What is the biggest company in the world

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A headshot of Patrick Foot, financial writer for FOREX.com and CityIndex
By :  ,  Former Senior Financial Writer


Read our complete guide to the world’s trillion-dollar companies by market cap and revenue. Including the biggest companies in the UK and EU, and how to trade blue-chip stocks.

The top 10 biggest companies in the world by market cap

As of June 2023, the biggest companies in the world by market cap are:




Market cap ($million)

Record high ($million)















Saudi Aramco




Saudi Arabia


Alphabet (Google)






























Berkshire Hathaway











What is the biggest company in the world?

The biggest company in the world is Apple when measured by market cap. The company is worth over $2.9 trillion, a staggering $450 billion more than its closest rival Microsoft.

AAPL’s market cap is even more impressive when you consider that it entered 2023 worth just $2.1 trillion, and close to dipping below the $2 trillion level it first surpassed in 2020. Instead, it has seen a remarkable rally that has taken the company close to its record high of $3 trillion. To date, it remains the only stock to have hit that valuation.

The company first took the top spot in 2011, off the back of the stunning success of the iPhone (launched in 2007) and the iPad (launched in 2010). 2012 saw it consolidate its position with the launch of the iPhone 5, Apple’s most successful launch at the time, and the sale of three million iPads in three days after the launch of the iPad Mini and a new standard model.

Since 2012, Apple has mostly remained at the top of the global stock markets. However, some companies have briefly taken the biggest company in the world title in that time.

  • ExxonMobil briefly took the top spot back in 2013
  • Microsoft – Apple’s long-standing rival – was the world’s biggest company for much of 2019  

The second biggest company in the world: Microsoft

Microsoft is a US multinational that operates across the tech space, but is best known for its software, consumer electronics and cloud businesses. Some of its key products include:

  • In software, the Windows operating system, Microsoft Office suite of productivity applications and the Internet Explorer and Edge web browsers
  • In hardware, the Xbox game console and Surface line-up of touchscreen laptops and tablets
  • In cloud computing, Microsoft Azure

It also owns the social media platform LinkedIn.

Microsoft was the world’s most valuable tech company for much of the 1990s and 2000s, but its failure to capitalise on the rise of smartphones saw its share price struggle – and meant it lost out to Apple.

Since CEO Satya Nadella took over in 2014, though, the company’s fortunes have picked up again. This has been thanks in part to Nadella’s renewed focus on cloud computing, away from the hardware-based strategy of his predecessor Steve Ballmer.

Microsoft joined the $1 trillion club in June 2019. At the time, it was the most valuable company in the world, above Apple. It surpassed $2 trillion in June 2021 and has the achieved second-highest peak valuation of any company, at $2.576 trillion – ahead of Aramco’s $2.45 trillion, but below Apple’s $3 trillion.

Like Apple, MSFT stock has had an impressive 2023 so far, up almost 40%. Whether it can push on to hit a $3 trillion valuation remains to be seen.

3. The trillion-dollar oil company: Saudi Aramco

The third-biggest company in the world is Saudi Aramco. The state-backed Saudi Arabian oil firm joined Riyadh’s stock exchange (the Tadawul) in late 2019, and instantly became the world’s most valuable stock, with a market cap of $1.9 trillion. At the time, Apple was worth $1.18 trillion.

Today, Aramco is worth $2.08 trillion, some distance behind both Apple and Microsoft. However, it did hold the top spot again in May 2022, when it snuck ahead of the tech company.

Some took this as a sign of the traditional economy reasserting itself after years of tech dominance. After all, Saudi Aramco is the world’s top oil company by daily production and the biggest producer of carbon emissions of any company since 1965.

However, the move was short-lived, and the latter half of 2022 saw SA stock tumble down back below $2 trillion – and crucially, back below Apple. Then this year, MSFT’s rally pushed Saudi Aramco fall back into third position.

The biggest tech companies in the world

After Apple and Microsoft, the five biggest tech companies in the world – and the next biggest companies overall – are Alphabet, Amazon, Nvidia, Tesla and Meta.

4. Alphabet (GOOG)

The world’s fourth biggest company – and another member of the FAAMG group of big-cap US tech stocks – is Alphabet, the holding company for Google. It is the third-biggest tech company in the world by revenue, behind Amazon and Apple (Microsoft is fourth).

The present-day Alphabet was formed in 2015 when the original company, Google, was restructured. The change saw the business split into two divisions: Google and ‘Other bets’, which represents the moonshot technologies Alphabet is investing in.

