American and Chinese Megafirms Outshine European Counterparts: A Snapshot on Global Corporate Dynamics

by Dr. Annika Steiber

The landscape of global business has undergone a seismic shift in the past few decades, reshaping the balance of corporate power across continents. Two regions have risen to prominence, eclipsing their European counterparts: America and China.  

My focus for the last 15 years has been to better understand the unique management model and culture in Silicon Valley and China and compare these with the most common one in Europe. This blog post will delve into the intricacies of a worldwide transformation, examining the factors that have led to the current situation in the corporate world. 

The Rise of American and Chinese Corporates 

Historically, Europe was a stronghold of global business, boasting several of the world’s largest  multinationals. However, recent trends paint a different picture. European firms are now a rare sight in the top 20 global companies (1), with their presence in the top 10 becoming increasingly scarce, see Figure 1. 

Figure 1. Top Global Firms by Market Cap (2) 

This shift was unimaginable in 1985 when a young Steve Jobs during his visit to Europe, opined on the European approach to entrepreneurship (3). His insights foreshadowed the challenges Europe would face in nurturing new corporate giants.