Top 10 Asia's Most Valuable Technology Companies in 2022

Asian Tech Press (Jan 16) -- It was a tough and torturous year for global technology companies in 2022. The Russia-Ukraine conflict, rising inflation, pessimistic economic expectations, and the ongoing impact of COVID-19 have caused global tech stocks to plummet over the past year.

It's safe to say that tech stocks were pretty much a mess in 2022. Throughout 2022, the tech-focused Nasdaq Composite Index fell 33.1%, marking its worst annual performance since the 2008 financial crisis.

And the MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 19% in 2022, with the market capitalization of its constituents eroding by $5 trillion. In such a climate, Asian technology stocks have not been spared, as tech companies in Asia such as Tencent, TSMC, Samsung and CATL have seen their market cap shrink significantly over the past year. The following chart shows the top 10 Asian technology companies based on their market capitalization or valuation as of December 31, 2022.

The market value or valuation of these 10 technology companies all shrunk in the past year, and Chinese battery giant and Tesla supplier CATL saw the largest drop in market cap, by about 36%. While Reliance Industries Ltd., the parent company of Indian technology giant Jio Platforms, saw its market cap shrink by only 3.24% in the past year due to its stable energy business.

In terms of market cap and valuation on December 31, 2022, the biggest winner in Asia's technology sector in 2022 is Tencent, with TSMC and Samsung in second and third place, and Alibaba, Reliance Industries, TikTok owner ByteDance, Toyota, Tata Consultancy Services, Meituan and CATL in fourth to tenth place, accordingly.

With a market capitalization of $405.09 billion, Tencent replaced TSMC as Asia's most valuable technology company in 2022, although it has dropped 28.03% from the same date last year.

Over the past year, Tencent's shares have been on a rollercoaster ride, hitting its lowest point of the year at the end of October, with the American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) once as low as $24.78 per share and Hong Kong shares falling to HK$198.60 per share.

However, after hitting the bottom, Tencent shares started to rebound, which may have something to do with the company's improving performance and multiple buybacks. Tencent bought back more than 107 million Hong Kong shares over four quarters in 2022, spending HK$33.8 billion ($4.3 billion) with an average buyback price of HK$316.

Amid unprecedented global chip shortages in 2021, TSMC was one of the biggest winners in Asian stock markets that year, becoming Asia's most valuable technology company in 2021 with a market cap of $625.85 billion.

As chip shortages progressively eased in 2022, TSMC's market cap fell all the way back from its all-time high of $729.46 billion hit in January 2022, ending the year with a market cap of just $386.31 billion on the last day of the year, down 32.92% year-over-year.

Samsung, one of South Korea's electronics industry leaders, has seen its market capitalization follow the broader market downward over the past year, falling to $293 billion on the last day of 2022, a 33.72% decrease.

Alibaba, ByteDance and Meituan, the three Chinese Internet companies have seen their market cap or valuation fall less than CATL in the past year, but also more than 20%, with Alibaba's market cap falling even as much as nearly 30%.

It is worth noting that, by market cap ranking, Meituan was outside the top ten in 2021 and was quite far from the top ten. However, perhaps due to the large drop in market value of rivals in the past year, Meituan, which is relatively stable, replaced the U.S-hit Huawei in 2022 to be among the top 10.

India's Tata Consultancy Services, the largest IT outsourcing company in Asia, has seen its market cap shrink by 22.48% over the past year to $144.02 billion.

Among Asia's 10 most valuable technology companies in 2022, only Toyota Motor Corp. is on the list in Japan, and it has shrunk 26.3% in market cap over the past year to $186.35 billion.

With the chip shortage easing and ongoing demand for Internet services, the biggest change in the Asian tech sector over the past year is that Tencent has replaced TSMC as the most valuable tech company in Asia by market cap in 2022. Will there be a new twist in 2023?

(US$1 = HK$7.8121)

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