The move has seen Alphabet stock grow, briefly joining the $2 trillion club in 2021 – the fourth and final company on this list to do so. However, the stock was badly affected by the 2022 bear market, falling to almost half its peak value by the beginning of 2023.

A rocky introduction of its AI chatbot Google Bard – plus fears that a ChatGPT-powered Bing search would lead to a loss in market share – saw the stock flounder further at the beginning of the year. But since then, Alphabet has been on the rise once more, climbing back towards its record highs.

5. Amazon (AMZN)

Amazon, the e-commerce giant, had an even worse 2022 than Alphabet. At the beginning of the year, the stock wasn’t far off its record high, with a market cap of $1.735 trillion in January 2022. 12 months later, it had dropped over 50% to $857 billion. Despite this, it remained the fifth-biggest company in the world.

Like other FAAMG stocks, though, it has rallied throughout the year and rejoined the $1 trillion club.

In terms of revenue, Amazon dwarfs every other tech company on this list. Its earnings of $524 billion in 2023 put it third behind Walmart and Saudi Aramco in terms of revenue-generating companies. But like Alphabet, falling profits have seen the company look into cost-cutting measures.

In 2018, Amazon became the second company to reach a value of $1 trillion, doing so just a month after Apple first broke the record. However, it has never reached $2 trillion, instead peaking at $1.9 trillion.

6. Nvidia (NVDA)

At the beginning of the year, Nvidia was worth $364 billion. A solid valuation, but not enough to place it anywhere near the top of the world’s biggest stocks. A little over six months later, it had surpassed the $1 trillion mark and now sits on our list at number six.

What happened? AI. Nvidia’s graphics processing units (GPUs) are crucial in the machine-learning phase of AI development, meaning NVDA has been a significant winner in the rapid proliferation of the tech.

An impressive earnings call earlier this year saw the company eclipse analyst expectations in both revenues and profits, and forecast sales of $11 for the next quarter – 50% higher than expected. If NVDA can continue that level of performance, it will end the year as one of the stock market’s top performers.

7. Tesla (TSLA)

Another classic example of a growth stock, Tesla has seen some significant volatility in recent years. It reached an all-time high of $1.23 trillion in November 2021, but by the beginning of this year had dropped down to just $360 billion – a third of its peak value.

However, the company has been another key component of the tech rally this year, doubling its value and returning to the top-ten biggest companies in the world.

Recent growth has been driven by signs that Tesla may become the default charging network in the US, and a tax break in China.

8. Meta Platforms (META)

Another stock that had endured a torrid time up until this year, Meta was worth just $240 billion in November 2022, less than a quarter of its record high of $1.07 trillion. Investors, it appeared, were unimpressed by its rebrand away from Facebook and into the metaverse.

However, it isn’t the growth of the metaverse that is powering Meta’s growth this year – it is artificial intelligence once again. The company has been championing its use of AI in recent earnings calls, and the tech has helped it beat analyst expectations. The markets, it seems, are also largely in favour of recent restructuring and cost cutting.

The rest of the top 10 biggest companies

9. Berkshire Hathaway (BRK)

Ninth on our list of the biggest companies by market cap is Berkshire Hathaway, the investment powerhouse run by legendary investor Warren Buffett. The business chiefly operates as a holding company, with stakes in several stocks including:

  • American Express
  • Bank of America
  • Apple
  • The Coca-Cola Company

It also owns many businesses outright across several sectors, including insurance, manufacturing and retailing. Of these, insurance generates the most profit.

Buffett has chosen not to split BRK’s class-A shares, which has seen them become the world’s most expensive shares. In June 2023, a single BRK.A share cost over $500,000.

10. TSMC

TSMC, or Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, is a rare non-US company on this list and one of the biggest semiconductor producers in the world.

The company makes semiconductors for other leading tech firms, including Apple, ARM, AMD, Qualcomm and Nvidia – but it’s that final name that has seen the stock surge this year. As the sole manufacturer of Nvidia’s semiconductors, TSMC is set to benefit hugely if the GPU maker hits its sales forecasts.

While TSMC has had an impressive 2023, it remains some way off its record high of $729 billion, set at the beginning of 2022. 

