The world’s largest companies have the power to shape economies, influence politics, and impact the lives of millions of people. As global markets continue to expand, the competition for the top spot among the world’s biggest companies becomes increasingly fierce. In 2023, Walmart remains the world’s largest company by revenue, according to Fortune Global 500 rankings.
The list of the top 10 biggest companies in the world is constantly changing, as new players emerge and established companies adapt to shifting markets. In addition to Walmart, other companies that consistently rank among the top 10 include Apple, Saudi Aramco, and Microsoft. These companies are leaders in their respective industries, with significant influence over the global economy. checkout: Is Walmart the #1 Retailer in the World? Examining the Facts
As the world becomes more interconnected, the actions of these global giants have far-reaching consequences. From environmental impact to labor practices, the decisions made by the world’s largest companies have the potential to shape the future of our planet. Understanding who these companies are and how they operate is essential for anyone interested in the global economy and its impact on society.
Understanding Company Size | Biggest Companies in the World
When it comes to measuring the size of a company, there are several metrics that can be used. Some of the most common measures of company size include revenue, market capitalization, and number of employees. Each of these metrics can provide a different perspective on a company’s size and influence within its industry.
One of the most straightforward ways to measure the size of a company is by looking at its revenue. Revenue is simply the amount of money a company brings in from its operations over a given period of time, typically a year. Companies that generate more revenue are generally considered to be larger and more influential within their industry.
Market capitalization, or market cap for short, is another common way to measure the size of a company. Market cap is calculated by multiplying the number of outstanding shares of a company’s stock by the current market price per share. This gives an estimate of the total value of the company as perceived by investors. Companies with higher market caps are generally considered to be more valuable and influential within their industry.
Number of Employees
The number of employees a company has can also be a useful measure of its size and influence. Companies with larger workforces are generally considered to be more influential within their industry and have a greater impact on the economy as a whole. However, it’s worth noting that some companies may have a relatively small number of employees but still generate a large amount of revenue or have a high market cap.
Overall, there are many different ways to measure the size of a company, and each metric provides a different perspective on a company’s influence and impact within its industry. When looking at the 10 biggest companies in the world, it’s important to consider all of these metrics in order to get a complete picture of their size and influence.
The 10 Biggest Companies
The largest companies in the world are determined by their market capitalization, which is the total value of their outstanding shares of stock. Here are the ten biggest companies in the world as of August 31, 2023:
|Market Cap (in billions of USD)
Apple is currently the largest company in the world, with a market capitalization of over 3 trillion USD. Microsoft and Alphabet (Google) follow closely behind, with market caps of over 2.5 trillion USD each. Amazon and Saudi Aramco round out the top five, with market caps of over 2 trillion USD.
Tencent, a Chinese multinational conglomerate, is the sixth largest company in the world with a market cap of over 1.2 trillion USD. Facebook and Alibaba follow closely behind, with market caps of over 1 trillion USD each. Berkshire Hathaway, the conglomerate led by Warren Buffet, is the ninth largest company in the world with a market cap of over 1 trillion USD.
Visa is the tenth largest company in the world with a market cap of over 500 billion USD. Visa is a financial services company that operates the world’s largest retail electronic payments network. It enables global commerce through the transfer of value and information among financial institutions, merchants, consumers, businesses, and government entities.
These ten companies are leaders in their respective industries, ranging from technology to finance to energy. Their market capitalizations are a testament to their success and influence in the global economy.
Apple Inc. is a multinational technology company headquartered in Cupertino, California. The company is primarily known for designing, developing, and selling consumer electronics, computer software, and online services. Apple is one of the largest companies in the world, with a market capitalization of over $2 trillion as of August 2023.
Apple’s product portfolio includes the iPhone, iPad, Mac, iPod, Apple Watch, Apple TV, and HomePod. The company is also known for its software products, including the macOS and iOS operating systems, the iTunes media player, the Safari web browser, and the iWork and iLife creativity and productivity suites.
In 2021, Apple was ranked as the world’s most profitable company by Fortune Global 500, with a net income of $57.4 billion. The company was also ranked as the eighth largest company in the world by revenue, with a revenue of $274.5 billion. In 2022, Apple retained its dominance as the world’s largest technology company, with a market capitalization of $2.4 trillion.
