FOR proof not all business suffered in the pandemic, tech a look at this.
Our graphic reveals how the world’s five biggest tech giants are now richer than most of the countries on Earth.
This week the biggest names in information technology — Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft and Facebook — announced their latest financial results.
They now earn so much that together the big five generate almost the same revenue as Spain — the world’s 14th richest economy.
Even on their own, each of these firms that dominate our lives generates more money than 134 countries around the globe.
Amazon has just announced that its revenue for just three months hit a record $113.1billion (£81.39bn) — up 27 per cent.
Which means that in the whole of 2021 the company that Jeff Bezos founded 27 years ago is expected to earn a mind-blowing £286billion.
Incredibly, that is more than the world’s 33rd richest country, the Philippines, will generate this year.
Apple is as rich as the economy of Hong Kong — the financial powerhouse of the Far East. Google earned £44.4billion in three months — that’s £3.4billion a week — putting the search engine and YouTube owner on target for £177billion for the year.
That’s more than the ten million people of Portugal will create in a country that is ranked the 49th biggest economy on earth.
Microsoft’s revenue for 2021 is expected to be £125billion — bigger than Hungary’s economy.
Robert Watts, compiler of The Sunday Times Rich List, calculates that Microsoft founder Bill Gates has personal wealth of £93billion — making him richer than Morocco.
Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg is worth the same, and this week his company announced profits of £3.3million an hour, making £21billion in just three months — up 56 per cent on this time last year and putting it on track to earn £79billion in 2021.
That means Facebook is richer than Slovakia — 61st in the world — and almost earns as much as oil giant Kuwait, the 60th richest economy.
Revenues and profits for the big five tech companies are now so huge that they dwarf traditional big earners such as banking, entertainment and even healthcare.
Robert Watts says: “There are growing fears about the creeping power of these silicon giants, and it’s not just long-held concerns about their handling of our personal data and whether they pay enough tax.
“Capitalism relies on competition, and some politicians believe these mammoth corporations are squashing small businesses. Last year a committee in Washington DC said tech giants have become the kind of monopolies we last saw in the era of US oil barons and railroad tycoons.
‘JUST TOO POWERFUL’
“Huge revenues like these will only add firepower to those calling for big tech to be broken up.”
British economist Douglas McWilliams, whose company ranks the world’s richest countries, says: “We are taking a risk by allowing companies to be that big — both for political and economic reasons.
“Some of these companies are just too powerful. If it carries on, they will have incomes on the scale of France and Italy. It won’t be very long before that happens.
“There’s nothing the UK Government can do to cut them down to size. The people with the power to do this are the US — it’s a matter of persuading the Americans to cut them down to size.
“There’s not much we can do because we’re too small and insignificant to have much influence on this.
“If the Americans are serious, they have to do two things — take away some of their power over personal data, and break them up.
“If no action is taken, the tech giants’ share of the world economy will probably increase because the more power they have, the more they accumulate.”
McWilliams, whose book The Inequality Paradox is about the consequences of big tech getting just too big, continues: “However, I did used to work for IBM, which for quite a long time was one of the most profitable companies the world has ever seen.
“People complained about IBM but we ran out of steam. Eventually companies do run out of steam because they get too fat, too rich and too comfortable and they lose their power to innovate.
“In the tech world there is always someone coming up, snapping at your heels. But I think a lot of tech giants will hold their power for much longer than IBM ever did.”