BAT becomes JAT on Fortune China 500 as JD improves

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Online retailer JD.Com ranked highest among tech firms at 17th in the latest edition of Fortune’s top 500 Chinese companies released on Wednesday. Alibaba Group came in at 24th and Tencent at 33rd. Baidu was way off the pace in 92nd. The list compares financial performance of listed companies in the country.

Why it matters: The ranking demonstrates how far JD.Com has come and how Baidu has failed to keep up with its peers. Baidu was one of three leading companies in China’s dot-com era along with Alibaba and Tencent, known collectively as BAT. The company reported a quarterly net loss this year for the first time since listing in 2005.

  • Revenue at JD.Com rose over one quarter last year to hit RMB 462 billion ($67.2 billion), while that of Baidu was RMB 101 billion.

“Influenced by the economic cycle, traditional property and financial industry performed weakly in the past year. New economic sector including electronics, internet services and computer-related industries keep a high-speed growth.”
— Fortune announcement

Details: Although state-owned firms continue to dominate the list, some 37 companies from electronics, internet services and computing are also included.

  • JD.Com rose one place to 17th while Alibaba and Tencent improved nine and six places respectively to 24th and 33rd. JD failed to make a profit, losing RMB 2.5 billion.
  • Online retailer Suning, Xiaomi and electronics giant TCL all outperformed Baidu last year, while Meituan lost the most money among the entrants.
  • Aside from commercial banks, insurers, and China mobile, Tencent and Alibaba were also among the 10 most profitable companies.
  • The edition marks the first time on the list for Meituan, which posted a RMB 115.5 billion net loss.
  • Bytedance and Huawei are not on the list as they are yet to go public