Apple’s success can be attributed to its innovative products, strong brand recognition, and loyal customer base. The company’s focus on design and user experience has set it apart from its competitors, and its ecosystem of hardware, software, and services has created a seamless user experience for its customers.
Despite its success, Apple has faced criticism for its closed ecosystem and high prices. However, the company has continued to innovate and expand its product portfolio, with the recent launch of the Apple Card and the Apple One subscription bundle.
Overall, Apple’s position as one of the largest companies in the world is a testament to its continued success and innovation in the technology industry.
Saudi Aramco is the world’s largest oil company and also the most valuable company in the Middle East. It engages in the exploration, production, transportation, and sale of crude oil, natural gas, and chemicals. The company is over 98% owned by the Saudi government and is the country’s main source of revenue.
As of May 11, 2022, Forbes listed Saudi Aramco as the world’s most valuable company with a market value of $2.3 trillion, sales of $400.5 billion, profits of $110 billion, and assets of $576.7 billion. The company’s shares commenced trading on the Tadawul stock exchange on December 11, 2019.
Saudi Aramco operates the Ghawar Field, the world’s largest onshore oil field, and the Safaniya Field, the world’s largest offshore oil field. The company is also involved in joint ventures with other international oil companies, such as Royal Dutch Shell and Total.
In 2023, Fortune reported that Saudi Aramco is the most profitable company in the history of the world, with $3.2 trillion to invest by 2030. The Kingdom’s partially privatized oil company has been expanding its operations globally, with investments in India, China, and the United States.
Microsoft Corporation is a multinational technology company that was founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen in 1975. It is headquartered in Redmond, Washington. Microsoft is the world’s largest software maker and is considered one of the Big Five American information technology companies, alongside Alphabet (parent company of Google), Amazon, Apple, and Meta Platforms.
As of 2023, Microsoft is one of the biggest companies in the world by revenue. According to Yahoo Finance, Microsoft is ranked as the 7th biggest company in the world by revenue, with an estimated revenue of $700 billion.
Microsoft is best known for its software products, including Microsoft Windows operating system, Microsoft Office Suite, and Microsoft Edge web browser. The company also offers cloud computing services through its Microsoft Azure platform, which competes with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Cloud Platform (GCP).
In addition to its software and cloud services, Microsoft also produces its own line of hybrid tablet computers, offers e-mail services, and sells electronic game systems and computer peripherals. Microsoft’s Xbox gaming console is one of the most popular gaming systems in the world.
Overall, Microsoft’s success can be attributed to its ability to adapt to changing technology trends and its focus on innovation. The company has continued to invest heavily in research and development, and has made several strategic acquisitions to expand its product offerings.
Amazon Inc. is one of the largest multinational technology companies in the world, founded by Jeff Bezos in 1994. It is headquartered in Seattle, Washington, and is primarily known for its e-commerce platform, which allows customers to purchase a vast array of products online. Amazon has grown rapidly and has expanded into various other industries, including cloud computing, digital streaming, and artificial intelligence.
As of August 31, 2023, Amazon is the second-largest private employer in the United States, with over 1.3 million employees worldwide. In 2021, Amazon surpassed Walmart as the world’s largest retailer outside of China, driven in large part by its paid subscription plan, Amazon Prime, which has over 200 million subscribers worldwide.
Amazon’s revenue has been consistently increasing over the years, with a revenue of $386 billion in 2021. It is also one of the top-performing companies in terms of market capitalization, with a market cap of over $1.8 trillion as of August 2023.
Amazon has also made significant investments in various technology sectors, including cloud computing through Amazon Web Services (AWS). AWS is one of the leading cloud computing platforms, with a 32% share in the global cloud infrastructure market as of 2021. Additionally, Amazon has invested in artificial intelligence and machine learning through its Amazon Alexa and Amazon Rekognition services.
Overall, Amazon’s success can be attributed to its customer-centric approach, innovative technology, and strategic investments in various industries.
Alphabet Inc. is a multinational conglomerate that was founded on October 2, 2015, as the parent company of Google and several other companies that were previously owned by Google. It was created to restructure Google by moving subsidiaries from Google to Alphabet, thus narrowing Google’s scope. Alphabet is currently the fourth largest technology company by revenue and one of the ten largest companies in the world by market capitalization.
