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Huawei sits top as China unveils ranking of 500 largest private firms

Global Times | Published: August 22, 2019 16:40:24

Huawei sits top as China unveils ranking of 500 largest private firms

Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei sits top a list of China's 500 largest private enterprises for the fourth consecutive year, despite a crackdown on the firm by the US.

In the latest ranking of 500 largest private enterprises in China, which was unveiled at the 2019 China Top 500 Private Enterprises Summit held in Xining, capital of Northwest China's Qinghai Province on Thursday, Huawei topped the list with revenues of 721.2 billion yuan ($102 billion) last year.

HNA Group was second and Suning Holdings Group was third on the list.

Huawei overtook Lenovo for the first time in 2016 when it reported revenue of 395 billion yuan. In the past four years, Huawei's revenues have increased by around 100 billion yuan annually. According to its ranking in 2018, it earned more than 600 billion yuan in terms of revenues.

Huawei has been the target of a crackdown by the US government which used its national power amid the escalating China-US trade war, experts said.

The privately firm, with leading technology in the 5G networks, was added to the entity list released by the Donald Trump administration in May this year.

Huawei is scheduled to launch its artificial intelligence (AI) Ascend 910 chip on Friday, a further expansion into the AI sector and a move to realise its chip strategy. The new chipset has head-on competence with those produced by US companies such as Qualcomm and Nvidia, analysts said.

Huawei also ranked first in another list of 500 private enterprises in the manufacturing sector.

The threshold for entering this year's top 500 list is much higher. Private firms have to have revenues of at least 18.59 billion yuan to get on the list this year, up nearly 3 billion yuan from 2018.

Twenty private firms on Thursday's list are included in the Fortune 500 Global, compared to 17 last year.

In 2018, the top 500 firms had revenues of 28.5 trillion yuan, up 16.44 per cent year-on-year, and net profits reached 1.29 trillion yuan, up 13.87 per cent on a yearly basis, Huang Rong, vice chairman of the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce, said when delivering the report. The agency is the host of the summit.

"Meanwhile, the top 500 firms have seen slight declines in their profitability and operation efficiency. Net profit and return on equity declined by 0.1 percentage point and 1.31 percentage point, respectively, compared with the previous rates," said Huang.

"We should feel inspired considering that despite external pressure from the trade war and the internal downward economic pressure, Chinese private firms, especially those leading players, delivered a good report," Liu Dingding, a Beijing-based industry analyst, told the Global Times on Thursday.

The performance of private firms can genuinely reflect China's economic development as a barometer, according to Liu.

The private sector provides more than 80 per cent of China's urban employment and accounts for more than 70 per cent of its technological innovation, 60 per cent of GDP and 50 per cent of taxes, according to the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce.

The Thursday report indicates that China's economy can weather storms from the outside since it has a strong growth engine inside, said Liu, adding private firms have huge potential to develop in the direction of pursuing high-quality and cutting-edge competence.

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