The World’s Largest Tech Companies In 2022: Apple Still Dominates As Brutal Market Selloff Wipes Trillions In Market Value
Despite a steep sell-off erasing trillions of dollars in market value, the world’s largest technology companies have remained resilient in the face of Wall Street bearishness—with many collecting record revenues and profits even as their dominance starts to slip.
After claiming a record 177 spots on the list in 2021, the number of technology companies landing on the Global 2000, Forbes‘ annual ranking of the world’s largest companies, slipped to 164 this year, but the overall decline didn’t prevent total sales from skyrocketing. The firms posted a record $4 trillion in combined annual revenue over the last 12 months, up from about $3.3 trillion last year—even with fewer firms.
Apple heads up the technology ranks for the seventh-straight year thanks in part to record sales of $378.7 billion, up nearly 29% from one year earlier. In January, CEO Tim Cook chalked up the record-breaking year to pent-up demand for devices boosting sales despite lingering chip shortages and other supply chain constraints.
The storied iPhone-maker remains the most valuable company in the world, with a market capitalization of $2.6 trillion (up 13%) when the Global 2000 was tallied on April 22—but it’s no longer the most profitable. Despite record profits of $100.6 billion, the Silicon Valley firm was out-earned by Saudi Aramco, whose profits more than doubled thanks to soaring oil prices. Apple dropped one spot to No. 6 on the overall list.
Supply-chain woes have been particularly bad for Samsung Electronics, which slipped 3 spots in the global rankings to become the world’s fourth-largest tech company, down from second last year—and Covid lockdowns in China (where the firm operates a semiconductor factory) have only added to the pain. Amid the turmoil, Samsung lost its spot as the world’s top smartphone-seller for the first time ever last year, ceding the throne to Apple. Though it posted record sales of $244 billion, the South Korea-based firm has endured a steady stock plunge over the past year, pushing its market value down nearly 30% to $367.3 billion.
Elsewhere in the top ranks, it’s been more bullish for tech. Up two spots to No. 13 in the overall list, Alphabet claims the No. 2 spot with record sales of $257.5 billion propelled by surging demand for Google’s digital ads. Meanwhile, Microsoft climbs 3 spots to No. 12 overall and No. 3 for tech as its cloud software continues to drive revenue growth.
Internet giant Tencent rounds out the top five with its highest placing yet, rising one spot to land at No. 28 overall despite a brutal sell-off in the Chinese tech sector. The gaming monolith has lost more than $350 billion in market value as Beijing officials unleashed a wave of regulation aiming to clamp down on tech firms, including rules restricting children to about three hours of gaming per week. The only Chinese company among the world’s 20 largest tech firms, Tencent’s sales have jumped 24% to $86.9 billion, but the firm is now worth about $414.3 billion—down from $773.8 billion last year.
Though it remains the world’s sixth-largest tech company, Meta Platforms, in its first year after rebranding from Facebook, also fell in the global rankings, slipping one spot to No. 34, while chipmaker Intel (still No. 7 for tech) plummeted 15 spots to No. 51 overall.
In total, about 72 of the world’s largest tech companies are based in the United States, down from 81 last year but still far more than any other country. China, Taiwan and Japan also remained tech hotspots, claiming stake to 21, 15 and 12 companies on the list, respectively, with only Taiwan adding spots on the list compared to last year.
Altogether, the technology companies on Forbes’ Global 2000 come from 24 different nations and represent a staggering $15.6 trillion in market value—falling 13% year over year but still equal to roughly 15% of the global stock market. Assets and profits, however, swelled, climbing 14% and 52%, respectively, to $5.9 trillion and $660.8 billion.