Dec 4th 2021
A DECADE AGO the relentless expansion of American internet giants promised world domination. With their vast home market affording them economies of scale, the likes of Amazon, PayPal and Uber looked destined to monopolise the screens of everyone from Californian charmers to Kalahari farmers.
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Today America still rules the global tech industry, broadly defined, accounting for 71% of the market value of listed firms. Nonetheless a different pattern has emerged in the part of the technology industry that focuses on providing internet services to consumers. Here, activity is more dispersed and less American. The trend has been highlighted this year by a rush of flotations of emerging-market internet firms.
Instead of a few monoliths, three different categories of business have formed. Using a taxonomy first…