Chinese companies have made huge strides on the Fortune Global 500 list but the number of Korean businesses on the list has stagnated for a 10th year, the Federation of Korean Industries said Monday.
Last year there were 89 Chinese companies on the Fortune 500 list, over six times more than the 14 Korean firms. Since 2004, 74 more Chinese companies have been put on the list, compared to only three Korean companies.
China ranked second after the U.S. (132 companies) and beat Japan (62 companies), France (31) and Germany (29).
Overall Chinese state-run oil company Sinopec ranked fourth, natural gas company PetroChina fifth and State Grid Corporation of China seventh. But only two Korean companies -- Samsung Electronics (20th) and SK Holdings (57th) -- slipped in among the top 100. Hyundai Motor came in at 104th.
In the Financial Times Global 500 ranking, China saw the number of its companies increase by 37 from 2004 until 2013, while Korea added a mere two more companies over the same decade.
But Kang Jun-young at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies said, "There's no point comparing the numbers of Korean and Chinese companies on the global lists. What we need is a strategy of focusing our resources on areas where our businesses can become competitive."