For the very first time, China has scored higher than Japan on the Fortune Global 500 list, which ranks the world’s largest companies by how much revenue they make. As usual, the United States came in at number one, with 132 firms on the list, while China ranked second place with 73, and Japan was third with 68 companies. The number of firms from European countries was 161, a decrease of 11 from the previous year’s list.
12 new Chinese companies were added to this year’s list, elevating the country higher than Japan. Out of the top 10, eight companies were in the energy industry, with three of those being Chinese; China National Petroleum, Sinopec Group, and State Grid. The number one company this year was Royal Dutch Shell, displacing the U.S.’s Wal-Mart from a two-year streak. Commercial banking was the second-largest industry on the Fortune Global 500, with the third-largest being the auto manufacturing industry.
Fortune commented that despite the ongoing debt crisis in Europe, and Japan’s recovery from the March 2011 disasters, the companies on this year’s list set new records for profits. Combining all 500 firms on the list, the total revenues were calculated to be $29.5 trillion, a 13.2% increase over 2010. The U.S. still has the most companies on the list, but that number has also dropped the most over the last 10 years. With 132 businesses this year, they previously had 197 a decade ago.[Via West Australian]