For the first time, two Chinese firms have topped Forbes magazine's annual poll of the world's largest companies. The Chinese bank ICBC ousted Exxon Mobil as the world's biggest company, according to the magazine's 10th annual ranking of the world's top 2,000 firms. China Construction Bank bumped JP Morgan out of the second spot.
The US had a total of 543 members in the list this year, 19 more firms than last year and the highest total since 2009. Japan had the second highest number of companies in the list, 251, followed by China with 136. For the first time since 2004, when the list was first published, China did not increase its number of Global 2000 companies.
The list uses an equal weighting of sales, profits, assets and market value to rank companies according to size. Exxon, last year's No 1, slipped into fourth place this year behind the two Chinese firms, JP Morgan and General Electric. Apple eclipsed Exxon as the most valuable company by market capitalization last year and the two have vied for pole position ever since.
Apple slipped behind Exxon once more on Wednesday. Despite a 24% drop in the Apple share price since last March, Forbes's composite ranking placed Apple at No 15, in a tie with WalMart, the world's largest retailer.
Banks and other financial-services firms dominate the list, accounting for 469 of the world's top companies, down nine from last year. The next three biggest industries by membership are oil and gas (124), materials (122) and insurance (109).