The latest world ranking shows that the value of top Chinese firms has tumbled over 50% in two years amid ailing markets and the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) brutal crackdown on the tech and housing industries.
According to a Hurun report on December 9, the world’s 500 most valuable non-state-owned companies plunged 19% to $47 trillion. Of these, 340 saw their values fall or stay flat.
Rupert Hoogewerf, Hurun’s chairman and chief researcher, said this year’s results show “The hardest-hit sector was retail, especially e-commerce, on the back of soaring inflation, which in turn dragged down payments and delivery companies.”
Nikkei Asia noted that China’s top 35 firms, which still made it onto the 2022 ranking list, lost 52% in value to $2.36 trillion. It indicates their steepest decline since the first edition of the Hurun Global 500 in 2020.
Among them, tech behemoths Tencent and Alibaba Group Holding dropped out of the top 10 list of most valuable firms and ranked 26th and 48th, respectively.
Tencent lost $432 billion to $265 billion. Meanwhile, Alibaba witnessed its value drop to $171 billion from $415 billion, down 71% from a year earlier.
Over the last few years, the CCP ordered a sweeping crackdown to hinder the booming tech industry and curb highly-leveraged builders’ access to borrowing.
That has led to massive losses for tech giants and a wave of bond defaults by debt-laden developers.
Nikkei reported that Hurun’s ranking shows home builders’ values shrank 35% year-on-year due to the impact of rising mortgage rates, a fragile economy, and weak consumer demand.
Hoogewerf said, “This concentration of economic power has gained the attention of the Chinese government, which has reacted with reforms hitting e-commerce platforms and real estate stocks hardest.”
Hurun’s list this year also saw new entrants from China. Those include fast-fashion brand Shein, with a $40 billion market cap, and WeBank, a digital bank supported by Tencent, valued at $33 billion.
As the highest-valued newcomer last year, short video-sharing platform Kuaishou fell off this year’s list following the CCP’s tech crackdown, along with drugmaker WuXi Biologics.
Hurun’s ranking shows that Apple remains the world’s most valuable company. The California-based tech giant has a valuation of $2.4 trillion.
The second place belonged to Microsoft, with a $1.8 trillion valuation. Alphabet surpassed Amazon for the third spot.
Moreover, U.S. firms, led by Apple, topped the rankings with a $30.3 trillion market cap and dominated the top 15 list of highest-valued firms. The groups also make up over 50% of the Hurun Global 500 ranking list.
Samsung of South Korea ranked 16th, with a valuation of $322 billion. Taiwan’s TSMC followed with a valuation of $317 billion.
Elon Musk’s Tesla jumped to 5th from 8th place, with a $672 billion market cap.