Eight of the world’s most highly valued companies are technology businesses. The combined market capitalisation of these companies is $4.7-trillion. That is 30% of the combined market capitalisation of the other 92 companies in the world’s 100 most valuable firms. Of these eight companies, five (Apple, Alphabet, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook) are from the US, two are Chinese (Alibaba and Tencent) and one is South Korean (Samsung). The most highly valued European tech company, SAP, is the world’s 60th most valued company.First, what are the implications of the remarkable US dominance? While five of the 10 most valuable US companies are technology companies, not one of the most valuable European companies is. Indeed, the most valuable European company is Royal Dutch Shell. Yet ExxonMobil, its more highly valued US counterpart, is only the eighth most valuable US company. The optimistic view might be that what matters is the ability to take advantage of what US or Chinese technology g...

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