Of the world’s five “most dangerous” companies, four dominate e-commerce and social media: Google, Tencent, Amazon and Facebook.
This is what Juha-Pekka Raeste and Hannu Sokala say in the new book The 50 Most Dangerous Companies in the World (Otava).
The danger of companies is related, among other things, to how much power they have.
The authors say that in many industries, the logic of free competition, combined with big-money policies and the development of information technology, has led to the power of some companies becoming too great.
They express an interest in the dangers associated with legitimate business activity and the normal functioning of the economy.
The most dangerous of the companies, according to the authors, is the search service Google, which collects huge amounts of information about its users.
In July 2020, more than 92 percent of all online searches in the world were conducted through it.
Amazon controls e-commerce and Facebook social media.
The actions and morals of both have been questioned.
Chinese Tencent owns the WeChat service, which actually combines the features of all U.S. giants.
It can pay, buy, follow the news and keep in touch with friends.
The struggle between China and the United States for world power is waged through and between companies.
Complicating matters is the fact that, for example, Google can bow to both Washington and Beijing.
Among the five most dangerous companies is only one representing the more traditional industries: the huge oil company Saudi-Aramco.
It and, in practice, Saudi Arabia is ruled by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
He has shown his ambition and cruelty.
The world's most dangerous company? Photo: Arnd Wiegmann / Reuters
Tencent products can be used to make any kind of message exchange online. Photo: Richard A. Brooks / AFP / Magazine
Amazon packages are sorted in New Jersey, USA.
The company is an e-commerce and cloud services filed. Image: LUCAS JACKSON / REUTERS
Facebook has made Mark Zuckerberg one of the most influential people in the world. Photo: Erin Scott / Reuters
Mohammed bin Salman controls Saudi Arabia's oil business. Photo: Reuters
Ikeak on the list
It is a matter of taste whether it is a good thing or a bad thing that no Finnish company has been included in the list of the most dangerous in the world.
They can be found in the immediate neighbors.
Ranked 35th is held by Swedish furniture giant Ikea.
Its subcontractors have been accused of using both child and prison labor.
The youthful Nazi sympathies of the company's founder Ingvar Kamprad are also reviewed.
Ikea's basic idea is that the customer assembles his furniture himself.
Many people who are tired of Ikea furniture may think that this is the most dangerous feature of the company.
A couple of companies from Russia are involved.
Ranked seven is gas giant Gazprom.
According to the book, Vladimir Putin drew attention to the importance of the energy sector to his country even before his rise to power.
Immediately afterwards, she placed her own husband in charge of Gazprom.
The company is important to Russia in terms of both the economy and the power games.
Gazprom's gas pipeline is being built in the Baltic Sea.
The company is financially and politically important to Russia. Photo: Vitaly Nevar / Reuters
Disney has come a long way from mere Aku Ducks and Mickey Mice.
The company owns a huge number of major film empires, including Star Wars and Marvel films. Photo: Tyrone Siu / Reuters
Disney has power over the mind
Obvious names such as Goldman Sachs, the scapegoat for the financial crisis, and Koch Industries, accused of political influence in the United States, have made the list.
However, their power seems to be diminishing alongside some giants dictating their own rules.
The obvious candidate is also the Academii, which provides military services, including mercenaries.
Among them is Walt Disney Corporation, which mentions the term “Disney fascism”.
As early as the 1970s, the company was accused of spreading the American way of life around the world.
This did not stop the fast-growing entertainment giant from later acquisitions.
However, according to the book, Disney’s problem is crystallized in the fact that “basically Disney’s power is power in our consciousness”.
Not all of the 50 companies presented in the book will open, which is particularly dangerous in them.
As a precaution, experienced financial journalists Raeste and Sokala state in the preface that they have made their choices as journalists and not as researchers.
They are not “based on anything”.
No traditional media company, such as Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., which has great political influence in several countries, has been included in the ranks.
From the old colonial power to the new?
In addition to the power of individual companies, the book outlines broader developments.
The growth of corporate power is said to have actually begun with the trading companies of East India in England and the Netherlands hundreds of years ago.
Now the development has revolved around the full circle.
The book estimates that Western countries have voluntarily and “without further consideration” found themselves in a situation where they are buying everything the motherland wants to export.
The mainland has only changed to China.
According to the newsletter, the 50 most dangerous companies in the world:
USA, information searches
China, social media, online payment, video games
Saudi Arabia, oil
United States, e-commerce, cloud services
USA, social media
6. Deutsche Bank.
8. Goldman Sachs.
China, online store
10. JP Morgan.
USA, information technology
USA, asset management company
13. Hon Hai.
Taiwan, the electronics industry
USA, software industry
15. Koch Industries.
USA, consulting company
USA, oil industry
18. CNTC, Zhongguo Yancao Zonggongsi.
United States, retail
United States, aviation industry
Japan, investment sector
Britain, Hong Kong, bank
23. Walt Disney Company.
USA, entertainment industry
United States, food
China, information technology
28. Lockheed Martin.
USA, arms industry
Germany, pharmaceutical and chemical industries
USA, payment intermediation
USA, transportation services
32. Anheuser-Busch Inbev.
34. Louis Vuitton Möet Hennessy SA.
France, luxury goods
37. BNP Paribas.
United States, Salary Army
39. Glencore Xstrata.
Switzerland, raw materials
40. Norwegian Oil Fund
42. The Coca-Cola Company.
USA, soft drinks
Brazil, construction industry
44. Kaspersky Lab.
Russia, information security
45. UFO Group.
Israel, control technology
46. Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Tehcnology.
China, control technology
47. China National Petroneum Corporation.
China, energy industry
48. Berkshire Hathaway.
USA, investment company
49. Purdye Pharma.
USA, pharmaceutical company
50. Polska Group Energetycna, PGE.
Poland, energy industry