In record, 54 Chinese firms hit Global 500
A RECORD 54 Chinese companies are listed on the Fortune Global 500 this year, and three of them nudged into the top 10, a sign of China's growing economic power.
China Petroleum and Chemical Corp, also known as Sinopec, State Grid Corp of China and China National Petroleum Corp earned spots in the top 10.
Last year, only Sinopec was ranked that high.
The overall number of Chinese firms on the list increased to 54 from last year's 43, among which are eight from Taiwan -- making China the third largest country for Fortune 500 companies, following only the United States and Japan.
"The new ranking is a good demonstration of China's rapid economic growth," said Sun Lijian, a finance professor at Fudan University. "The global economic gravity has increasingly slanted toward emerging markets, China in particular."
However, the Chinese firms were mostly state-owned enterprises, and a few even reported a negative profit.
The deciding factor of Fortune Global 500 is revenue.
"Chinese companies need to enhance their competitiveness. The scale is one thing, and it should be combined with the ability to make money," Sun said.
The Chinese firms newly listed in the Global 500 include China Datang Group, Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and China Guodian Corp.
Chinese aircraft manufacturer Aviation Industry Corporation of China, or AVIC, which made the list last year for the first time at 426th, leaped to No. 330 this time.
Four Shanghai-based firms appear on the list: Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp, Baosteel Group, China United Network Communications Ltd and the Bank of Communications.
Globally, Wal-Mart Stores returned to the top perch, up from No. 3 in 2009.
It was followed by last year's champion Royal Dutch Shell, while last year's No. 2 Exxon Mobil fell to third.