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China edges into the company big league

China’s internet giants, Tencent and Alibaba, have jumped into the top ten of the world's biggest companies my market cap.

Ranking the world's 100 biggest companies of 2017 by market capitalisation provides an interesting snapshot of China's ascendancy, says Handelsblatt. The German business newspaper points out that 51 of them are from the US, down from 58 in 2016. These include the top five: Apple, Alphabet (Google's parent company), Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook. The tech giants are collectively worth almost $3.6trn, around double the value of the entire German blue-chip index, the DAX-30.

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But China's internet giants Tencent and Alibaba, worth a joint $850bn, have jumped into the top ten. The latter is China's Amazon-equivalent, while Tencent resembles Facebook, producing the WeChat messaging service in a country where Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and Snapchat are banned. Alibaba has hitherto defied US protectionist rhetoric and is expanding abroad, says Handelsblatt. Meanwhile, China's ICBC bank has become number 12.

European firms also did well, reflecting the improved economic picture. Europe has 24 companies in the top 100, three more than last year. Royal Dutch Shell is the biggest firm, at number 17.

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