Every iPhone user is tied to Saudi business interests, like it or not

Posted:
in General Discussion edited October 2018
Over the course of the last decade, Apple has become more and more intertwined with Saudi Arabia, and four months after its crown prince visited Apple Park, the regime appears to have carried out the murder of an American journalist. Why Apple should do all it can to disengage from the Saudi regime.

Tim Cook and MBS at Apple Park
Tim Cook and MBS at Apple Park (Source: Saudi Press Agency)


In the recent past, as it has expanded globally and attained record-breaking success, Apple has found itself dealing with a lot of countries, and foreign governments, that have been known to do bad things.

Tim Cook has often said in interviews, usually in relation to China, that Apple supports openness and liberalization, that Apple both has a duty to make the world a freer and better place, and has actually done so. iPhones and other products, the thinking goes, can do their part to open up the world for those in less-than-free countries. With China specifically, the question of human rights has begun to take a back seat to issues related to trade and U.S./Sino relations.

Now, Apple and other major tech companies are facing a major test of that principle, with Saudi Arabia.

On October 2, Jamal Khashoggi, a dissident Saudi journalist who lived in the United States and wrote for The Washington Post, entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, to obtain some documents related to his planned marriage. He never came out, and was never seen alive again. The Turkish government soon concluded that Khashoggi was tortured, murdered and dismembered by a sizable group of assassins, most likely with the high-level approval of the Saudi regime. There were reports that Khashoggi's Apple Watch may have recorded the murder or otherwise produced evidence, although that has yet to be substantiated.

After weeks of obfuscation and shifting explanations, the Saudi government admitted Friday that Khashoggi is dead, but claimed that he died as a result of a "fight" after he entered the embassy. They continue to deny that the Saudi government had ordered his murder.

The murder has thrown into question the long and complicated alliance between the U.S. and Saudis. The U.S. defended Saudi Arabia from potential invasion by Saddam Hussein in 1990. But, the majority of the 9/11 hijackers came from Saudi Arabia, as did al-Qaeda mastermind Osama Bin Laden.

But it also shows that Apple's tolerance for doing business with despotic regimes should have a limit.

Meet MBS

Khashoggi's death has placed a spotlight on Saudi Arabia's young crown prince and de facto ruler, Mohammed bin Salman, who is commonly referred to in the English-language media as "MBS." He's 33 years old, and represents a very different face than the typical leadership of the Saudi monarchy, which has produced several consecutive monarchs who were much older upon taking the throne. The last six Saudi kings have been brothers, but MBS is the son of Salman, the current king.

Tim Cook and MBS overlook Apple Park's campus
Tim Cook and MBS overlook Apple Park's campus (Source: Saudi Embassy USA)

For a period of a couple of years prior to the murder. MBS had been embarking on a major international campaign to sell the Saudi regime as modernizing and forward-thinking, and to portray himself as a young, tech-savvy and charismatic reformer (this April article from The New Yorker is a good overview of MBS' history and position.) And that campaign included, just four months ago, a high-profile visit to Apple Park.

MBS in Cupertino

The crown prince, along with a large Saudi government delegation, made a two-week visit to the United States in March and April of this year, where MBS met face to face with a wide swath of the American elite, from the Trump Administration to corporate executives to Hollywood luminaries to even World Wrestling Entertainment.

The Saudi delegation visits Apple Park

Part of that visit included, on April 7, a meeting at Apple Park with Tim Cook and other Apple executives. Among the topics discussed was reportedly a plan geared towards "enriching the Arabic educational content in the classroom," while the Saudi contingent also toured the Apple Park campus itself, including the Steve Jobs Theater.

No major initiatives or deals were announced between Apple and the Saudis, although the regime did get some photo opportunities that were soon disseminated worldwide. The Saudi delegation, according to a local news report at the time, bought out the entire Four Seasons hotel in East Palo Alto for the visit.

On the same day, MBS huddled with top executives at Google, as well as leading Silicon Valley venture capitalists. He also met, during the U.S. visit, with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who is also the owner of The Washington Post, the newspaper that employed Jamal Khashoggi. Bezos has been quiet, avoiding public comments or condemnations on the matter since the murder of one of his employees.

MBS and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, during the Saudi Prince's U.S. visit in April. (Source: Saudi Press Agency)
MBS and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, during the Saudi Prince's U.S. visit in April. (Source: Saudi Press Agency)

A lot of well-known people in the government, media, and Hollywood fell hard for the campaign. New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, in late 2017, wrote an already infamous column titled "Saudi Arabia's Arab Spring at Last," which credulously bought every one of MBS' assurances about modernization and liberalization.

