The Internet has become an integral part of our lives. Whether we’re communicating with friends on Facebook or banking online with Chase, there’s almost no way to function without using the Internet in some way. It’s almost impossible to imagine how much faster and better our lives are now that we can access information and resources across the globe in a matter of seconds through a simple mouse click.

The world’s most valuable tech companies are often those with the widest reach and the broadest services. So it’s no surprise that some of the biggest names in business today are also some of the biggest players in the Internet industry. In this article, you will find everything you need to know about the 10 largest Internet companies in the world and what they do to stay at the top of their game, ranked by their 2021 revenue.

#10. PayPal Holdings, Inc. – USD 25.37 billion

largest Internet companies
PayPal is one of the most popular ways of making payments on the Internet.

This company is a global e-commerce business allowing payments and money transfers to be made through the Internet. Peter Thiel, Luke Nosek, Max Levchin, Ken Howery, and Yu Pan founded it in 1998, and it has its headquarters in San Jose, California. PayPal lets people send and receive money online. People can use the service to send payments for digital goods, like mobile apps or music files, as well as physical goods. PayPal is also available on mobile phones, and people can transfer money to friends or family members with a PayPal account using just an email address.

One of the features of PayPal that makes it convenient is that users do not need to enter their credit card information each time they make a purchase. Instead, they enter their user name and password when prompted at checkout. If the customer’s computer crashes, they can log into their PayPal account from another computer and avoid any problems.

Drawbacks

However, this system has some drawbacks because there are always risks involved with storing sensitive data on other computers. For example, if someone hacks into the seller’s computer, he may access all his private information, including bank statements and passwords.

If someone wants to send money to you but doesn’t have access to your bank account details, they can still do so using PayPal. Businesses around the world widely use the service because it provides an easy way for people to send and receive payments online. In addition, it has over 400 million active users in 192 countries around the world. And it is available in over 25 currencies across its global network of financial institutions, including banks, credit unions, and other financial services organizations (FSOs).

#9. Meituan – USD 27.77 billion

largest Internet companies
Meituan is a Chinese shopping platform for locally found consumer products and retail services.

This Chinese technology company is one of the largest Internet companies in the world. It was founded in 2010 by Wang Xing and has since expanded to more than 1000 locations. Meituan merged with Dazhong Dianping in 2015, changing its name to “Meituan-Dianping.” Dàzhng dinpng wng, meaning “public reviews net,” hosts restaurant consumer reviews – similar to Yelp and TripAdvisor – and also allows coupon-buying, just like Groupon.

Meituan-Dianping is one of the world’s largest online and on-demand delivery platforms. As of April 2018, it has over 290 million monthly active users and 600 million registered ones. GTV of Meituan food delivery company surged by 59.5% year on year in Q2 2021. Year over year, the daily average number of food delivery transactions climbed by 58.9% to 38.9 million.

Expansion

Meituan’s main business is online food delivery, but that’s not all it does! In fact, Meituan has become one of China’s leading e-commerce companies and has expanded into other fields, including entertainment and travel. Meituan’s revenue is estimated at $27.77 billion, making it one of the most valuable companies in Asia. It uses machine learning technology to help users find what they need on the platform—like food delivery or movie tickets—and then allows merchants to offer those products at discounted rates once they’ve been reserved.

Meituan’s core business is online shopping, but it also offers services like booking hotel rooms and reserving taxis. The company makes money from commissions on each transaction completed through the site’s platform, as well as from advertising revenue generated by users who want to use sponsored posts while browsing.

#8. Netflix – USD 29.7 billion

largest Internet companies
Netflix is a global provider of streaming movies and TV series.

Reed Hastings founded this American entertainment company in 1997 with Marc Randolph, and together they pioneered the subscription-based video streaming industry. Since then, it has been expanding around the world, including India, Brazil, Japan, and Canada. Initially, it was just another video rental store, but now it’s grown into much more. The company provides streaming media, including films, television shows, and DVD-by-mail rentals. Netflix offers video streaming of TV shows and movies, and produces its own content.

Netflix’s Reach

It also offers online video on demand (or OVD) through its website and mobile app. Netflix had 222 million subscribers globally as of September 16, 2022, including 73.3 million in the United States and Canada, 73.0 million in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, 39.6 million in Latin America, and 34.8 million in the Asia-Pacific region. The company has created a plethora of award-winning original programs, including House of Cards, Orange Is the New Black, Narcos, Stranger Things, and more.

Netflix is available on PCs via an Internet browser, and Netflix apps are available on a variety of platforms, including Blu-ray Disc players, tablet computers, mobile phones, smart TVs, digital media players, and video game consoles (including Xbox and PlayStation).

Growth

Furthermore, a growing number of multichannel television providers, including cable television and IPTV services, have added Netflix apps to their own set-top boxes. This means that, they present Netflix’s content (along with that of other online video services) within a unified search interface alongside linear television programming as an “all-in-one” solution.

When Netflix signs a project, they fund it differently than other TV networks, offering the money upfront and instantly ordering two seasons of most series. Their revenue comes from monthly subscriptions.

