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Why Do We Tolerate Saudi Money in Tech? (nytimes.com)
48 points by iamspoilt 5 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 23 comments

Why are we asking this question of the Saudis and not, say, the Chinese?

Over the past few months there have been many issues of companies taking actions that seem to be based on appeasing the Chinese government.

Both are awful government's actively committing crimes against humanity.

> and not, say, the Chinese?

Are you under the impression that the USA isn't already asking that question about the Chinese?


  - Chinese "investors" getting access to Silicon Valley startups for "due diligence" before a theoretical investment
  - Forced IP transfer
  - Chinese-made networking equipment, drones, etc being banned
  - More scrutiny of Chinese university students
These might just be leverage in the current trade war, but I would argue they are multi-pronged flashpoints in a multi-front "war" between the previous superpower and a vying potential superpower.

What about the crimes against humanity commited by the US then? Should we ban US money as well? :D

While the parent poster presented the issue as one of morality, it's more honest to frame it as self-preservation. It's rarely wise to allow another country too much influence over you - even rarer when it's as openly hostile to the US as China.

Any wrongs you may have done don't enter into consideration when trying to prevent being wronged by others.

I don't live in Saudi Arabia, or China, or Russia... I live in the USA. Not that I dismiss what the US has done, I'd say the scope and scale aren't quite the same a lot of the time.

In this case it's about preserving values from undue foreign influence. Preserving values from undue domestic influence is a bit easier inside the USA.

I'm thinking the same thing. China and Saudi Arabia might be awful but our own hands aren't clean either.

I misspoke. I do not know of any crimes against humanity that the Saudis are actively committing.

Yemen is an easy example. [2] "As of October 2018, there have been more than 1.2 million cases reported, and more than 2,500 people—58% children—have died in the Yemen cholera outbreak, which is the worst epidemic in recorded history and was, according to the United Nations (UN), the worst humanitarian crisis in the world."

These numbers are also very conservative estimates, given the state of siege.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saudi_Arabian-led_intervention...

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2016%E2%80%9319_Yemen_cholera_...

Wow. Thanks for sharing these links.

Then you should get out more. Executing people for apostasy, blasphemy or witchcraft, torture, denying more or less all rights to women, turning a blind eye to extensive human trafficking, attempting genocide of Shia (not claiming they are conducting something like the Holocaust, this word covers a variety of actions). The list goes on and on.

Actually the mandatory death penalty for blasphemy award goes to PK. Gotta out Saudi the Saudis when you’re on the dole

Who is "we"?

Recipients like getting money, obviously.

Non-recipients generally don't have the power to interfere.

The US government has that power, but the US government is beholden to the Saudis' control over oil.

The US has no particular interest in Saudi oil, as it doesn't provide a particularly large or irreplaceable amount of US consumption.

What binds them to the US is their dependence on weapons and military cooperation to maintain power, and conversely, the American defense industry's need for foreign markets.

The reason we hear so much about dependence on Saudi oil is to engender a false sense of helplessness and keep the latter relationship stable/unthreatened.

Well they are going to spend that money on something. Investing it in the US economy seems like just about the best place for it to go. I wish all fortunes held by dubious foreign entities just got sent to the American stock market.

Twitter is a public company, it seems pretty unlikely that Saudi investment and Saudi spies getting hired by Twitter are related.

I admit I have yet to read TFA but I can answer this quite easily.

We not only tolerate it, we welcome and solicit it with open arms. For the same reason we push industrial waste and exploitative labor to developing countries!

Because of missing ethics.

If you read this and you have enough power to influence something like this and don't consider where your money comes from -> fuck you.

Why do we tolerate saudi oil in our gas tanks?

Funnily enough only about 11% of US oil imports actually come from Saudi Arabia most comes from Canada who accounts for around 40% of imports.

Because US position is to use the least costly sources of oil first, and that this should also lean towards using up the oil in foreign countries ahead of our own, so we run out last.

I'm not saying I support this position, only that it seems to be what it is.

I feel like you're saying this sarcastically, but you should be saying it earnestly.

In general, people don't ship oil around the world for no reason, which is why US oil tends to come from the Americas.

Because it spends.

Edit: Clay Davis said it best: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LU5IoHf3xdg&t=256

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