Some are dinosaurs of the tech age while others have just about hatched, but already have taken over worldwide markets.
Tech companies in Asia have a long history and while some of the biggest consumer tech names of the pre-Internet age hail from Japan and South Korea, the innovators from the new digital economy can be found in China. Huawei, for example, which at 33 years old has already won 15 percent of the worldwide smartphone market and more than a third of the Chinese one. Competitor Xiaomi at only 11 became the third biggest global seller of smartphones in 2020 after Huawei experienced a supply snag in Q4.
Some of Asia's tech pioneers are struggling currently, however. Samsung could recover profits after a slump in 2019, when 5G technology revived the smartphone and microchip markets in 2020. Japanese company Toshiba, currently embroiled in somewhat chaotic buyout talks, is still trying to get out of the hole. At 145 years old, the company has successfully spun off and sold its semiconductor and PC businesses, but the core company has seen sales fall.
Toshiba actually hails from the 19th century. It was established as Tanaka Seisakusho in 1875 and first manufactured telegraph equipment. Its founder Tanaka Hisashige died in 1881 aged 82, so pictures of him exist only in black and white photography.