#7. ByteDance – USD 58 billion

largest Internet companies
ByteDance developed TikTok and its Chinese-specific counterpart Douyin.

It’s one of the largest Internet companies in the world and has been for years. Liang Rubo and Zhang Yiming founded the company in 2012, and its main business is to help companies develop their brand through social media marketing. ByteDance has created applications such as TikTok, a short video app that lets users create and share short videos with others, Douyin, the localized version of TikTok, as well as Xigua Video, an online video-sharing platform.

Growth

ByteDance’s revenue has grown exponentially over the past few years. In 2021, the company reported approximately 58 billion U.S. dollars in revenue, up by almost 69 percent compared to the previous year. This growth is primarily due to its ability to offer a comprehensive suite of services that provides brands with a wide range of tools for social media marketing.

ByteDance has 1.9 billion monthly active users across all its multimedia platforms as of June 2021. However, the company has come under fire for allegedly collaborating with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to censor and monitor information related to Xinjiang internment camps and other issues deemed problematic by the CCP. Despite the controversies, the company has continued to grow through acquisitions and by developing new products and features.

#6. Tencent – USD 86.84 billion

largest Internet companies
Tencent enjoys major popularity in China but is used worldwide.

Ma Huateng and Zhang Zhidong founded this Chinese company in 1998. It provides the world’s largest social network, with more than 1 billion active users. It also has online games such as League of Legends and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG). In addition, it sells digital content like music, books, magazines, movies, and TV shows.

One of Tencent’s most popular products is WeChat and QQ – messaging apps with over 1 billion monthly active users. Tencent’s market capitalization ranks it number 4 in the world among Internet companies. What’s more, it was ranked in the Boston Consulting Group and Fast Company among the 50 most innovative companies worldwide in 2015, 2018, and 2020 respectively. Its headquarters are located in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province.

Growth

Tencent has its origins as a gaming company but has expanded into many other areas, including entertainment, finance, education, and social media. Tencent’s WeChat app allows users to connect with friends, share content such as games or articles, make payments through digital payment systems, set up group chats, and even book taxis through ride-hailing services.

In addition to this, there are various other products under Tencent’s umbrella, including QQ Music (music streaming), Tencent Video (video streaming), TenPay (an online payment system similar to PayPal), and Tencent Pictures (a film distributor and a production company that creates and distributes films based on books, comic books, animated series, and video games.)

#5. Alibaba Group – USD 134.567 billion

largest Internet companies
Alibaba specializes in e-commerce, retail, the Internet, and technology.

The Alibaba Group is one of the largest Internet companies in the world, and it does so many things. Jack Ma founded it in 1999, and it’s now estimated to be worth $208.67 billion. But even more impressive is that it has been able to grow so large because it provides so many different products and services.

Alibaba is an e-commerce platform that connects buyers with sellers from all over the world, giving them access to goods from all corners of the Earth. The company also has a massive network of affiliates and partners who helps you get your hands on products from anywhere in the world—no matter where you live or what you can afford.

Original Business Model

Alibaba’s original business model was to act as a middleman between buyers and sellers. It would allow both sides to connect directly with each other and provide systems for payments and shipping. The site has since expanded into many different areas, including cloud computing, digital media, e-commerce, and financial services.

The company makes money by charging commissions on transactions made through their site as well as other platforms they own, such as Tmall and Taobao. This means that if you’re looking for something specific and want to buy it online, chances are that Alibaba will have what you need!

#4. Meta Platforms, Inc. – USD 117.929 billion

largest Internet companies
Facebook is a leading tech company in California, with headquarters located in Menlo Park.

Meta Platforms, formerly Facebook Inc., is one of the largest Internet companies in the world. It’s also a huge player in the digital advertising industry. Mark Zuckerberg, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz, Chris Hughes, and Eduardo Saverin founded the company in 2004. Meta’s products and services include Facebook, Messenger, Facebook Watch, and Meta Portal.

In October 2021, Facebook’s parent company changed its name from Facebook, Inc. to Meta Platforms, Inc. to “reflect its concentration on establishing the metaverse.” The “metaverse,” according to Meta, is the integrated environment that connects all of the company’s products and services.

Primary Function

Meta does many things for their users, including allowing them to stay connected with friends and family, sharing photos and videos, and using social media features like chat, groups, and events. It also allows users to access news feeds from various sources, such as CNN or BBC News.

Meta’s revenue comes mainly from advertising, which has grown rapidly since its inception. In 2021, the company generated 97.5% of its revenue from the sale of advertising. The company works hard to ensure that advertisers are happy with their ads appearing on Facebook—a quick search for “Facebook ads” shows an overwhelming amount of positive reviews from users who have seen success using Facebook ads for their businesses.

#3. JD.com – USD 149.325 billion

largest Internet companies
JD.com is a Chinese e-commerce company headquartered in Beijing.

It’s one of the largest Internet companies in the world. Liu Qiangdong founded the company on June 18, 1998, and its retail platform was launched online in 2004. It began as an online magneto-optical business but quickly expanded to sell electronics, mobile phones, computers, and other comparable things.

