After months and months of rumors it’s finally been confirmed that ride-hailing giant Uber is picking up its Middle East rival Careem in an acquisition deal worth $3.1 billion — with $1.7BN to be paid in convertible notes and $1.4BN in cash. Careem was founded as a ride-hailing rival to Uber in 2012 but has […]View More Uber is paying $3.1BN to pick up Middle East rival Careem
Keith Wright Contributor Share on Twitter Keith Wright is a Villanova School of Business instructor of Accounting and Information Systems, founder of Simplicity On-Demand LLC and former Senior Vice President for Global Sales Operations for SAP. There is no question that the arrival of a fragmented and divided internet is now upon us. The “splinternet,” […]View More The “splinternet” is already here
Money talks in the startup community, especially when SoftBank comes knocking with the megabucks of its Vision Fund. Despite the public outcry around the firm’s dependence on money from Saudi Arabia in the wake of that country’s assassination of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, deal flow for Softbank’s Vision Fund appears to be back to […]View More The Khashoggi murder isn’t stopping SoftBank’s Vision Fund
The Japanese conglomerate SoftBank and Mubadala, the Abu Dhabi state investment company, have a closely intertwined relationship, and it’s one that the two are further cementing. According to the Financial Times, SoftBank has just committed half the capital for a new $400 million fund from Mubadala that aims to back European startups. Industry observers might […]View More SoftBank and Mubadala grow closer
Google and Apple are under pressure from human rights groups and a U.S. senator to remove from their stores an app called Absher. The app was created by the Saudi government and includes a feature that helps men monitor and control women who are under their guardianship, including wives and unmarried daughters.
Saudi men have this right thanks to the country’s oppressive guardianship laws, which mandate every woman has a male guardian to make critical life decisions on her behalf. That guardian can be a father, brother, husband, or son, according to Human Rights Watch. So men get the power to approve things like whether a woman applies for a passport, studies abroad, travels outside the country, or gets married. That system was already well in place before Absher’’s debut, but the app makes controlling women much more efficient. Read more…View More Apple, Google pressured to drop Saudi app that lets men track and control women
In his extraordinary Medium post last week accusing American Media Inc of “extortion and blackmail,” Bezos hinted (but did not explicitly state) that there may be a connection between Saudi Arabia and the publication of his personal messages with Lauren Sanchez. Now Saudi Arabia’s minister of foreign affairs has denied it was involved, stating during […]View More Saudi Arabia denies involvement in leak of Jeff Bezos’ private messages
It’s the morning after the night before for AMI. And what a night it was. The company is officially in damage control mode after it released a short statement defending its communication and behavior with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who published evidence of blackmail that used leaked messages and nude photos of the billionaire that AMI had […]View More AMI defends ‘good faith negotiations’ with Jeff Bezos but will investigate blackmail allegation
Netflix pulled an episode of “Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj” from its streaming service in Saudi Arabia after receiving a complaint from the kingdom. The removal was first reported by the Financial Times. The episode, titled “Saudi Arabia,” centers around the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and criticizes Saudi Arabia, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman […]View More Netflix pulled an episode of ‘Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj’ in Saudi Arabia after the kingdom complained
Comedian Hasan Minhaj dedicated a recent episode of his Netflix show Patriot Act to skewering Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and the criticism did not go unnoticed by Saudi officials.
The government reportedly complained to Netflix that the episode violated the kingdom’s anti-cyber crime law, according to the Financial Times. In response, Netflix removed the episode from the streaming platform in Saudi Arabia. The episode can apparently still be viewed by Saudi users on the show’s official YouTube channel.
“We strongly support artistic freedom worldwide and only removed this episode in Saudi Arabia after we had received a valid legal request — and to comply with local law,” Netflix said in a statement to the Financial Times. Read more…View More Netflix pulls episode of Hasan Minhaj’s ‘Patriot Act’ in Saudi Arabia following complaints
Facebook isn’t responsible for government decisions to clamp down on free expression. But the question remains: How can companies stop assisting authoritarian governments, inadvertently or otherwise?View More Facebook is not equipped to stop the spread of authoritarianism
If there was a word that dominated startup and tech news coverage this year, it was SoftBank. The Japanese telecom conglomerate’s Vision Fund pushed out a prodigious amount of capital this year — quite literally billions of dollars — into companies as diverse as a molecular manufacturer (Zymergen) and a robotic pizza delivery business (Zume Pizza). […]View More With today’s IPO sinking, a year of highs and lows for SoftBank
A security researcher found a bug in Twitter’s support form two years ago that exposed the country codes of phone numbers attached to user’s accounts. At the time, his bug report was closed as it did “not appear to present a significant security risk.” Twitter now says that the bug may have been abused by […]View More Twitter warned of phone country code leak two years ago — but did nothing, security researcher says