Alphabet Inc. owns several subsidiaries, including:
- Google LLC: A search engine and advertising company that is the flagship subsidiary of Alphabet.
- YouTube LLC: A video-sharing platform that is one of the most popular websites in the world.
- Waymo LLC: A self-driving technology company that is a leader in autonomous vehicle development.
- Verily Life Sciences LLC: A life sciences research organization that is focused on using technology to improve healthcare.
- Calico LLC: A biotechnology company that is focused on extending the human lifespan.
- Sidewalk Labs LLC: A company that is focused on developing technology to improve urban infrastructure.
As of 2021, Alphabet Inc. had a market capitalization of over $1.5 trillion and was one of the ten largest companies in the world by market capitalization. In 2020, Alphabet reported revenue of $182.5 billion and net income of $40.3 billion. The majority of Alphabet’s revenue comes from Google’s advertising business.
As of 2021, Alphabet Inc. had over 139,000 employees worldwide. Google is the largest subsidiary of Alphabet and has over 135,000 employees. Alphabet has been recognized as one of the best places to work in several countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom.
Overall, Alphabet Inc. is a major player in the technology industry and has a significant impact on the global economy. Its subsidiaries are leaders in several areas of technology and its financials and workforce make it one of the largest and most influential companies in the world.
Berkshire Hathaway is a multinational conglomerate holding company headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska. It is one of the largest companies in the world and is known for its investments in various industries, including insurance, railroads, utilities, and consumer goods.
As of August 2023, Berkshire Hathaway’s market value is $752.8 billion, making it one of the most valuable companies in the world. The company is led by Warren Buffett, one of the most successful investors in history, and his partner Charlie Munger.
Berkshire Hathaway’s portfolio includes various companies across different sectors. Some of the company’s top holdings as of the first quarter of 2023, according to Yahoo Finance, include:
- Apple Inc.
- Bank of America Corp.
- Coca-Cola Co.
- American Express Co.
- Visa Inc.
- Mastercard Inc.
- JPMorgan Chase & Co.
- Verizon Communications Inc.
- Moody’s Corporation
- The Kraft Heinz Company
Berkshire Hathaway also owns several subsidiaries, including GEICO, Duracell, and BNSF Railway, among others. According to Investopedia, some of the company’s other major brands include:
- Berkshire Hathaway Energy
- Dairy Queen
- See’s Candies
- Fruit of the Loom
In conclusion, Berkshire Hathaway is a massive conglomerate holding company with a diverse portfolio of investments and subsidiaries. Led by Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger, the company has a strong reputation for successful investments and is one of the largest companies in the world.
Facebook, now known as Meta Platforms, is a social media giant founded in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg, Dustin Moskovitz, and Eduardo Saverin. It is headquartered in Menlo Park, California, and has over 60,000 employees worldwide.
As of 2023, Facebook is ranked 31st on the Fortune 500 list of largest companies by revenue, with a revenue of over $102 billion. It is also ranked 5th on the Forbes Global 2000 list of largest public companies in the world.
Meta Platforms, the parent company of Facebook, is involved in various other ventures, including virtual reality, augmented reality, and artificial intelligence. It also owns other popular social media platforms such as Instagram and WhatsApp.
Despite its immense popularity and success, Facebook has faced numerous controversies over the years, including privacy concerns and accusations of allowing the spread of misinformation on its platform.
Overall, Facebook’s impact on the world of social media and technology cannot be denied, and it remains one of the largest and most influential companies in the world.
Tencent, headquartered in Shenzhen, China, is a multinational technology and entertainment conglomerate. As of August 2023, Tencent is the tenth largest company in the world by market value, with a valuation of $589.8 billion Business Insider.
Founded in 1998, Tencent has grown to become one of the highest grossing multimedia companies in the world based on revenue Wikipedia. Its services include social networking, instant messaging, online gaming, and digital payments.
Tencent’s messaging platform, QQ, launched in 1999, five years before Facebook. The platform’s penguin mascots are iconic symbols of the company BBC News.
Tencent’s revenue is largely driven by its gaming division, which includes popular games such as Honor of Kings and PUBG Mobile. In 2022, Tencent’s gaming revenue was $22.2 billion, with the majority of revenue coming from China Statista.
