SINGAPORE (May 20): In the aftermath of the global financial crisis in 2008, a bunch of US tech firms emerged as icons of growth in a slow-growing world. Investors bet on Apple,, Alphabet, Netflix, Facebook and Microsoft because they had one thing in common: the ability to repeatedly beat growth expectations.

Now, the tech powerhouses are getting their comeuppance. On April 29, Alphabet, parent of search giant Google, reported quarterly results that seemed to take the wind out of its sails. Revenue growth dipped an annualised 17%. Once a growth supremo, Alphabet is struggling to show growth. Its stock plunged nearly 9%, wiping US$70 billion ($95.7 billion) off its market value, after the results were released.

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