Apple, Amazon In Talks To Set Up Shop, Invest In Saudi Arabia

In the latest confirmation that Jared Kushner's late night meetings with Mohammed bin Salman are bearing fruit, if only for two of the world's biggest corporations, Reuters reports  that Apple and Amazon are in discussions with Riyadh on investing in Saudi Arabia as part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s push to give the conservative kingdom a high-tech look, which supposedly differs from his push to give the kingdom a "cultured look" by buying up random ultra expensive pieces of art to prove to the world just how much appreciated fine art is in the oil rich kingdom (which occasionally shakes out its richest nobles to fund the government budget deficit).

As Reuters adds, while both companies already sell products in Saudi Arabia via third parties, they and other global tech giants have yet to establish a direct presence. To achieve this, Apple is already in talks with SAGIA, Saudi Arabia’s foreign investment authority.

Meanwhile, Amazon’s discussions are being led by its AWS cloud computing division - Amazon Web Services - which would "introduce stiff competition in a market currently dominated by smaller local providers like STC and Mobily." Said otherwise, Amazon is about to engage in its familiar monopoly roll out in yet another timezone.

The news is welcome for Riyadh which wants to be seen as the technical and investment hub in the region:

Riyadh has been easing regulatory impediments for the past two years, including limits on foreign ownership which had long kept investors away, since falling crude prices highlighted the need to diversify its oil-dependent economy.

As a result, "luring" Apple and Amazon would further MbS's so-called "reform plans" and raise the companies’ profile in a young and relatively affluent market, which already boasts some of the highest internet and smartphone use in the world. According to Reuters, 70% of the Saudi population is under 30 and frequently glued to social media.

In terms of specifics, Reuters reports that a licensing agreement for Apple stores with SAGIA is expected by February, with an initial retail store targeted for 2019, said two sources familiar with the discussions. Amazon’s talks are in earlier stages and no specific date has been set for investment plans.

The new "investment" will only solidify the two companies' presence in the oil rich country:

Apple already holds second place in the Saudi mobile phone market behind Samsung, according to market researcher Euromonitor.

Amazon acquired Dubai-based online retailer Souq.com earlier in 2017, opening access for Amazon retail goods to be sold in the kingdom.

Should the investment plans be executed, none would be happier than Prince Mohammed, who in addition to effectively running the entire kingdom singlehandedly following two recent countercoups, and the brain behind OPEC's production strategy, is an "avowed technophile" and has styled himself a disrupter in the model of Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates.

During an official visit to the United States last year he met executives at Facebook, Microsoft and Uber, in which the sovereign wealth fund he chairs later took a $3.5 billion stake.

Since then, he has also set up a $45 billion technology investment fund with Japan’s SoftBank and announced plans to create a futuristic $500 billion mega-city with more robots than humans.

Needless to say, few companies would be as prominent a catch as Apple and Amazon:

Apple and Amazon have both been on a Saudi priority list of foreign firms which officials hope to attract to further their reforms, one of the sources said.

“Many tech multinationals now in Saudi Arabia are either vendors to the Saudi government or, in the case of Uber, have benefited from a sizable Saudi investment,” said Sam Blatteis, who heads Dubai-based tech advisory MENA Catalysts Inc.

“Amazon entering the Saudi market would be a step-change.”

As Reuters concludes, for Amazon, the move underscores how AWS is looking to take an early lead in selling data storage and computing services to customers in the Middle East. It comes as the company is competing aggressively with Microsoft, which is the world's second biggest provider of cloud computing services by revenue, however which now offers cloud services in twice as many regions.

Comments

Umh Dec 28, 2017 8:01 AM Permalink

Why does anyone wish to start a business in a country that has to import all of its workers. The natives haven't had to work for generations.

Catullus Dec 28, 2017 8:02 AM Permalink

Will the openly gay CEO of Apple be allowed in the country?

They won’t hold a basketball tourneyment in NC because they won’t let men into the women’sbathroom but they’ll do business with the worst country on the planet for gay rights. 

HRH of Aquitaine 2.0 Catullus Dec 28, 2017 9:32 AM Permalink

Muslims have no problem with gay sex. As long as you are an older man fucking a boy with no beard, you are safe. Sex with children of any age is fine. It is sex between adult men that is the problem. This is a death cult created by a psychopathic warlord in the 7th century. The whole religion is a control mechanism and a way to wield power over the defenseless and to intimidate them.

Do you know any other cult that prays with their ass in the air in a submissive position? Of course not!

