The Tech 100
Wang Chuanfu. Don't know the name? Until a few years ago, neither did Charlie Munger, vice-chairman of Berkshire Hathaway. When Munger checked out Wang's company, BYD, the Chinese maker of plug-in hybrid cars and rechargeable batteries, he was so impressed he persuaded Warren Buffett—legendary for his dislike of tech investments—to buy a 10 percent stake in BYD for about $230 million. That was September 2008. Today Buffett's piece is worth nearly $2 billion.
Scan Bloomberg Businessweek's Tech 100 list, and you'll find names familiar and new. From global powerhouses Samsung Electronics and Google to lesser-known players such as Taiwanese chipmaker Phison Electronics and Brazilian e-tailer B2W, these companies have managed to thrive during a bruising global recession. BYD (which stands for Build Your Dreams) has more than flourished: It even outperformed perhaps the hottest tech outfit around, No. 2 Apple.
For an explanation of our methodology, go here.