WASHINGTON — China for the first time overtook Japan on the Fortune Global 500 list of the world’s biggest companies by revenue, the U.S. business magazine said Monday.
While U.S. firms held the plurality of slots on the list, with 132, Chinese firms came in second with 73 followed by 68 from Japan.
China’s ascent marked the addition of 12 companies to the prestigious list, while the number of European firms fell to 161 from 172 in 2011.
Anglo-Dutch energy giant Royal Dutch Shell retook the top spot this year, knocking off U.S. retail titan Wal-Mart from a two-year reign.
Eight energy businesses dominated the top 10, three of them Chinese companies; Sinopec Group, China National Petroleum and State Grid.
Shell had $484.5 billion in revenue in 2011, a 28.1 percent increase from 2010.
Commercial banks accounted for the second-largest industry on the Global 500 and the auto industry was in third place.
“Despite financial turmoil in Europe and disasters in Japan, the world’s largest corporations had record profits and revenues in 2011,” Fortune said.
In total, the Global 500 companies posted record revenue of $29.5 trillion, up 13.2 percent over 2010.
The annual ranking reflected the shifting global landscape as the United States faces mounting competition from foreign rivals.
“Although the U.S. still hosts the lion’s share of Global 500 corporations, no country has lost more companies during the last decade. There are 132 U.S.-headquartered businesses on this year’s list, down from 197 a decade ago,” the magazine said.