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As opposed to airlines, hotel chains, restaurants and millions of small businesses that are fighting for survival amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the world’s most prominent tech companies have been remarkably unaffected by the crisis (so far). Defying the terrible state of the overall economy, three out of five of the GAFAM group of companies (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft) posted double-digit revenue growth for the nine months of the current year.
As the following chart shows, Amazon grew its revenue by 35 percent year-over-year in the first nine months of 2020, with a record quarterly revenue in Q3 as the icing on the cake. While Amazon’s success during the pandemic seems logical, considering that many people switched to online shopping during lockdown, the relative immunity against the crisis shown by Google and Facebook is more of a surprise. After all, the two companies rely heavily on advertising spending, which dipped noticeably during the coronavirus pandemic. Apple’s high-priced consumer goods also don’t seem tailormade for periods of mass unemployment and economic uncertainty, and the small-ish growth of just 4 percent year-over-year – down from 6 percent in H1 – might be a testament to that.
This chart shows revenue growth for selected tech companies in the first nine months of 2020.