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The biggest companies in the world by revenue

However, market cap isn’t the only method of calculating the biggest company in the world. Here are the biggest publicly traded businesses in 2023 as ranked by revenue instead, according to Fortune:


Company Name



 Revenue ($million)












Saudi Aramco


Saudi Arabia













CVS Health





UnitedHealth Group





Exxon Mobil





Toyota Motor





Berkshire Hathaway




As you can see, there are some notable differences between the two lists. While Amazon, Saudi Aramco, and Apple are on both, some major revenue earners don’t make the cut when it comes to market cap.

Walmart (WMT)

Walmart generates more money than any other company in the world, but its market cap of $417 billion puts it 17th in terms of stocks by market cap. In fact, it is the only company in the world’s top 20 with annual revenues that exceed its capitalisation.

Why does Walmart not have a valuation to match its revenues? Chiefly, because it doesn’t convert much of them into profit. Walmart made $11 billion in profit last year, lower than many stocks in our list above. And as an established blue-chip company, investors may not see a lot of growth potential.

PetroChina (857), Sinopec (386), ExxonMobil (XOM) and Shell (SHEL)

Also on the list of top earners are four global oil companies, including two from China and two supermajors in ExxonMobil and Shell. Oil companies have seen their bottom lines bulge recently, as the fallout from the war in Ukraine sent prices soaring.

This has been enough to push oil stocks higher, but generally not up to the stratospheric levels seen by big tech.

United Health (UNH) and CVS Health (CVS)

US-based healthcare companies United Health and CVS Health are the final companies that rank in the top ten by revenue but not market cap. United Health sits just outside the top ten with a value of $446 billion, while CVS is nowhere near with a value below $100 billion.

CVS is another company that has high revenue but comparatively low profit, earning $4 billion.

The biggest EU companies

In June 2023, the biggest companies in the European Union (EU) by market cap were LVMH, Novo Nordisk and ASML.


LVMH stands for Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy and is a French luxury goods multinational. It owns multiple subsidiaries, including Christian Dior, Sephora, Marc Jacobs, Dom Perignon, Marc Jacobs, Tiffany & Co. and TAG Heuer. LVMH’s CEO, Bernard Arnault, became the world’s richest man in 2023.

The stock has a market cap of €418 billion ($458 billion).

2. Novo Nordisk (NVO)

Novo Nordisk is a Danish pharmaceutical company that specialises in diabetes drugs and devices. It is headquartered in Bagsvaerd, with production facilities in nine countries. The company has several products, including Tresiba, Levemir and NovoSeven. NVO stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

NVO has a market cap of $358 billion.


ASML stands for Advanced Semiconductor Materials Lithography. It is a Dutch tech company that makes photolithography machines, which are used in the production of computer chips. It is the main supplier to the semiconductor industry.

ASML stock has a dual listing on the Euronext Amsterdam and NYSE, with a market cap of €259 billion ($277 billion).

The biggest UK companies

In June 2023, the biggest UK companies by market cap were AstraZeneca, Shell and Unilever.

1. AstraZeneca (AZN)

AstraZeneca is a UK-based pharmaceutical and biotechnology based at the Cambridge Biomedical Campus. It is best known for its role in developing the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine but has numerous drugs across several major diseases.

In January 2023, AZN has a market cap of £174 billion ($228 billion).

2. Shell (SHEL)

Shell is an oil ‘supermajor’, involved in every level of the oil and gas industry: including exploration, production, refinement and transport. It is the UK’s biggest oil company, ahead of BP, and the world’s 8th biggest company by revenue.

SHEL has a market cap of £157 billion ($203 billion).

3. Unilever (ULVR)

Unilever is a British multinational that sells consumer goods. Some of its biggest brands are Dove, Knorr, Lynx, Ben & Jerry’s, Persil, Magnum and Hellman’s. It used to be split across the UK and Netherlands, but in 2020 unified under a single London entity.

ULVR stock has a total value of £121 billion ($154 billion).

Learn more about the UK’s biggest companies.

Biggest company FAQs

What is the biggest car company in the world?

By market cap, the biggest car company in the world is Tesla. Despite trading below its record highs, the EV company is still above Toyota, BYD, Porsche and Volkswagen. In January 2023 the company is worth over $800 billion.

By revenues, the biggest car company in the world is Volkswagen. By profit, it is Toyota.

Learn more about Porsche’s recent IPO.

Is Amazon the biggest company in the world?

No, Amazon isn’t the biggest company in the world. By market cap, it lands at 5th on the list, behind Apple, Microsoft, Saudi Aramco and Alphabet. According to Fortune, however, it is the second biggest company in the world when measured by revenue and employee numbers.

Learn more about what Amazon owns.


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