In addition to gaming, Tencent has investments in a wide range of companies, including Tesla, Spotify, and Snapchat. Tencent’s investment portfolio spans across various industries, including entertainment, e-commerce, and fintech.
Tesla is one of the most valuable companies in the world and as of 2023, is the world’s most valuable automaker, according to Wikipedia. The company is headquartered in California and was founded in 2003 by Elon Musk, JB Straubel, Martin Eberhard, Marc Tarpenning, and Ian Wright. Tesla designs and manufactures electric vehicles, energy storage systems, and solar products.
In 2022, Tesla led the battery electric vehicle market with an 18% share, according to Wikipedia. Its subsidiary, Tesla Energy, is a major installer of photovoltaic systems in the United States and one of the largest global suppliers of energy storage systems.
As of July 17, 2023, Tesla had a market value of $920,361 million and employed 127,855 people, according to Fortune. In the same year, Tesla was ranked as the most valuable automotive brand worldwide and within the fourteenth most valuable brands across all industries, according to Statista.
Despite its success, Tesla has faced some safety concerns with probes into its Autopilot driver-assist software. In April 2023, Tesla won a lawsuit that had aimed to hold the company’s Autopilot driver-assist software responsible for a crash years prior, according to Fortune.
#10.Criteria for Ranking
The ranking of the world’s biggest companies is based on various factors, including their revenue, profits, assets, market value, and number of employees. The most common way to rank companies is by their revenue, which is the total amount of money a company earns from its operations and sales.
Another criterion for ranking is market capitalization, which is the total value of a company’s outstanding shares of stock. This criterion is often used for technology companies, which have a high market value due to their potential for growth and innovation.
In addition to revenue and market capitalization, other factors that may be considered when ranking companies include their brand value, customer satisfaction, and social and environmental impact.
The ranking of the world’s biggest companies is often compiled by reputable organizations such as Forbes, Fortune, and Global Finance. These organizations use a combination of quantitative and qualitative measures to determine the ranking of companies.
It is important to note that the ranking of companies can vary depending on the criteria used and the methodology employed. Therefore, it is essential to consider the specific criteria used when interpreting the ranking of the world’s biggest companies.
Impact on Global Economy
The top 10 biggest companies in the world have a significant impact on the global economy. These companies are responsible for generating large amounts of revenue and providing employment opportunities for millions of people.
In terms of market capitalization, the top 10 companies account for more than $10 trillion. This represents a substantial portion of the world’s economy. These companies are leaders in their respective industries, and their success has a ripple effect on other businesses and industries around the world.
The impact of these companies is not limited to their financial performance. They also play a critical role in driving innovation and technological advancements. Many of these companies invest heavily in research and development, which leads to the creation of new products and services that benefit consumers and businesses alike.
Moreover, these companies are often involved in philanthropic activities and social responsibility initiatives. They use their vast resources to support various causes and make a positive impact on society.
Overall, the top 10 biggest companies in the world have a significant impact on the global economy. Their success and influence extend beyond their respective industries, and they play a critical role in shaping the future of the world’s economy and society.
In conclusion, the world’s biggest companies by revenue are predominantly located in the United States. Six of the top ten companies by revenue are based in the US, while two are Chinese companies, one is a German company, and another is based in The Netherlands. Companies like Walmart, Amazon, and Apple are among the top ten companies in the world by revenue, with Walmart being the largest company by revenue since 2014.
The list of the world’s largest companies is constantly changing, with new companies entering the list and others dropping out. For example, Apple became the first company ever to surpass $3 trillion in market value on January 3, 2022, and it remains the world’s largest company today. However, market cap leaders change with the times, and it is possible that Apple may not remain the largest company by revenue forever.
It is interesting to note that tech companies like TSMC and ASML Holdings were also among the top 10 risers in 2021, thanks to a shortage of semiconductor chips and growing demand. On the other end of the scale, Swiss companies Nestlé, Novartis, and Roche Holding were all among the bottom 10 companies by market capitalization growth.
Overall, the world’s largest companies play a significant role in the global economy, employing thousands of people and generating billions of dollars in revenue. As technology continues to evolve and the world becomes increasingly interconnected, it will be interesting to see how the list of the world’s largest companies changes and adapts to new challenges and opportunities.