Saudi Arabian Business Interests
Four months ago Apple welcomed the visit of the Saudi crown prince to Apple Park. Four months later, the regime is linked to the murder of a journalist. Mr. Silver argues that American corporations should be cautious about doing business with authoritarian regimes.
The [Saudi-owned] Vision Fund has, according to Crunchbase, launched 36 investments to date, including major positions in such household-name companies as Uber, Slack, WeWork, and Fanatics. That means that if you hailed an Uber, sent a message to your boss, or purchased a sports jersey, your life has been touched by the Saudi-backed Vision Fund in ways that extend further beyond existing ties between Apple and Saudi Arabia.
Although Apple invested US$1 billion in the Softbank Vision Fund, the company doesn’t do much business in Saudi Arabia. There are no official Apple Stores there, and Apple products are sold through third-parties. Mr. Silver says that because Apple wouldn’t have much to lose, the company should stop all plans with the country and pull out as others have done.