Amazon becomes most valuable publicly-traded company

Amazon has seen remarkable growth as its business has spread beyond its origins as an online bookseller. (AFP)
Updated 08 January 2019
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Amazon becomes most valuable publicly-traded company

  • The online sales goliath assumed the top spot after notching a 3.4 percent gain to finish with a market capitalization of $796.8 billion
  • Apple, long the world’s biggest company by market capitalization first lost the distinction in late November

NEW YORK: Amazon for the first time closed out Monday’s trading session as the world’s biggest publicly-traded company, overtaking Microsoft and other fellow tech behemoths.
The online sales goliath assumed the top spot after notching a 3.4 percent gain to finish with a market capitalization of $796.8 billion, about $13.2 billion more than Microsoft.
Led by Chief Executive Jeff Bezos, Amazon has seen remarkable growth as its business has spread beyond its origins as an online bookseller to myriad other retail categories.
Revenues jumped from $74.5 billion in 2013 to $177.9 billion last year and are projected to reach $232.3 billion in 2018.
Even with its latest distinction as top dog in market value, Amazon’s market capitalization stands well below its own peak in September, when it crossed $1 trillion before Wall Street’s late-2018 selloff.
Amazon’s retreat during the pullback has been less steep than that of other tech titans.
Apple, long the world’s biggest company by market capitalization first lost the distinction in late November and is currently fourth with $702 billion, behind Amazon, Microsoft and Google parent Alphabet, which has a value of $745.2 billion.
Created in a garage in a suburb of Seattle, Washington, the company, originally dubbed “Cadabra,” sold its first book — Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought by Douglas Hofstadter — in mid-1995.
By the end of that year, Amazon was selling books online throughout the US. Amazon went public in early 1997.
The company for more than a decade put growth over profit, investing heavily in warehouses, distribution networks, and data centers.
Landmark moves include the $13.7 billion acquisition of Whole Foods Market in 2017, which brought it an extensive network of brick-and-mortar stores for the first time.
The company has also emerged as a major creator of original entertainment content, netting acting awards for Amazon original series at Sunday’s Golden Globe Awards.


Huawei secretly helped North Korea build, maintain wireless network: Washington Post

Updated 36 min 43 sec ago
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Huawei secretly helped North Korea build, maintain wireless network: Washington Post

WASHINGTON: Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. , the Chinese company put on a US black list because of national security concerns, secretly helped North Korea build and maintain its commercial wireless network, the Washington Post reported on Monday, citing sources and internal documents.
The Chinese telecommunications giant partnered with a state-owned Chinese firm, Panda International Information Technology Co. Ltd., on a number of projects in North Korea over at least eight years, the Post reported.
Such a move would raise questions of whether Huawei, which has used US technology in its components, violated American export controls to furnish North Korea with equipment, according to the Post.
The United States put Huawei on a blacklist in May, citing national security concerns. The move banned US companies from selling most US parts and components to Huawei without special licenses but President Donald Trump said last month American firms could resume sales in a bid to restart trade talks with Beijing.
Huawei did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but said in a statement to the Washington Post it had “no business presence” in North Korea. It was not immediately possible to reach the Panda Group.
The Commerce Department, which also did not immediately respond to a request for comment, has investigated possible links between Huawei and North Korea since 2016 but has not publicly connected the two, the Post said.
Huawei and Panda vacated their Pyongyang office in the first half of 2016, the newspaper reported.