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Visualizing the R&D Investment of the 10 Biggest Nasdaq Companies



The 10 Biggest Nasdaq Companies, by R&D Investment

R&D Investment of the 10 Biggest Nasdaq Companies

Over the last decade, Apple’s research and development (R&D) spending has jumped from about $3 billion to over $26 billion.

The world’s largest company, like other tech giants, is investing heavily in R&D on the heels of AI disruption and the rapid speed of innovation. As these technologies become more pervasive in our daily lives, so too has investment in R&D across major companies.

This graphic from Trendline shows the scale at which the 10 biggest companies listed on the Nasdaq are spending on R&D.



R&D Investment by the 10 Biggest Nasdaq Firms

In 2022, the 10 largest Nasdaq companies by market cap spent roughly $222 billion on R&D—a figure that has risen considerably in recent years.

RankNameR&D % of RevenueR&D Spend in 2022*

*Trailing 12 months, ending December 31, 2022. Nvidia and Broadcom data is as of January 29, 2023.

Amazon invested over $73 billion in R&D last year, more than double the levels seen at Meta or Apple. R&D spending increased 30% over the year for the retail heavyweight, as it invested in technology infrastructure that underlies everything from software to autonomous vehicles.



Facebook parent Meta spent almost a third of its annual revenues on R&D in 2022, the highest proportion across the 10 largest Nasdaq companies. The majority of these investments were through its research arm, Reality Labs, which is focused on building a metaverse. However, the company has since pivoted away from its work on the metaverse due to a lackluster response—instead focusing on generative AI.

Chipmaker Nvidia, which has seen its market capitalization skyrocket in 2023, spent over $7 billion on R&D across generative AI, deep learning, robotics, and a number of other research areas. Between 2021 and 2022, investments in R&D grew by 34%.

Fastest Rising R&D Spenders, Globally

Beyond big tech names in the Nasdaq, many companies are accelerating their investment in R&D as the complexity of technology increases.

The table below shows the top 10 companies globally with the highest increase in R&D spend, based on analysis by fDi Intelligence.

RankNameCountryR&D Spending % Change
1BYD🇨🇳 China+133%
2AMD🇺🇸 U.S.+76%
3Moderna🇺🇸 U.S.+65%
4Meta🇺🇸 U.S.+43%
5Nvidia🇺🇸 U.S.+39%
6Uber🇺🇸 U.S.+36%
7Novo Nordisk🇩🇰 Denmark+35%
8Vertex Pharmaceuticals🇺🇸 U.S.+31%
9TSMC🇨🇳 Taiwan+31%
10Amazon🇺🇸 U.S.+31%

China’s largest electric vehicle maker, BYD, increased R&D investment by 133%, the most across companies analyzed. Among its primary research areas is the “Blade Battery”, which is a prismatic battery designed to hold as much as 50% more energy than comparable models.

Two chipmakers, AMD and TSMC also made the list, while three healthcare companies Moderna, Novo Nordisk, and Vertex Pharmaceuticals made significant R&D investments.

The Future of Innovation Spending

Even as many big tech names saw their stock prices fall in 2022, many dramatically increased their R&D investment.

This came as tech firms laid off thousands of employees. Together, Amazon, Microsoft, and Google’s parent company Alphabet laid of 40,000 employees as of early 2023.

Despite challenging environments, the focus on R&D is evident. Large companies can apply innovation across numerous areas of their business, improve efficiencies, with the goal of making the most out of research dollars spent.

At the same time, the complexity of technology is accelerating, requiring companies to spend more to keep with the pace of innovation. This involves investment in engineers, research facilities, along with the cost of running more advanced technological infrastructure.

Between 2000 and 2020, global R&D spending increased more than threefold to $2.4 trillion, a trend that shows minimal signs of slowing.

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This article was published as a part of Visual Capitalist's Creator Program, which features data-driven visuals from some of our favorite Creators around the world.

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Ranked: The World’s Top 10 Electronics Exporters (2000-2021)

Here are the largest electronics exporters by country, highlighting how electronics trade has increasingly shifted to Asia over 20 years.



Visualized: The Top 10 Electronics Exporters in the World

Top 10 Electronics Exporters in the World (2000-2021)

From personal computers to memory chips, the electronics trade plays a vital role in the world economy. In 2021, global electronics exports reached $4.1 trillion according to McKinsey Global Institute.

This graphic shows the 10 largest electronics exporters in the world, based on data from McKinsey, and how they’ve changed since 2000.

Ranked: The Top 10 Exporters of Electronics

Which countries are the leading exporters of electronics, and how has this shifted over the last two decades?

RankCountryShare of Total 2021Share of Total 2000
1🇨🇳 China34%9%
2🇹🇼 Taiwan11%6%
3🇰🇷 South Korea7%5%
4🇻🇳 Vietnam5%N/A
5🇲🇾 Malaysia5%5%
6🇯🇵 Japan4%13%
7🇺🇸 United States4%16%
8🇩🇪 Germany4%5%
9🇲🇽 Mexico3%3%
10🇹🇭 Thailand3%N/A

We can see in the above table how global electronics trade has become more concentrated in Asia, specifically China and Taiwan. As an electronics powerhouse, 34% of the world’s electronic goods in 2021 came from China, representing $1.4 trillion in value.

Home to leading firms like TSMC, Taiwan also plays a major role due to its prowess in semiconductor manufacturing—highlighting the island’s global importance.

But not all of Asia has been thriving. In 2000, Japan was a global electronics powerhouse responsible for 13% of the industry’s exports, but has seen its share shrink to 4% in 2021. The U.S. has also sheen its electronics lead shrink, with exports down from 16% of the global total in 2000 to just 4% in 2021.

Several factors have driven this shift. Instead of manufacturing electronics domestically, the U.S. has outsourced technology to countries where manufacturing, production, and labor costs are lower. However, recently, the U.S. is focusing on reshoring semiconductor production specifically given its role in national security, as seen through the $52.7 billion CHIPS Act.

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