This year’s Fortune Global 500 ranking is a compelling narrative on the changing economy.
The Fortune Global 500 list, published yearly, serves as a “who’s who”, ranking the top 500 corporations worldwide by revenue. The combined 500 companies saw stunning growth in the past year. According to CNBC, “Revenue grew 8.9 percent year on year to nearly $32.7 trillion, while profit rose 14.5 percent year on year to $2.15 trillion, another record high. The most profitable of these companies is Saudi Aramco, which tops the list with a whopping profit of nearly $111 billion, almost twice as much as no. 2 apple.”
Times are Changing
Some changes, like China moving into the top position, weren’t unexpected. The number of North American and European companies have been declining since 2001.
China surpassed the United States for the first time by adding 13 new companies to the list. They locked in 129 spots, compared to the United States’ 121. This primes China to move into a position of strength during the ongoing U.S. trade war.
An unexpected but positive change is the rise of women in executive positions. This year saw a record 33 women serving as CEOs for Fortune 500 companies.
Xiaomi the Money
The most surprising Chinese newcomer? Xiaomi pronounced, “show me.”
The company debuted 468th and is the youngest on the board. Founded in April 2010, they focus on smartphones and IoT hardware. Their phones are a cult hit among millennials and generation Z in Asia.
Lei Jun, CEO of Xiaomi, took time out to thank supporters:
“It took Xiaomi only nine years to make the Fortune Global 500 list, a milestone that we owe a big thank you to all our Mi fans and users for their unwavering support. We are also the youngest company on this year’s list, a proud record that we will keep in mind and bring to another level in the global expansion journey.”
The company also thanked its employees, rewarding every staffer a $1000 stock bonus.
Huawei Surprises Investors
Huawei was another surprise on the list. The company rose 11 points to 61st place, despite its current run of bad publicity. Their CFO was arrested for fraud and the company has been fighting rumors of corporate espionage.
Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei, made no mention of the company’s troubles in his press release:
“Our continued elevation in the Fortune 500 list rankings is yet another notable marker of success for the company in 2019. Our dedication to delivering the latest technologies to our customers, with a sharp focus on innovation through a commitment to investing in R&D has enabled us to continue to enjoy record success.”
Apple and Walmart Stay on Top
Despite the drop in iPhone sales, Apple is still the top technology company on the list. Ranking 11th overall, they outranked rival Samsung, who came in at 15th. Though, the tech giant lost its throne as the most profitable company in the world to oil giant Saudi Aramco.
Aramaco is the only new face in this years Top 10, knocking out Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway.
Walmart is also not ready to concede to China, maintaining 1st place for the sixth year in a row. The company generated an astounding $500 billion in revenue in 2018 and shows no signs of slowing down.
Sinopec, the Chinese Oil & Gas company moved into 2nd place due to a 27% jump in sales in 2018. The energy sector holds 7 of the spots in the top 10.
The Top 10 (See the full 500)
Royal Dutch Shell
China National Petroleum