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A Look at the Chinese Economy

China's meteoric rise to become the second largest economy in the world is quite amazing, especially when you consider the chaos the country went through in the decades before. Millions of people died in man-made famines, and in the 1970s, the country's economy and education both went downhill, and millions were mainly thrown out of society through politics.

When you compare China's GDP to the US economy, it is clear that China has the world's largest economy, even though the US economy is bigger in real terms. China is still one of the world's fastest-growing countries, even though it has grown a lot in the last 20 years. It is also the world's biggest exporter and manufacturer.

In contrast to most other major economies, such as those in Europe and the US, China's economy is based on government intervention, with state-owned companies dominating. However, mixed-ownership businesses are also popular. While there is a strong private sector in China, multinational companies also have a big impact. However, China often puts limits on how foreign companies can enter the country, often making them partner with Chinese companies. This has led to problems, like Warner Bros. pulling its movie theater business in China when it learned of a rule that would require it to give a Chinese company at least a 51% stake or play a leading role.

According to McKinsey, China will have the most spending of any country in the world over the next ten years. This is not a surprise since it is so big and has the most workers in the world, with about 800 million working there. Many foreign companies have come to China despite the country's restrictions because of its growing middle class of rich people with more spending money than ever before. For instance, Volkswagen is very present in China, which is its biggest market and where more than 40% of all car sales happen. Volkswagen started two big joint companies in China, called FAW-Volkswagen and SAIC Volkswagen. In the last ten years, its business has grown a lot.

Top 10 Largest Companies In China By Market Cap (2024 Update)
The Largest Companies In China By Market Cap

A lot of Chinese businesses are either owned by the government or are partly run by the government.

The biggest Chinese businesses are involved in building things, making oil, insurance, banks, and technology.

Top 10 Largest Companies In China By Market Cap (2024 Update)

1. Tencent

Market cap: $347.71 B

The global conglomerate Tencent Holdings Limited is known for offering a wide range of internet services and goods. The business runs the well-known social networking site WeChat, which lets users message each other, make payments, and connect with other people. Tencent is also a big name in the world of online games. It owns a number of well-known game companies and platforms. Tencent also offers cloud services, streaming music and video material, and online advertising services. The company is well known in China and has grown its reach around the world.

2. Kweichow Moutai

Market cap: $288.62 B

Kweichow Moutai is one of the biggest alcohol companies in the world, and they make a spirit called Maotai. The state-owned business not only researches and develops different types of IT products, but it also works on making technology that stops counterfeiting. It is China's most valuable non-tech business.


Market cap: $225.05 B

Two of the top Chinese stocks by market cap are owned by the government. One of them is the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China. Its assets are worth almost $4.5 trillion, which is more than any other company in the world. ICBC is one of the world's biggest public companies and also one of the world's most successful ones.

4. Pinduoduo

Market cap: $201.05 B

Pinduoduo Inc. is a Chinese online store that specializes in selling things related to traditional farming.

In 2021, Pinduoduo's gross market value (GMV) was RMB 2.44 trillion, which is about US$383 billion. The company makes the business, which is its main product. It also owns the American online market Temu.

5.China Mobile

Market cap: $182.98 B

China Mobile is a company owned by the government that offers music and phone services. Nearly 950 million people use it, making it the biggest wireless company in the world. In 2021, the company made more than $100 billion in sales. China Mobile is a big company in China, just like Alibaba Group Holding Limited (NYSE:BABA) and Pinduoduo Inc. (NASDAQ:PDD).

6. Alibaba

Market cap: $180.94 billion

Alibaba Group Holding Limited is a global company worth $180.94 billion that focuses on e-commerce, retail, the internet, and technology. The business runs a number of online markets, such as Taobao and Tmall, where buyers and sellers can do both consumer and business-to-business deals. Alibaba also offers logistics services, digital payment options (Alipay), and cloud computing services (Alibaba Cloud). Alibaba has grown its business around the world and is a major force in changing the e-commerce industry. It is the biggest player in the Chinese market.

7. PetroChina

Market cap: $177.50 billion

PetroChina is an oil and gas business that explores for, develops, produces, and sells oil. It also makes goods from petrochemicals. China National Petroleum Corporation, which is owned by the Chinese government, has a branch in the stock market called PetroChina.

READ MORE: Top 10+ Most Popular Chinese TV Brands In The World

8. Agricultural Bank of China

Market cap: $173.97 B

Most of the top 10 Chinese stocks by market value are banks, and the Agricultural Bank of China is no different. The bank has branches in several countries, but in terms of assets, it is only the third-largest lender in China. In addition to its 320 million retail customers, the Agricultural Bank of China has over 2.7 million business clients and 24,000 offices. The bank had the biggest IPO in history in 2010.

9. Bank of China

Market cap: $147.63 billion

The Bank of China is a business bank with its main office in Beijing. It is the second-oldest bank in the country. It's also the country's second-biggest lender.

READ MORE: Full List Of China’s Public Holidays In 2024

10. China Construction Bank

Market cap: $145.18 billion

China Construction Bank has different types of businesses, like corporate banking, personal banking, and treasury, that serve people, companies, and other groups. Government-owned China Construction Bank offers financial services like loans and deposits, fund management, and foreign exchange.

In conclusion

Most of the largest businesses in terms of assets and income are owned by the government. Many of these companies are not among the biggest in China, but they do work in a lot of different areas, such as utilities and infrastructure. These businesses bring in tens of billions of dollars and hire hundreds of thousands of people. They made up more than 60% of the country's total market capitalization.

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