The Hurun Research Institute released on Wednesday the their Most Valuable Private Companies 2021, a list of the Top 500 China non-state-controlled enterprises ranked according to their value. The list shows that Tencent is officially the most valuable company in China, heading the Hurun China 500 with a valuation of $609 billion.
Semi-conductor giant TSMC was second with a value of $577 billion. Alibaba halved in value, dropping down one place to third. ByteDance’s value tripled last year, rising five places to 4th. Battery-maker CATL shot up 6 places to break into the Top 10 for the first time and now sits at fifth place, with its value rising 2.5 times to $233 billion.
The threshold for the list increased by 39% over the previous year, reaching $5 billion. Thirty four companies more than doubled in value, led by Bytedance, CATL and Meituan.
Healthcare and energy grew significantly, becoming the top two sectors. Traditional medicine and pharmaceutical retail, real estate and education were the biggest losers, including TAL, Evergrande Group, Huahai Pharmaceutical.
Shanghai overtook Beijing for top spot as the city with the most companies on the list, adding two more names to its count and putting its total at 69 companies on the list. Beijing lost 25 companies from the list, down to 68 total, and is now ranked second. Shenzhen remained 3rd with 45, followed by Hangzhou and Hong Kong with 30 each and Taipei with 24. Half of the Hurun China 500 are concentrated in these 6 cities.
On average, the Hurun China 500 are about 25 years old, often around 1996. Thirty four of the companies have a history of more than 50 years, of which 5 have a history of more than 100 years, all of which are from Hong Kong. Eight were relatively new, having been established less than 5 years ago, including RELX Technology and Dingdong Maicai.
88% are listed companies, up 2%. The Shenzhen and Shanghai stock exchanges remain the preferred listings of the companies on the list, with 143 and 142, followed by the HKEX with 119. Twenty seven names are listed in the US.
Hurun Report Chairman and Chief Researcher Rupert Hoogewerf said: “The companies from the Hurun China 500 are the ‘backbone’ of China’s private sector, wielding significant economic influence. Between them, they have annual revenues of $3.75 trillion, equivalent to a quarter of China’s annual GDP and employ 11 million people. Despite the impact of Covid, they have still managed to grow, with their average value more than doubling to $20 billion since the pandemic started two years ago and their total value increasing by $4.7 ten billion to $10.3 ten billion.”