Alipay and China National Offshore Oil Corporation were among the rapidly expanding Chinese-owned companies operating in the United Kingdom that claimed awards at a ceremony at London's Merchant Taylors' Hall on Tuesday.
Both State-owned and private Chinese companies from many different sectors received awards after making it onto the Grant Thornton Tou Ying Tracker 2017, which is a list of the top 30 fastest-growing Chinese-owned enterprises in the UK. The list was compiled by the London-based accountancy company in collaboration with China Daily.
"The numbers are incredible," said Simon Bevan, head of the China Britain Services Group at Grant Thornton and co-author on the report. "The State-owned companies achieved an average growth of 174 percent year-on-year. The private companies achieved an average growth of 71 percent."
Bevan said the companies made a notable contribution to the UK economy last year, employing more than 5,000 people while turning over nearly 11 billion pounds. He noted that Chinese investors have not been deterred by Britain's referendum vote that means the UK will leave the European Union.
"This year's tracker indicates that the UK's vote to leave the EU doesn't appear yet to have damped Chinese interest in the UK," Bevan said. "In fact, the UK got cheaper and Chinese investors have taken advantage of the value of the sterling, and have been able to continue buying interesting assets."
Jin Xu, minister counselor of the economic and commercial office of the Chinese embassy in London, said the UK-China investment relationship will receive a further boost from Prime Minister Theresa May's visit to China this week.
"May has gone to China for a three-day visit to lead a very big delegation including 50 business leaders," Jin said. "This will no doubt strengthen the 'golden era' of UK-China relations."
The China National Offshore Oil Corporation was the fastest-growing company in the 2017 tracker, with growth in revenue of 809 percent, while several other State-owned enterprises, including China Mobile International, and China National Cereal, Oil and Foodstuffs Corporation, also achieved triple-digit growth.
Chinese payment platform Alipay made the Tou Ying Tracker for a consecutive year. Alipay recently expanded its partnership with Adyen, a Dutch company that provides in-store payment platforms, bringing Alipay to dozens of new merchants in the UK.
"We've enjoyed rapid growth in the UK since entering in 2015," said Tao Tao, country manager for Alipay in the UK. "Our merchants include leading UK brands like Harrods, Selfridges, and duty free in major airports. We provide these merchants with access to the hugely lucrative Chinese market."
China Daily has collaborated with Grant Thornton on the Tou Ying Tracker since 2013. The annual report is based on accounts filed at Companies House in London by Chinese-controlled entities.
Yu Yilei, editor-in-chief of China Daily UK, said: "This report is just one example of what can be achieved when we work together, and the continued success of the companies represented here tonight makes me optimistic for the UK and China's economic future."
Tou Ying Tracker 2017 – Top 15 State-owned enterprises (alphabetical order)
Addax Petroleum UK Ltd
Bank of Communications (UK) Ltd
BOC Aviation (UK) Ltd
CGN Global Uranium Ltd
China Merchants Securities (UK) Ltd
China Mobile International (UK) Ltd
China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) UK Ltd
COFCO (UK) Ltd (China National Cereals, Oil and Foodstuffs Corporation)
CTS Metropark Ltd
Equilibrium Industries Ltd
GF Financial Markets (UK) Ltd
ICBC Standard Bank PLC
Nanjing Automobile Corporation (UK) Ltd (MG Motor UK Ltd)
Taiping Re UK Ltd
UNIPEC UK Co Ltd
Tou Ying Tracker 2017 – Top 15 Private companies (alphabetical order)
Alipay (UK) Ltd
Anker Technology (UK) Ltd
Colomer Munmany Europe Co Ltd
Huawei Global Finance (UK) Ltd
Ingram Micro CFS Fulfilment Limited
Kofax Northern Ireland Ltd
Les Ambassadeurs Club Ltd
MP & Silva Ltd
Pharmaron UK Ltd
Splash Damage Ltd
We Are Very Social Ltd