The 'COVID-19' coronavirus hurts every industry worldwide. But some managed to benefit from the trends of people starting to rely on technology and internet more than ever.
Facebook is one of them.
After the social giant's shares surged almost 30% so far this 2020, CEO Mark Zuckerberg managed to add at least $22 billion to his wealth.
And after news broke that it launched its TikTok clone, Reels, on Instagram, the company's shares again surged 6%.
This made the founder Zuckerberg who owns about 13% stake in the company, to boost his net worth north to more than $100 billion.
It’s a huge jump from his days in his Harvard dorm room decades ago, where Zuckerberg co-founded Facebook in 2004.
Reaching this milestone essentially makes him part of one of the world’s most exclusive clubs, joining the likes of Amazon's Jeff Bezos and Microsoft's Bill Gates, both of whom are also 'centibillionaire', that according to Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
This happens despite the U.S. economy is contracting at its fastest pace on record, just like in most countries around the world.
But some large tech companies were apparently not affected. This is because some of those companies benefited with the increasing number of people across the globe are becoming more dependent on technology to stay in touch with friends and family, get food and supplies delivered and work from home amid lockdown restrictions.
From Apple to Amazon, Alphabet, Facebook, and Microsoft, they have market valuations equivalent to about 30% of U.S. gross domestic product (GDP).
This is nearly a double of what they were at the end of 2018.
And given by the massive valuation of the tech corporation, even minor share price movement can lead to big fluctuations in the wealth of their shareholders. This is why some high-profile figures, founders and CEOs of big companies were seeing huge gains in their net worth.
Acknowledging the staggering numbers of wealth that people behind big tech companies managed to reach, this has put their companies under increased scrutiny.
Zuckerberg, Bezos, Alphabet and Google CEO Tim Cook have all testified before Congress in July to defend allegations that their power and influence are out of control.
U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, meanwhile, plans to introduce legislation to tax what he called “obscene wealth gains” during the coronavirus crisis.
The “Make Billionaires Pay Act” is aimed to tax 60% of the increase in the ultra-rich’s net worth from March 18 through the end of the year, and use the revenue to cover out-of-pocket health-care expenses of all U.S. citizens.
As for Zuckerberg that at this moment has become the third richest person on Earth, said that he has plans to give away 99% of his Facebook shares over his lifetime.
Not just those in the West, as the people behind tech giants from the East are also gaining big. Pinduoduo Inc.’s founder Colin Huang Zheng has gained $13 billion to $32 billion. India’s Mukesh Ambani, who is the largest shareholder of Reliance Industries Ltd., has become $22 billion richer with his net worth reaching $80.3 billion.