Saudi ally calls for Uber boycott over response to Khashoggi’s vanishing

TechCrunch | 10/12/2018 | Staff
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Uber is facing calls for a boycott of its app in the Persian Gulf, a region that has poured billions of dollars of investment into the company’s ride-hailing business in recent years: Directly via Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) and indirectly because the Saudis are major investors in Softbank’s Vision Fund vehicle, which is another big Uber investor.

The regional calls to boycott Uber were stoked yesterday by Saudi ally, Bahrain, whose foreign minister retweeted hashtags calling for a boycott of the company, according to reports by Bloomberg and Reuters.

Uber - Spokesperson - Response

An Uber spokesperson declined to comment when reached for a response.

A few boycott calls circulating on Twitter urge app users to switch to Uber ride-hailing rival, Careem, though it’s unclear whether Uber alternatives are seeing any local uplift as yet.

Anger - Uber - Reaction - CEO - Dara

Anger at Uber has been sparked by the reaction of CEO Dara Khosrowshahi to the disappearance of Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, a U.S. resident, who has not been seen since entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2 for a pre-arranged appointment to obtain documentation for his forthcoming marriage to a Turkish citizen.

Newspaper reports have suggested Khashoggi was killed inside the embassy by a Saudi hit squad that traveled to Turkey for the purpose of carrying out the murder. As a Saudi ex-pat the journalist had written critically of the crown prince’s regime.

CCTV - Footage - Khashoggi - Embassy - Proof

And while independent CCTV footage shows Khashoggi entering the embassy but there is no proof to show he ever left. Although the Saudis have denied any wrongdoing, and claimed their citizens were just visiting Turkey as tourists.

Following growing alarm over Khashoggi’s disappearance, Uber’s CEO was among several business leaders to announce they were pulling out of an investment conference due to take place in the Saudi capital later this month.

Reports - Date - Jamal

“I’m very troubled by the reports to date about Jamal...
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