Rise of GAFA and changes in industrial structure

Early in 2019, newspapers reported that Amazon.com had a market capitalization of approximately 86.6 trillion yen in the U.S. stock market, surpassing Microsoft to become the top company.

Compared to Tokyo’s budget of 14,444 billion yen (FY2018), the size of the scale will be conveyed. By the way, Rakuten, a Japanese company that is developing a similar business, has 1.1 million $.

Speaking of Amazon, many Japanese people know of its existence, and it is a company that operates the mail order site “Amazon”. The site started in Japan in 2000, and now it is the largest e-commerce site in Japan, handling more than 100 million items. Recently, attention has been focused on GAFA, which includes Amazon.

GAFA is a coined word that takes the initials of Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon, which are said to be the four most influential companies in the world. It is used to collectively refer to these leading IT companies in the United States. These gigantic platformers (platform operators) are expanding with momentum to enclose the world market.

These four companies have in common that they handle a huge amount of personal information in their respective businesses. Google is a company that develops search engines, online advertisements, and the Android operating system for smartphones.

In addition to developing and selling devices such as the iPhone, iPad, and Mac, Apple also develops cloud services and applications. Facebook is the world’s largest SNS (social networking service) site operator, and Amazon, which was mentioned above, operates a huge EC site, and also develops cloud services and smart speakers.

Also, although this is an American company, another big market, even in China, a giant company called “BAT” reigns in cyberspace. China’s largest search engine “Baidu”, e-commerce site and payment service (Alipay) “Alibaba” whose market capitalization is said to exceed 47 trillion yen, and SNS management company “Tencent” which is said to exceed 46 trillion”.

In the case of China, this is the result of domestic companies becoming gigantic due to the government’s control of information, but since the market was originally a huge market of 1.4 billion people, it is thought that the scale has become comparable to GAFA.

The existence of these gigantic companies that handle “information” has a great influence on Japan.

Today, many Japanese people are probably living their lives with some connection to giant platformers such as GAFA. The personal information of Japanese users who use their platforms is not only the information sent by the person such as SNS, but also the search history, the websites visited, the products purchased, the contents viewed, and the use of electronic payment services. Information and all kinds of information are widely collected, stored, and used to improve internal services. And giant platformers aggregate this information and continue to develop new and better innovations.

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Forval Blue Report Production Team

Since its founding in 1980, Forval has consistently worked with small and medium-sized enterprises and currently provides services to more than 20,000 companies. Hideo Okubo, the founder of Forval, is also active as Vice Chairman of the Tokyo Chamber of Commerce and Chairman of the Small and Medium Enterprise Committee. In the future, Forval will aim to be a presence that knows more about small and medium-sized enterprises than anyone else, and will gather real opinions of small and medium-sized enterprises on the spot, including good and bad, and grasp the actual situation. After that, the project was launched with the aim of making proposals to related parties.

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