Alphabet, Aramco discussing possibility of Saudi Arabian tech hub, WSJ reports

By Pouyan Broukhim

According to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), citing people familiar with the matter, Alphabet is in talks with state-owned oil giant Saudi Aramco over the possibility of making Saudi Arabia a key regional technology hub.

This would include the construction of a number of data centres across the Kingdom, WSJ reports, however, it remains to be seen how large such a deal would be.

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If the talks, that have apparently been ongoing for a number of months, come to fruition, the deal would likely benefit both parties:

Saudi Arabia has been looking to diversify its operations as a result of its current dependency on oil, whilst Alphabet will be looking to compete with the likes of Apple and Amazon in the region – two firm that are also in investment talks with Saudi Arabia, according to a Reuters report last month.

Any of these potential deals could be announced during Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s visit to the United States this year - the figure behind the country’s Vision 2030 that looks to drive Saudi Arabia’s economic overhaul, particularly with a greater focus on the technology sector.

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