Top 10 electronics manufacturers in the world
Every year, the Fortune Global 500 reveals the planet’s 500 largest companies. In 2016 alone, these organisations generated combined profits of $27.7trn. But which electronics manufacturers placed highest on the hallowed list?
10 | China Electronics Corporation (CEC) – $30.01bn
Majority owned by the Chinese government, CEC is among the largest providers of telecoms equipment in China and employs close to 145,000 people, boasting a revenue of $30.01bn and an overall ranking of 362 in the Fortune 500. In 2007 it acquired the mobile division of Philips, which it had been researching, developing and producing phones for since the turn of the century.
9 | Mitsubishi Electric – $39.12bn
A Fortune stalwart since 1995 (the year firms started being ranked by revenue), the Tokyo-based multinational manufactures a host of electronic and architectural equipment, as well as photovoltaic panels. This year, Mitsubishi makes 262 on the list thanks to its $39.12bn in revenue. From its founding way back in the 1920s, Mitsubishi Electric has been at the cutting edge of Japanese technical innovation for nearly a century: it will celebrate its 100th birthday in 2021.
8 | Honeywell International – $39.3bn
Another 23-year veteran, Honeywell is based out of New Jersey and produces a range of products across its consumer, commercial and aerospace divisions. The company takes an overall spot of 260 on the Fortune 500, with a revenue of $39.3bn. Previously named Honeywell Inc, a 1999 merger with AlliedSignal led to a rebrand and HQ move. Best known for its thermostats, dehumidifiers and alarm systems, in addition to various retail products made by partners that license the Honeywell name.
7 | LG Electronics – $47.71bn
Part of the LG Group, LG Electronics comprises four units: Home Entertainment, Mobile Communications, Home Appliance & Air Solution, and Vehicle Components. The firm is headquartered in Seoul, South Korea, and after Samsung (see number one) is the second-largest TV manufacturer on the planet. It makes 201 on the overall list, boasting a revenue of $47.71bn from this as well as its other major product lines including mobile phones, smart watches, tablets and home appliances.
6 | Amer International Group – $49.67bn
A Chinese company specialising in cable and copper, Amer is headed up by billionaire Wang Wenyin, who Fortune christened “China’s New Prince of Copper” in 2014, owing to the firm’s meteoric growth – indeed, its most recent recorded revenue came in at $49.67bn and landed it 183rd spot on Fortune’s list. Previously a small private firm that produced copper rods, Amer now boasts a fleet of mines and factories, as well as political sway within the Communist Party. A key player on the global copper stage, it is a small firm no longer.
5 | Panasonic – $67.78bn
Panasonic – formerly known as Matshushita Electrical Industrial Co. – celebrates its centenary this year, with the Japanese company growing from a small producer of light sockets to become one of the world’s leading electronics producers with a $67.78bn revenue and a secure 110th spot on the Fortune 500. With wide-reaching tentacles, from automotive systems and avionics through to mobile and home renovation services, the business even owns Gamba Osaka soccer team (in Japan’s J. League).
4 | Sony – $70.17bn
The Tokyo-based monolith has a broad portfolio, covering electronics, gaming, entertainment and financial services, and comes in at 105 on the Fortune 500. It was the first company to produce direct-view portable transistor televisions, transistor video tape recorders and, who can forget, the Walkman. What’s more, as one of the ‘big three’ record companies, Sony has full or partial rights to the musical catalogues of Michael Jackson, Eminem and The Beatles. Its revenue comes in at an impressive $70.17bn, as it maintains a solid place in the electronics world.
3 | Hitachi – $84.56bn
While it is more than two decades since Hitachi hit its lifetime high of 13 in Fortune’s rundown (it’s now at 71), the Japanese company remains billions of dollars in profit, with an ever-diversifying range of interests. Among its 11 (yes, 11) segments are information and telecommunication systems, social infrastructure, construction, digital media and consumer products, railway and urban systems and automotive systems, plus a few more. This diverse selection of offerings contributes to a revenue of $84.56bn.
2 | Hon Hai Precision Industry (Foxconn) – $135.13bn
Trading as Foxconn Technology Group, Hon Hai is the 27th company on the Fortune 500 and is more commonly known as ‘the company that makes the iPhone’. With an elite stable of customers – including Amazon, Hewlett-Packard, Nintendo, Sony, Toshiba, Intel, Microsoft and Google – it is the largest contract electronics company in the world.
1 | Samsung Electronics – $173.96bn
It’s been a rough year for the South Korean tech superpower – what with the explosive fallout of its defective Galaxy Note 7 – yet here it clinches the crown on our list, along with a solid overall 15th ranking by Fortune. Recent innovations include Bixby (Samsung’s very own AI assistant to rival Siri and Alexa), the Gear S3 smartwatch and its first set of wireless headphones. Not bad for a company that, when founded 80 years ago in what was then Japanese Korea, was a small trading company. At the moment, revenue stands at $173.96bn and it will be interesting to see how this number changes in a developing smartphone market.