The company has since expanded to offer many services, including digital payment options and logistics services for e-commerce businesses. JD.com also provides consumers with an easy way to find things they are looking for by using its search engine, which can be accessed through its website or mobile app.

Flexible Business Model

JD.com has been developing a wide range of products and services to increase its business model’s flexibility and adaptability to changes in China’s economy. It offers a wide range of products from electronics to clothing, food delivery, e-commerce, logistics, finance, etc. What’s more, the company uses artificial intelligence (AI) technology to ensure that every product listed on its website meets its high standards for quality and safety before it goes live.

The company operates its own logistics network to help deliver products to customers faster and more efficiently than competitors can do on their own. That’s why JD.com has grown rapidly over the years and now operates in 105 countries worldwide (including the United States). In June 2007, the company changed its domain name to 360buy.com, then JD.com in 2013.

#2. Alphabet – USD 257.6 billion

largest Internet companies
Alphabet was created through a restructuring of Google on October 2, 2015.

The company is one of the largest Internet corporations in the world. Larry Page and Sergey Brin founded the company in 2015, when Google was undergoing a restructuring that resulted in its creation. As a result, it became the parent company of Google and numerous previous Google subsidiaries. Alphabet is the third-largest technology corporation in the world by sales and one of the most valuable businesses in the world.

The formation of Alphabet Inc. was motivated by a goal to make the core Google operation “cleaner and more accountable,” while also allowing group firms greater autonomy. In addition to its core search engine business, Alphabet offers more than 100 other products and services across many different verticals, including advertising, video streaming services, cloud computing, hardware manufacturing, robotics, biotechnology, artificial intelligence, autonomous cars, mobile operating systems, and software applications.

Subsidiaries

It operates many different subsidiaries, such as Google Inc., which provides search engines, Calico Labs Inc., which focuses on health research and development, DeepMind Technologies Ltd., which develops artificial intelligence, and many more. Over time, Google has expanded from a simple search engine into providing many other services, including maps, email, video streaming services, and cloud storage. However, it still focuses mainly on providing users with information about what they are looking for online.

#1. Amazon Inc. – USD 469.822 billion

largest Internet companies
Amazon is an American company focusing on e-commerce, cloud computing, and more.

Amazon.com is the biggest retailer in the world by revenue, making it the largest Internet company today. Jeff Bezos founded the company on July 5, 1994, when it started out as an online bookseller. It later diversified to sell CDs, DVDs, and other electronics. Amazon has grown from humble beginnings to become the second largest employer in America (behind Walmart).

The company is headquartered in Seattle and has a huge presence in the cloud computing market, with its Amazon Web Services division being one of the most lucrative parts of the business. It now sells not just books but also groceries, home goods and even offers a range of services, including AWS (Amazon Web Services), which offers servers for rent for enterprise clients.

Diversification

Amazon offers downloading and streaming content via its Amazon Prime Video, Amazon Music, Twitch, and Audible services. It publishes books through its publishing arm, Amazon Publishing, and film and television programming through Amazon Studios. Amazon also makes consumer goods, including the popular Kindle e-readers, Echo devices, Fire tablets, and Fire TVs.

Amazon also owns several other businesses that operate separately from its main operations: Audible (audiobook publishing), Zappos (shoe retailer), Twitch (streaming video platform), Goodreads (social book reading site), IMDb (motion picture database), Quidsi (home delivery service), Diapers.com (baby care goods), Shopbop (fashion website), and Amazon Robotics.

The 10 Largest Internet Companies in the World: Summary

RankCompanyAnnual Revenue (2021)
1Amazon.com, Inc.$469.822 billion
2Alphabet, Inc.$257.6 billion
3JD.com$149.325 billion
4Meta Platforms, Inc.$117.929 billion
5Alibaba Group$134.567 billion
6Tencent$86.84 billion
7ByteDance$58 billion
8Netflix$29.7 billion
9Meituan$27.77 billion
10PayPal Holdings, Inc.$25.37 billion

Up Next

The 10 Largest Internet Companies In The World, And What They Do FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What is the world's largest Internet company?

Amazon, an online retailer, ranks number one with annual revenue of nearly 469.82 billion dollars, up from 386.06 billion dollars the year before.

What is the largest Internet company in Asia?

Alibaba Group. With more than a billion consumers globally, Alibaba is the largest e-commerce corporation in Asia. Jack Ma launched Alibaba in 1999, and the company is based in Hangzhou, China.

How do Internet companies earn money?

One of the most popular ways that Internet companies make money is by selling advertising. Internet businesses tailor and deliver customized advertising messages to their users using the data they collect.

Is Amazon bigger than Google?

Google owner Alphabet is worth just a touch less than $2 trillion, while Amazon is valued at $1.7 trillion.

Who manages the Internet?

No one runs the Internet. It’s organized as a decentralized web of networks. Thousands of companies, universities, governments, and other entities operate their own networks and exchange traffic with each other based on voluntary interconnection agreements.

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