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Companies from Greater China ranked second on a new Forbes ranking of the world’s top digital companies.
The list comes as rapid digital advances have continued to transform swaths of the global economy, most notably retailing, media, travel and payments. China has the world’s largest number of mobile phone and Internet users, a huge consumer market, thriving entrepreneurism and ample VC spending, all putting it in a good position to benefit as new applications emerge from an era of high-speed 5G communications.
Mobile phone service provider China Mobile was the highest ranked among the 14 companies from the region at No. 8, followed by Internet giants Alibaba at No. 10 and Tencent at No. 14.
To compile the new Digital 100, Forbes first started with technology, media, digital retail and telecommunications companies that made our 2019 edition of Global 2000, a list of the world’s largest publicly traded companies. Global 2000 has been published by Forbes for 17 consecutive years. From there, we looked at the most recent sales, profits and asset figures as well as market capitalizations as of September 27, 2019.
Other Greater China businesses to make the list were Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing, Hon Hai Precision, China Telecom, China Unicom, JD.com, Baidu, Xiaomi, China Tower, Legend Holdings, Lenovo and NetEase.
Underscoring the financial stakes tied to digital success, current or recent leaders of eight of 14 companies to make the Digital 100 list are members of the 2019 Forbes Billionaires List. They include Jack Ma (Alibaba), Pony Ma (Tencent), Morris Chang (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing), Terry Gou (Hon Hai Precision), Richard Liu (JD.com), Robin Li (Baidu), Lei Jun (Xiaomi) and William Ding (NetEase).
The U.S., led by Apple, topped the Digital 100 list with 38 members and held seven of the top 10 spots. Among other Asia countries and regions, Japan, led by Softbank, had 13 spots. South Korea, led by Samsung, had four spots.
The overall results were loosely in line with a recent survey of the world’s most digital countries by IMD World Competitiveness Ranking. It found that the U.S. was number 1. China made a big jump to No. 22 from No. 30 a year earlier.
Like with our Global 2000 list, Digital 100 companies were ranked by all four metrics and received a score for each. The scores were then added to create a composite score. The highest composite sco