Tech is now the world’s biggest industry, according to PwC Global Top 100

5 Jul 2016

The Apple Store on Fifth Avenue in New York. Apple is the most valuable company in the world, followed by Alphabet and Google with Facebook in sixth place

Technology has overtaken finance as the world’s biggest industry, and the three most valuable companies on the planet are technology companies – Apple, Alphabet and Microsoft, according to PwC’s Global Top 100 ranking.

According to PwC’s Global Top 100 ranking, the market capitalisation of the 100 largest companies globally decreased for the first time since post-crisis levels, down 4pc.

The main drivers for the decrease were Chinese companies, which were affected by market conditions in China over the year, and Europe, which struggled with economic growth.

Despite Brexit, the UK has regained the third position in the world, with seven UK companies in the top 100, despite a small decrease in some valuations.

The US accounts for more than half of the top 100 and 62pc of the overall market capitalisation.

Europe now accounts for just 24 companies (down seven compared to 2009 and down 17 compared to 2008), and only 19pc of the overall market capitalisation.

Tech takes the crown as world’s most valuable industry

Apple retains pole position for the fifth year in a row, but a $121bn (17pc) decrease in market cap sees the gap with second-ranked Alphabet narrow from $350bn last year to just $86bn.

Alphabet briefly dethroned Apple in February 2016.

Technology has overtaken the financial sector this year, underlining the resilience and innovative features of tech companies. The global top three are now technology companies: Apple, Alphabet and Microsoft, closely followed by Facebook in sixth position.

According to PwC, these giants have an unequalled global reach and footprint and have contributed to reshaping a digital way of life on a global scale.


Apple Store in New York image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years