(Yicai Global) Jan. 9 -- Alibaba Group Holding heads the 2019 list of China's most valuable private businesses compiled by the Hurun Research Institute.
The Hangzhou-based e-commerce titan was worth USD545 billion last year, according to a report Hurun released today, which considers 'private companies' to mean non-state enterprises with headquarters in mainland China.
Alibaba, whose shares [NYSE:BABA] gained 0.2 percent in New York trading yesterday to reach USD218 each, giving it a US market capitalization of USD583.8 billion, was followed in the rankings by Tencent Holdings (USD408 billion), Ping An Insurance (USD215 billion), Huawei Technologies (USD172 billion) and Ant Financial Services Group (USD143 billion).
"Compared with five or 10 years ago, we can see that China's private economy has achieved great development," said Rupert Hoogewerf, chairman and chief researcher of the Hurun Report.
Five years ago, Alibaba was the only company whose market cap was more than CNY1 trillion, and the number was zero 10 years ago, when Ping An Insurance was the most valuable private business at CNY435 billion, the report said.
"We are in an era when it is about value created rather than sales generated that ought to be used to differentiate the best companies in China," said Hoogewerf. He offered the examples of Jiangsu Hengrui Medicine and injection mold maker Haitian Group. They are worth USD55 billion and USD42 billion respectively with revenues of just USD3 billion.
The companies in Hurun's top 500 list have a total market value of USD5 trillion, nearly 40 percent of China's gross domestic product, and an average market value of USD11 billion each. The threshold to make the list was USD2 billion.
Some 238 firms on the list are in emerging industries, of which 73 are in advanced manufacturing, making up the largest contingent, with Huawei, Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology, Xiaomi, Contemporary Amperex Technology and BYD among them. In traditional sectors, real estate account for the highest proportion of entrants, with 68 firms, including Evergrande Group and Country Garden.
Hurun Report was set up as a research unit in 1999 by Hoogewerf, a British accountant, and has developed into a leading luxury publishing group based in Shanghai, according to its website. Most famous for ranking China's wealthiest people, The Wall Street Journal styled Hoogwerf as the 'godfather' of the China Rich List in 2008.
Editor: Ben Armour