average profit margin of China's top 500 companies was 4.34 percent in 2012, lower than the average of 4.67 percent in 2011, while the return on net assets of China's Top 500 decreased to 1.44 percent.
Furthermore, the tax contributed by the Chinese heavyweights grew by 10.92 percent last year, to 3.65 trillion yuan, accounting for 36.28 percent of China's total tax revenues in 2012.
The net profit per capita grew by 1.87 percent to 70,800 yuan in 2012.
State-owned enterprises (SOEs) continue to dominate the three lists. Among China's top 500, 310 are SOEs, accounting for 62 percent. The operating revenues of these SOEs came to 40.9 trillion yuan, accounting for 81.94 percent, while total assets were 137.76 trillion yuan, accounting for 91.26 percent. The total profit of these SOEs was 1.87 trillion yuan, accounting for 85.91 percent, while in 2010, the SOE profits accounted for 81.94 percent.
A total of 190 private companies have made it onto the list, but only accounting for 8.74 percent in total assets of the top 500, 14.09 percent of the total profit.
Unlike the world's top 500 companies, most of which are service and high tech giants, a lion's share of China's top 500 companies are traditional industrial enterprises in the fields of steel, real estate, mining and oil and power generation. There is not one health company on China's list, while the U.S. top 500 list recorded 28 companies from the health sector.