15 Biggest Multinational Companies in the World

In this article, we will be taking a look at the 15 biggest multinational companies in the world. To skip our detailed analysis, you can go directly to see the 5 Biggest Multinational Companies in the World.

A multinational is a company which is incorporated in a single country but its operations are spread across borders. One of the things distinguishing a multinational from just an investment organization which invests in companies abroad is the aspect of control in the former. While the above is just a basic definition, there are some specific definitions that different organizations use, with Black's Law Dictionary suggesting that a company is a multinational if at least 25% of its revenue is from outside its home country.

You might think that multinationals only came into existence in the past couple of centuries especially after the development of global trade, but the actual history of multinationals, even though they weren't known as multinationals at the time, is actually much older, in line with colonialism. The two earliest examples of multinationals are the Dutch East India Company and the British East India Company which were set up to engage in trade in different port cities. The British East India company had its own army and formed the basis of the British colonialism of India. The Dutch East India Company meanwhile is assessed to have been worth close to $8.3 trillion adjusted for inflations, making it the richest corporation in history.

Currently, most of the biggest companies in the world are multinationals, with some defining characteristics, mainly central headquarters with operations in multiple countries. These companies are often engaged in importing and exporting goods, investing in foreign countries, engaging in the buying and selling of licenses in foreign countries, manufacturing or assembly operations operating in basically every industry in the world.

Nowadays, multinationals have become the targets of activists for their unscrupulous activities, resulting in many anti-capital and anti-corporate movements. Many such companies are criticized for their size and political involvement, with lobbying, trade agreements and deregulated financial markets allowing them to exercise a lot of power. Despite massive corporations earning billions of dollars every year in profit, most of them have been decried for their labor practices, including underpaying and overworking employees and these companies' opposition to unions or better rights for employees.

The biggest multinational companies in the world aren't the biggest companies in the world. This is true for Chinese companies which are state-owned and only have operations within the country. There are also a couple of health companies in the United States which are counted among the biggest companies in the world but aren't multinationals since their operations are only concentrated within the nation. To determine our list, we consulted the Fortune Global 500 list and excluded companies which don't fall under the definition of a multinational. We then ranked these companies based on revenue, profits, assets and employees, assigning 30% weightage to the first two metrics and 20% weightage to the last two. So, without further ado, let's take a look at the biggest multinationals out there right now, starting with number 15:

Daily newspaper economy stock market chart

15. Trafigura Group

Total revenue of the company (in millions): 231,308

Total profits of the company (in millions): 3,100

Total assets of the company (in millions): 90,066

Total employees of the company: 9,031

The Singaporean commodity trader is the biggest private metals trader in addition to being the second-biggest oil trader and has primary operating offices in Singapore and Geneva.

14. McKesson Corporation (NYSE:MCK)

Total revenue of the company (in millions): 263,966

Total profits of the company (in millions): 1,114

Total assets of the company (in millions): 62,928

Total employees of the company: 66,500

McKesson Corporation (NYSE:MCK) is a pharmaceutical distributor, which delivered over a third of all pharmaceuticals in North America. Headquartered in Texas, McKesson Corporation (NYSE:MCK) is a major provider of infrastructure for the health care industry. Recently, McKesson Corporation (NYSE:MCK) has been named in a federal lawsuit for profiting off the opioid epidemic in the United States.

13. Hon Hai Precision Industry

Total revenue of the company (in millions): 214,619

Total profits of the company (in millions): 4,988

Total assets of the company (in millions): 141,044

Total employees of the company: 826,808

The Taiwanese electronics is the largest private employer in China and with more than 800,000 employees, it is also one of the biggest employers in the world. It manufactures products for some of the biggest tech companies in the world with its products including the iPad, the iPhone, the Blackberry, Nintendo gaming systems and the Kindle among many others.

12. Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM)

Total revenue of the company (in millions): 285,640

Total profits of the company (in millions): 23,040

Total assets of the company (in millions): 338,923

Total employees of the company: 63,000

The oil industry is highly represented in the list of the biggest multinational companies in the world, with one of them being Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM). Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) is one of the direct descendants of Standard Oil, which used to be the biggest oil company in the world. Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) is also among the biggest companies in the world in terms of revenue.

11. Shell plc (NYSE:SHEL)

Total revenue of the company (in millions): 272,657

Total profits of the company (in millions): 20,101

Total assets of the company (in millions): 404,379

Total employees of the company: 82,000

One of the largest oil companies in the world, Shell plc (NYSE:SHEL) recently moved its headquarters from the Netherlands to the United Kingdom. One of the biggest greenhouse gas producers in the world, Shell plc (NYSE:SHEL) produces more than 3.7 million barrels of oil every single day and operates more than 44,000 service stations globally. Shell plc (NYSE:SHEL) is the largest company which is headquartered in the United Kingdom.

10. Samsung Electronics

Total revenue of the company (in millions): 244,335

Total profits of the company (in millions): 34,924

Total assets of the company (in millions): 358,982

Total employees of the company: 266,673

One of the biggest electronic companies in the world, Samsung Electronics is a South Korean company which is among the biggest electronics companies in the world, the largest television manufacturer in the world and the largest manufacturer of smartphones in the world as well.

9. Alphabet Inc. (NYSE:GOOG)

Total revenue of the company (in millions): 257,637

Total profits of the company (in millions): 76,033

Total assets of the company (in millions): 359,268

Total employees of the company: 156,500

The parent company of Google, Alphabet Inc. (NYSE:GOOG) is one of the biggest tech companies in the world. Alphabet Inc. (NYSE:GOOG) is counted among the most valuable companies in the world and among the highest in terms of revenue. Alphabet Inc. (NYSE:GOOG) also owns YouTube in addition to many other products including Pixel smartphones, Fitbit and Nest among many others.

8. Sinopec Group

Total revenue of the company (in millions): 401,314

Total profits of the company (in millions): 8,316

Total assets of the company (in millions): 380,675

Total employees of the company: 542,286

The Chinese oil and gas company is one of the few Chinese companies in our list of the biggest multinational companies in the world with 51 projects in more than 25 countries.

7. Toyota Motor Corporation (NYSE:TM)

Total revenue of the company (in millions): 279,338

Total profits of the company (in millions): 25,371

Total assets of the company (in millions): 557,522

Total employees of the company: 372,817

One of the biggest car manufacturers in the world, Toyota Motor Corporation (NYSE:TM) is a Japanese company which produces around 10 million cars every year. Considered to be one of the pioneers of hybrid electric vehicles, Toyota Motor Corporation (NYSE:TM) introduced the Toyota Prius in 1997, which is still the best-selling hybrid electric vehicle in the world. Toyota Motor Corporation (NYSE:TM) is now the largest company in Japan.

6. Walmart Inc. (NYSE:WMT)

Total revenue of the company (in millions): 572,754

Total profits of the company (in millions): 13,673

Total assets of the company (in millions): 244,860

Total employees of the company: 2,300,000

The biggest retailer in the world, Walmart Inc. (NYSE:WMT) is the biggest company in the world by revenue. Walmart Inc. (NYSE:WMT) has more than 10,000 stores across two dozen countries and is the biggest employer in the world with 2.3 million employees. While obtaining success in most international areas, Walmart Inc. (NYSE:WMT) has seen limited success in Europe barring the United Kingdom.

 

Please click to continue reading and see the 5 Biggest Multinational Companies in the World.

 

Suggested articles:

Disclosure: None. 15 biggest multinational companies in the world is originally published at Insider Monkey.