Chinese Companies Outnumber American Peers in Fortune 500 List

China has outnumbered the U.S. in the number of Fortune 500 listed companies for the first time.

Author: Belinda Zhou   

The number of companies based in China on the Fortune Global 500 list has reached a record 129, exceeding the number of U.S. companies for the first time.

The New York-based business magazine said on Monday that 129 Chinese companies, including 10 in Taiwan, are listed on the Fortune 500 list, a ranking of companies by revenue. Meanwhile, the number of American companies decreased by 4 percent from last year to 121. Of those, Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) has been taking the lead for the sixth consecutive year.

Just ten years ago, 43 Chinese companies made the Fortune 500 list. Twenty years ago, there were just eight. 

"The new Fortune Global 500 list goes live this morning, and marks an important world power transition," Fortune wrote in a statement.

China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (NYSE: SNP), known as "Sinopec" in short, and China National Petroleum Corp., which owns a U.S.-listed PetroChina Co. Ltd. (NYSE: PTR), two state-owned oil producers, ranked second and fourth on the list, with revenues of $414.6 billion and $393 billion, respectively. State Grid, a state-owned power company, was fifth, with $387.1 billion in revenue.

China South Industries Group dropped to No. 367, seeing the largest decline of 125 spots among China-based companies. Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA) ranked No.182.

Fortune Global 500 companies generated a cumulative $32.7 trillion in revenues, up 9 percent from the preceding year. That's equivalent to more than one-third of the world's GDP since 1995, according to Fortune.

Out of the 14 female CEOs on the Fortune Global 500, none head Chinese companies.