In reply to by Catullus

Ban KKiller Dec 28, 2017 8:33 AM Permalink

Well...tough to get any real work done while praying face to another man's ass. Do like that MBS tortured the shit out of a major stock holder of Citigroup! That's progress! Wish Michael Dell and Steven Mnuchin would visit there...

quadraspleen Dec 28, 2017 8:41 AM Permalink

“(MBS)is an "avowed technophile" and has styled himself a disrupter in the model of Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates.”

 

LOL yeah, he only stops beating the soles of his enemies feet long enough to launch another disruptive technology or tend to his global tech giant firm

 

get to fuck

 

and fuck the new site. I can’t edit old posts so you all get to see my ineptitude in trying to use this tangled intenetz thingy

 

Jambo Mambo Bill Dec 28, 2017 8:52 AM Permalink

Fuck Saudi Elite, retard Islamic fanatics, with their stone age culture values and dressing like old ladies...born in petroland was their luck!

The time is coming... their own people will soon flip the power balance when the cash is gone, and their reserves are going down fast!

Jambo Mambo Bill Dec 28, 2017 8:52 AM Permalink

Fuck Saudi Elite, retard Islamic fanatics, with their stone age culture values and dressing like old ladies...born in petroland was their luck!

The time is coming... their own people will soon flip the power balance when the cash is gone, and their reserves are going down fast!

Jambo Mambo Bill Dec 28, 2017 8:52 AM Permalink

Fuck Saudi Elite, retard Islamic fanatics, with their stone age culture values and dressing like old ladies...born in petroland was their luck!

The time is coming... their own people will soon flip the power balance when the cash is gone, and their reserves are going down fast!

Jambo Mambo Bill Dec 28, 2017 8:52 AM Permalink

Hell with Saudi Elite, retard Islamic fanatics, with their stone age culture values and dressing like old ladies...born in petroland was their luck!

The time is coming... their own people will soon flip the power balance when the cash is gone, and their reserves are going down fast!

Jambo Mambo Bill Dec 28, 2017 8:52 AM Permalink

Hell with Saudi Elite, retard Islamic fanatics, with their stone age culture values and dressing like old ladies...born in petroland was their luck!

The time is coming... their own people will soon flip the power balance when the cash is gone, and their reserves are going down fast!

Jambo Mambo Bill Dec 28, 2017 8:52 AM Permalink

Hell with Saudi Elite, retard Islamic fanatics, with their stone age culture values and dressing like old ladies...born in petroland was their luck!

The time is coming... their own people will soon flip the power balance when the cash is gone, and their reserves are going down fast!

Jambo Mambo Bill Dec 28, 2017 8:52 AM Permalink

Hell with Saudi Elite, retard Islamic fanatics, with their stone age culture values and dressing like old ladies...born in petroland was their luck!

The time is coming... their own people will soon flip the power balance when the cash is gone, and their reserves are going down fast!

William Dorritt Dec 28, 2017 8:54 AM Permalink

Pedophilia and beastiality are legal in SA, expect the entire tech community to spend lots of time there as their supply of children in Europe and the US is dried up by Trump.

 

Since practices and endorses beastiality, which is against the law in the USA why are they allowed to live in the USA ????

William Dorritt Dec 28, 2017 8:55 AM Permalink

Pedophilia and beastiality are legal in SA, expect the entire tech community to spend lots of time there as their supply of children in Europe and the US is dried up by Trump.

 

Since practices and endorses beastiality, which is against the law in the USA why are they allowed to live in the USA ????

wisebastard Dec 28, 2017 8:55 AM Permalink

so basically large corporations are going to try and subvert Saudi Arabai. This is all about furthering the left's agenda. If SA started embracing homosexulaity i bet they would get more business from the large corporations that are ran by leftist

William Dorritt Dec 28, 2017 8:56 AM Permalink

Pedophilia and beastiality are legal in SA, expect the entire tech community to spend lots of time there as their supply of children in Europe and the US is dried up by Trump.

 

Since practices and endorses beastiality, which is against the law in the USA why are they allowed to live in the USA ????

Atalanta Dec 28, 2017 9:19 AM Permalink

Friends. A word explaining something. Trust first. The thing so admired in financial dealings. War is their friend or comrade. Madness have his origins by inbreeding or mafia rules. Both hunting for greatness. Killing friends is their hallmark. In doubt, watch drugs trade in the U.S or Mexico. Hollywood admire this. All movies need a theme. Truth not.