Apple to Amazon, Alibaba to Ant … American and Chinese companies dominate the technology market

May 20, 2018

We are familiar with the world’s largest companies, on our streets and in our homes … And whilst most industries are spread across the world, technology is still polarised between USA and China.

Look at car production, for example. Ford (USA), Toyota (Japan), Volkswagen (Germany), Hyundai (South Korea), Volvo (Sweden), and Tata (India) are just some of the biggest companies involved in the production of vehicles or parts. Banking, pharma, energy, and retail industries have similar geographic spread, but the same cannot be said for the rapidly-growing tech industry.

American v Chinese tech giants

The most recent edition of Mary Meeker’s famous Internet Trends 2018 report highlighted the top internet companies in the world by valuation, with an interesting and perhaps unintended outcome.

Of the 20 largest tech giants globally, none are located outside of the United States and China.

Here are the latest rankings of internet companies, using updated market caps for all public companies:

Company Valuation ($b) Type Country
#1 Apple $915 Public USA
#2 Amazon $828 Public USA
#3 Alphabet $781 Public USA
#4 Microsoft $771 Public USA
#5 Facebook $556 Public USA
#6 Alibaba $484 Public China
#7 Tencent $477 Public China
#8 Netflix $173 Public USA
#9 Ant Financial $150 Private China
#10 Salesforce $102 Public USA
#11 Booking Holdings $100 Public USA
#12 Paypal* $100 Public USA
#13 Baidu $89 Public China
#14 Uber $72 Private USA
#15 $56 Public China
#16 Didi Chuxing $56 Private China
#17 Xiaomi $54 Private** China
#18 eBay* $37 Public USA
#19 Airbnb $31 Private USA
#20 Meituan-Dianping $30 Private China
#21 Toutiao $30 Private China

*In Meeker’s chart, she kept eBay-Paypal together as one entity. We’ve separated them based on the 2015 spinoff.
**Xiaomi’s valuation has been in question ahead of its July 9 IPO in Hong Kong, and we’ve used the most recent valuation estimate of $54 billion here.

In total, the above list of companies is worth $5.9 trillion, with a 75%-25% split in terms of USA/China.

It’s also worth noting that the list excludes Samsung, likely because the South Korean company is quite diversified in its manufacturing activities (TVs, refrigerators, air conditioners, batteries, microwave ovens, etc.).

Aside from the USA-China duality, the other major noticeable aspect of the list of the world’s largest tech giants is that it clearly shows a divide between top-tier companies and those further down the ladder. In fact, there is not a single company with a valuation between $200 billion and $450 billion.

The top seven companies on the list account for 81% of the total value of the list, and they are all above the $450B mark. These include behemoths like Apple, Alphabet, Amazon and Microsoft, but also two big Chinese companies as well (Tencent, Alibaba).

Meanwhile, the bottom 14 companies muster up just 19% of the value – a fact that underlines how hard it is to vault a tech company into the upper echelon of the market.

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