Alibaba Group debuted at the top on this year’s Forbes Asia’s Fabulous 50 List of the best publicly-traded big companies. The list, which was released recently, included thousands of other companies, but Alibaba had the highest market value of them and also surpassed others in a range of metrics.

Alibaba
Alibabaa by sam_churchill, Flickr

Changing trends in Forbes Asia’s Fab 50 List

Forbes reported that there were 21 new entrants in this year’s list. Being able to make it onto the list is considered to be an honor as it recognizes the brightest stars in the business in the Asia Pacific region. This is the 12th edition of the Fab 50 list showing the changing nature of business in the region, where about 272 companies have been successful at making it to the list at least once.

In 2005, the company released its inaugural list, which included five telecom companies, but this year, there wasn’t even one on the list. Also there were 11 tech hardware companies in the inaugural list, but this year only six could make it onto the list. During the first three years of the list, there were no property developers on the roster, but since then, they have made remarkable improvements and are well represented now.

For six consecutive years, Chinese companies have been dominating the list. Alibaba qualified for the list for the first time this year after meeting the criteria of being a publicly traded company for at least a year. With its market cap of $242.5 billion, Alibaba replaced last year’s most valuable company, Tencent, which is now worth $233.2 billion and came in second on the list.

Alibaba investing smartly

A couple of weeks ago, Alibaba Group, the largest e-commerce company in China, reported strong revenue growth as it successfully lures shoppers to its websites. This company, listed on the New York Stock Exchange, made more money from vendors who advertise and sell their products on the sites in return for a payment. Alibaba said it saw growth of 59% in first-quarter sales, while operating profit also went up 71% to $1.3 billion.

Many American vendors see Alibaba as a proxy for the health of the Chinese economy and the strength of its consumers. The company has outperformed the broader retail market in China. It also invests in the growth of e-commerce in the country with a focus on logistics and on rural areas where fewer people are online.

This way it can continue to grow even as the country’s economy slows.