Top 10 World's Largest Public Companies

Every year Forbes compiles a list of the world’s 2,000 largest companies. This year’s list includes companies from 61 different countries. Of the 2,000 companies, The United States had the highest number of countries on the list, with 757. The country with the next highest number of companies on the list, China and Hong Kong, had 309. While all 2,000 of the companies on the list are large, the top ten are especially noteworthy.


Industrial & Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) comes in number one on the list with a market cap of $305 billion. Founded in 1984, this company operates in corporate banking, personal banking, treasury operations, and other banking operations. The company is headquartered in Beijing and led by CEO, Shu Gu.

JPMorgan Chase

Coming in second with a market cap of $368.5 billion is JPMorgan Chase. JPMorgan Chase provides investment banking services and financial services. The company’s investment banking services and products span almost all capital markets and its financial services offerings reach an equally wide-ranging clientele. JPMorgan Chase is headquartered in New York, New York, and is led by CEO Jamie Dimon.

China Construction Bank

China Construction Bank Corp. offers banking and financial services. Like ICBC, this Chinese bank is also headquartered in Beijing. Though China Construction Bank is still massive, the market cap is considerably smaller than the first and second companies on the list, with $225 billion. The company was founded in 1954 and is currently run by CEO Wang Zuji.

Agricultural Bank of China

Number four on the list is another Chinese bank, Agricultural Bank of China, also headquartered in Beijing. Agricultural Bank of China has a market cap of $197 billion and employs 473,691 individuals. The company was founded in 1951, only three years before China Construction Bank, which was number three on the list. The current CEO of the Agricultural Bank of China is Huan Zhao.

Bank of America

The fifth company on the list is not based in China, but it is still a bank. Bank of America engages in banking and financial services. Unlike many other U.S. banks and financial institutions, Bank of America is not headquartered in New York and is instead headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina. The company was founded in 1904 and now employs over 200,000 people. Brian Moynihan serves as CEO.


The sixth-largest company on Forbes’ list is also the first company on the list that isn’t a bank. Apple is a computer hardware company that creates and manufactures mobile and media devices as well as personal computers and digital music players. The company has a strong presence across the world but is headquartered in Cupertino, California. Though Apple is the sixth-largest company on the list, it’s $961 billion market cap far exceeds that of the preceding companies. Apple was founded in 1976. Tim Cook serves as the company’s CEO.

Ping an Insurance Group

Ping an Insurance Group is a Chinese insurance company headquartered in Shenzhen. The company sells financial products and services and employs 379,000 people. The company was founded in 1988, making it much younger than many other companies in the top ten. Ma Mingzhe is the CEO.

Bank of China

As the name implies, the Bank of China is another Chinese bank, also involved in banking and financial services. Bank of China is headquartered in Beijing and employs 311,133 people. While many of the other major Chinese banks were founded after World War II, Bank of China is older, having been founded in 1929. Chen Siqing serves as the company’s CEO.

Royal Dutch Shell

Royal Dutch Shell is in the oil and natural gas industry. This Dutch company consists of three main segments. The first segment includes the exploration, extraction, recovery, and conversion of oil and natural gas sources. The second segment manufactures, supplies, and distributes oil and natural gas products. The third and final segment provides the services and resources necessary to support the other two segments. Royal Dutch Shell is headquartered in The Hague, Netherlands, and Bernardus Margriet van Beurden serves as CEO.

Wells Fargo

The final company on the list is U.S. bank Wells Fargo, which has business in banking, insurance, mortgages, investments, and both consumer and commercial finance. Wells Fargo was founded in 1852 and is now headquartered in San Francisco, California. Timothy Allen Sloan is CEO.

This is Forbes’ 17th annual list of the world’s largest companies. In 2003, when the list began, it looked quite different. Though the top ten companies of the current list consist largely of banks based in the United States and China, only time will tell how the list continues to change in the coming years.

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