Feb 1, 2018

Alphabet and Saudi Arabia mulling plans to build tech hub

Saudi Deputy Crown Prince, Defence Minister and Chairman of the Council for Economic and Development Affairs Mohammed bin Salman. Photo: FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP/Getty Images

Google parent company Alphabet Inc. and Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil giant are holding talks about the possibility of constructing a massive technology hub in the country, sources told the Wall Street Journal.

Why it matters: This comes as the country’s 32-year-old Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is pushing social reforms and seeking to unleash new investment opportunities to reduce the country’s reliance on oil by diversifying its revenue streams.

What's happening: Alphabet would assist Saudi Arabian Oil Co. in building data centers, but further details of the operation are unclear, per WSJ.

  • While the Crown Prince has been seeking to usher in more tech opportunities in the kingdom, it's still unclear when or whether a deal will be struck.
  • A deal would offer Alphabet crucial access in Saudi Arabia at a time when the company is competing with Amazon and Microsoft in providing computing power and cloud storage services.

Go deeper: Big reforms are coming to Saudi Arabia this year

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