This map-and-chart package captures one of the top business stories of the past two decades: China’s rise in the global corporate hierarchy. Greater China (including Taiwan) surpassed the U.S. for the largest number of Global 500 companies for the first time in fiscal 2018; it widened its lead in 2020, when COVID shut down much of the world and China kept humming. One striking subplot in this story is the degree of state involvement in China’s big businesses: 87 of the companies from mainland China on this year’s list are majority or entirely government-owned. (In the U.S., just three fit that description: the Postal Service and real estate finance agencies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.) Can state-owned companies act nimbly and stay competitive in a fragmenting global economy? That’s the next chapter.
This article appears in the August/September 2022 issue of Fortune with the headline, “Business, bosses, and borders.”