Software

The world’s largest technology companies in 2023: A new leader emerges

Although overall profits are starting to decline, revenue growth and the promise of artificial intelligence are boosting the market value of tech companies.


DDespite lingering economic headwinds, rising interest rates that threaten profits and widespread layoffs across the industry, technology companies have largely rebounded over the past year, as artificial intelligence promises to revitalize a battered industry. The company continues to record record sales and recover from huge inventory losses.

Number of technology companies in the Global 2000 forbes magazine The annual ranking of the world’s largest companies (based on revenue, profits, assets and stock market value) rose from 164th in 2022 to 169th this year. This is still less than the record 177th place it achieved in 2021 due to its relative performance. In the middle of a pandemic. But despite this, the tech companies on our list have posted record total annual sales of $4.2 trillion over the past 12 months, up from about $4 trillion a year ago and two years ago. That’s up from about $3.3 trillion.

But amid economic uncertainty, new leaders have emerged. Breaking Apple’s seven-year reign at the top of the technology rankings, Alphabet rose four spots to seventh place in the global rankings, emerging as the world’s largest technology company. Google’s parent company’s stock is still about 15% below its 2021 peak level, but momentum in its robust search division (still the company’s biggest revenue driver) and cloud services is driving it to record sales after last year’s technology runner-up. 282.8 billion.

Microsoft then moved up three places in the global rankings to ninth overall and second in the technology category. The storied tech giant’s stock has soared 40% this year and is just 2% away from a record level, due in no small part to buzz around AI. Analysts have hailed the company’s $13 billion investment this year in chatbot developer OpenAI as a watershed in the global AI arms race, with CEO Satya Nadella saying the technology is “starting with the biggest search… “It will transform every software category.”

Last year’s leader was Apple, which became the world’s third-largest technology company. Although it remained the world’s most valuable company with a market capitalization of more than $2.6 trillion, the iPhone maker fell three places to 10 in the overall rankings while its competitors held an advantage in sales and assets. It became the rank. The company posted its second straight quarter of revenue decline last month as more consumers refrained from spending big. This caused the overall sales ranking to drop one notch, but it doesn’t explain much of Apple’s drop in the rankings. Instead, assets fell by about 13% to $332 billion (down from 107th to 127th in asset ranking) as the company sold some of its debt. It’s a common move for companies to reduce risky balance sheet items and prepare for a potential economic downturn.



Rounding out the top five, Samsung Electronics remains stable at No. 14 globally, while Meta Platforms moves up one spot after its stock price has increased by 20% over the past year. The stock is still down 27% from its 2021 highs, but has more than doubled this year after the company broke three consecutive quarters of declining sales with its April earnings report. Tencent, which has fallen to No. 6 tech company after a year of coronavirus lockdowns that devastated China’s technology industry, replaced Facebook’s parent company. The conglomerate’s stock price has been roughly flat over the past year as sales fell about 5% to $82.4 billion.

Elsewhere on the list, the weaknesses in the ongoing technology are much more evident. Overall profits rose 16% to $553.9 billion, with no high-profile initial public offering to generate a buzzy debut. Long-time stalwarts IBM and Intel have dropped 77 and 371 places, respectively, in the overall world rankings, leaving them outside the top 10. Intel posted its worst quarterly loss in history this year as PC sales soared, while IBM narrowly avoided its first revenue decline in two years. It replaced Sony and Cisco in a similar struggle before entering the list last year, but has since rebounded.

In total, 72 of the world’s largest technology companies are based in the U.S., flat from last year after dropping from 81 in 2021, but still far more than any other country. China, Taiwan, and Japan also continue to be high-tech hotspots, with 25, 15, and 12 companies on the list, respectively. China was the only country to add more spots to its list compared to 21 countries last year.

In summary, technology companies forbes magazine Global 2000 comes from 25 countries and employs more than 8.2 million people. Their market value equates to a staggering $15.8 trillion, up from $15.6 trillion last year and about 15% of the global stock market. Assets also swelled, increasing nearly 10% to $6.4 trillion from $5.9 trillion last year.

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