The 8 fiercest rivalries in global tech today

Competition is good, and there’s no shortage of it between tech companies. 

Whether it’s fighting over a rocket launch or who is going to win the online video space, tech companies do a great job of disrupting traditional industries and themselves.

Here are 8 of the most intense rivalries in tech:

Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through his personal investment company Bezos Expeditions.

Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through hispersonal investment company Bezos Expeditions.

Rivalry 1, E-commerce -- The incumbent: Amazon

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

While many e-commerce companies have come and gone, Amazon has remained a stalwart since 1994. The 'Everything Store' has made its name for selling just that, everything from books to food to clothes. While many brick-and-mortar stores have an online equivalent, Amazon's online-first presence cemented its dominance in online shopping. That is, until one startup decided to take them on by hitting them where it hurts: pricing.

The challenger: Jet

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Meet Jet, an online competitor determined to beat Amazon. The young company launched to much fanfare in 2015 with lower prices than the incumbent. Its bet was to have its members pay a fee, but it soon scrapped that and changed its business model so its products would be cheaper (but not by much less) than Amazon. Its CEO Marc Lore said at the time that the extra 4% to 5% off Amazon's prices was enough to entice buyers when making their orders.

Damage report: Amazon still has the edge, at least for now.

Getty Images

While Jet has struggled to find a sustainable business plan, Amazon's finances remain strong and don't seem to be impacted by the upstart yet. Don't count Jet out though -- the company is well-funded having raised more than $565 million and people love saving money. While an Amazon membership does come loaded with perks like TV and free two-day shipping, Jet's lower cost selection might find its own niche in customers who are looking for a deal, not perks.

Rivalry 2, Ride-hailing in China -- The incumbent: Didi Kuaidi

YouTube/World Economic Forum

The result of a merger between two competing companies, Didi Kuaidi is China's home-grown ride-hailing app. The company announced Monday that in January it added 10 million users alone and had surpassed the break-even point in more than 200 of its 400 cities served. It also crossed $800 million in gross bookings for the first time -- although it doesn't account for how much it's spending to get those.

The challenger: Uber

Getty Images

While the ride-hailing company has gained a strong foothold in the US, the same isn't true for its Uber China branch. Run as its own unit valued at $8 billion, Uber's China presence is trying to turn a profit, but is spending enormous amounts of money to do so. It's facing a complicated Chinese market and a fierce competitor from Didi Kuaidi, so it's world conquering tendencies aren't a guarantee.

Rivalry 3, The Space Race -- The incumbent: SpaceX

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

SpaceX wants to make reusable rockets that can carry goods to the International Space Station, and one day, even bring humans to Mars. Founded by Elon Musk in 2002, it's been awarded contracts by NASA to resupply the space station with cargo. It's been struggling to land a rocket upright so it can be re-usable and was beaten to the punch (kinda) by a competitor, Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin.

The challenger: Blue Origin

Screen grab from NASA Ustream

Blue Origin had remained under the radar until its founder, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, posted on Twitter to brag about its rocket landing. Similar to SpaceX, it had been working on perfecting landing a rocket upright so it can be reusable -- and it got to the milestone first. Its goal, though, is to ferry people into space for space travel, not resupply the space station or travel to Mars. It's a different kind of project than what SpaceX is working on, yet bad blood remains between them.

The challenger: Facebook

Facebook's days of providing simple status updates are long gone. Its introduction of auto-play videos has more people tuning into videos -- or at least so it says. Facebook is also emphasising its live videos by tweaking its newsfeed algorithm so your timeline looks less like a newspaper and more like a TV station.

The other challenger: Snapchat


The rapidly rising competitor to both YouTube and Facebook, Snapchat is making it easy for people to capture and send videos to one and other. While YouTube is public, both Facebook and Snapchat are capitalising on friends sharing their own lives with each other.

Rivalry 5, Streaming Video Service -- The incumbent: Netflix

Netflix/House of Cards

Netflix pioneered the shift from DVDs to digital, and it's the streaming service of choice for many a millennial. It's part its combination of old shows waiting to be binge-watched and its new original content. Shows like 'House of Cards', 'Orange Is The New Black', and its 'Arrested Development' remake are just a few that have drawn viewers to its service.

The challenger: Amazon


Amazon's shows, including 'Transparent' and 'Mozart in the Jungle', have won Golden Globes and drawn new audiences to Amazon Prime. The company has also signed new deals to buy movies from Woody Allen and other top Hollywood stars, putting it in direct competition with Netflix, which is going after the same thing.

Rivalry 6, The Cloud -- The incumbent: Amazon Web Services

Matt Weinberger

Amazon isn't just a collection of books online. It's developed one other important business: Amazon Web Services. The cloud computing platform is used to host data for some of the biggest names in tech, including Netflix and Pinterest. Its dominance in the space is obvious when a center goes down and everything from IMDb to Tinder is taken offline.

The challenger: Microsoft Azure


Like Amazon, Microsoft's only business isn't creating Microsoft Windows. It has its own cloud platform called Microsoft Azure that's become a big priority for the company. Amazon still dwarfs it in market share, but Microsoft has signalled it's not ceding the entire space to AWS.

The challenger: Apple

Mike Nudelman/Business Insider

Apple is mum on its car plans, and its CEO Tim Cook compares it to waiting for Christmas Eve for quite a while. There's an estimated 600 engineers working on the project, nicknamed Project Titan, and neighbours have already been complaining about the noise coming from Apple's suspected car garage.

Rivalry 8, Video Game Livestreaming -- The incumbent: Twitch

Melia Robinson/Business Insider

Owned by Amazon, Twitch.TV is a live-streaming video game platform. That's right -- it lets people watch other people play video games. As e-sports have become more popular and gamers become professional, there's a growing fan base around watching other people conquer video games and seeing how they do it. The company has already hit 100 million visitors monthly and remains the top in its segment for online streaming.

Damage results: Twitch is trying hard to hold onto its 1st place trophy.

Melia Robinson/Business Insider

While Twitch has been the long unchallenged de facto for gamers, the arrival of YouTube Gaming drew them into battle. Tom's Guide rated YouTube above Twitch for its pricing and its viewing experience, and other reviewers have loved it for its TiVo-like qualities. Since it's a YouTube video, you can rewind or let it buffer, skipping through the parts you don't want to watch. Twitch, though, still has the most active and engaged fans, and that counts for a lot if you're looking at visitors. While YouTube may be a better experience for some, Twitch's community still can't be beat -- at least for now.

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