Despite Saudi Arabia’s many human rights violations, Silicon Valley has been happy to turn a blind eye thanks to its billions of dollars in funding in technology companies. After the assassination of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khasshogi, some are starting to reevaluate and cut ties with the kingdom.
Adam Neumann’s company WeWork is one of the many companies who have received funding by way of Japanese conglomerate SoftBank’s Vision Fund, which is fueled by the Saudi government.
When asked whether he thinks Silicon Valley’s ties with Saudi Arabia is a problem, Neumann mildly dodged the question, but said he would not accept money from a source he did not agree with morally.
“Only our first investment came from there,” said Neumann. “All of the follow-up investments that you know of are SoftBank investments, not the Vision Fund, which is just a fact with us.”
He went on to explain that extremism is a global problem, and that the only way to resolve it is to collaborate with each other, although there are behaviours that are completely unacceptable.