situation report

Oct 15, 2018 | 17:04 GMT

1 min read

Bahrain: Foreign Minister Backs Uber Boycott Over Khashoggi Case

What Happened: Bahrain's foreign minister has called for a boycott of ride-hailing company Uber in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia after the company's CEO pulled out of an investment conference in Riyadh in the wake of Saudi critic Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance, Reuters reported Oct. 15.

Why It Matters: Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates all have a proven track record of penalizing Western companies that do not fall in line with their overall policy direction. Companies will now be forced to walk a fine line between suffering reputational damage for maintaining ties with Saudi Arabia and losing business opportunities if they distance themselves from the kingdom.

Background: Numerous companies and business leaders — including Bloomberg, CNN, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon and Blackstone Group CEO Stephen Schwarzman — withdrew from the Riyadh event after reports alleged that Khashoggi was killed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

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