MBS met with Oprah. He sat with Kobe Bryant. World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) reached a lucrative ten-year deal to present live events in Saudi Arabia, one that included both a prohibition on WWE's thriving women's division from participating in the Saudi events and the airing of pro-regime propaganda on WWE's TV shows:

Video WWE aired during GRR in April celebrating Saudi government pic.twitter.com/AzSdUotwAZ

-- Brandon Howard Thurston (@BrandonThurston)


Even Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, the wrestler-turned-movie star, praised MBS in an Instagram post following a private dinner in Los Angeles with the crown prince- one also attended by News Corp founder Rupert Murdoch, Disney CEO Robert Iger, director James Cameron and actor Morgan Freeman. The dinner was seen as an attempt by MBS to get the Saudis into the game of investing in major motion pictures, as China has been doing for years:

View this post on Instagram

Historic night it was. A pleasure to have a private dinner with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, his royal family and distinguished cadre. Fascinating experience to hear his deep rooted, yet modern views on the world and certainly the positive growth he desires for his country. As always, I asked a lot of questions. Listened and learned. Thank you everyone for a great night. Luckily, I brought my own tequila

A post shared by therock (@therock) on Apr 4, 2018 at 11:51am PDT

Meanwhile, while President Barack Obama's Mideast policy was more geared towards building a balance of power between Saudi Arabia and Iran, the Trump Administration has leaned much more heavily towards the Saudis, with the president visiting Riyadh on his first foreign trip in May of 2017. That visit included the signing of a $110 billion arms deal between the countries, and presidential advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner has since reportedly become close with MBS.

Questioning the Prince

However, even before the death of Khashoggi there were plenty of reasons for skepticism about the Saudis' modernization push. For one thing, Saudi Arabia remains a hereditary monarchy, with not even a hint of real democratic reforms in the offing. Also, this is far from the first time the Saudi rulers have made a high-profile to sell themselves as modernizers to Western audiences.

Donald Trump in Saudi Arabia

Al-Waleed bin Talal, another Saudi prince, even took the step years ago of investing in American tech companies and philanthropies- including Apple. Al-Waleed purchased a 5 percent stake in Apple, for $115 million, in 1997, around the time Steve Jobs returned to the company. He reportedly sold most of his Apple shares around 2005, but the prince provided a significant amount of a cash at a time when Apple's future was seriously in question- not that much less, in fact, than Microsoft famously invested that same year.

"We believe he is a small owner but [much] less than he owned years ago," said analyst Daniel Ives, managing director of equity research for Wedbush Securities. However, Ives described Al-Waleed as "a big historical supporter of the Apple story."

That same Prince Al-Waleed was arrested in the spring of 2017 by MBS, as part of a widespread purge of princes and government ministers, aimed at "anti-corruption" but suspected by some as the crown prince consolidating his power by eliminating rivals.

And Saudi Arabia- with U.S. weapons and support- has since 2015 been carrying out an intervention in Yemen's civil war that a United Nations office says has included the blatant commission of war crimes.

The Vision Fund

Not only have the Saudi royals rubbed elbows with a wide variety of Americans' favorite political leaders, athletes, and entertainers, but the Saudis have invested in a long list of companies that Americans use every day.

The Silicon Valley visit, in addition to public relations, was part of a Saudi effort to diversify the kingdom's long-held image as an economy dominated by oil, and instead play up its efforts to invest in the tech space. And the key to this, for them, is the largest private equity fund in the world, the Softbank Vision Fund, jointly backed by the Japan-based SoftBank and Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund. Apple, at the time of its launch, invested $1 billion in that very same fund.

Apple, SoftBank announced in May 2017, was an initial investor in the Vision Fund, along with such companies as Foxconn, Qualcomm and Sharp. "Apple is planning to invest $1 billion in SoftBank's Vision Fund," Apple told Techcrunch at the time. We've worked closely with SoftBank for many years and we believe their new fund will speed the development of technologies which may be strategically important to Apple."

The Vision Fund

When the Vision Fund launched in 2017, $45 billion of its $93 billion came from the Saudi government, through its Public Investment Fund. About half of the Saudis' investment has already been tapped, according to the Washington Post, but there are plans for a second fund. When it comes to Khashoggi, SoftBank is "anxiously monitoring" the situation, Reuters reported this week.

The Vision Fund has, according to Crunchbase, launched 36 investments to date, including major positions in such household-name companies as Uber, Slack, WeWork, and Fanatics. That means that if you hailed an Uber, sent a message to your boss, or purchased a sports jersey, your life has been touched by the Saudi-backed Vision Fund in ways that extend further beyond existing ties between Apple and Saudi Arabia.

More recent investments by the fund have included such startups as Compass, Loggi, Brandless, Cohesity, and DoorDash. According to a Techcrunch report published days before Khashoggi's murder, the Vision Fund has "vice clauses," which prevent it from investing in tobacco, firearms or other such disreputable product categories.

Meanwhile, Tesla CEO Elon Musk claimed in August that he had obtained financing to take the company private, in a move that landed him in hot water with the SEC. Musk said at the time that his his purported financing was from what he described as "the Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund," which the CEO said had been attempting for two years to invest in Tesla.

Apple in the Kingdom

So, Apple has invested in the same fund as the Saudis, and has hosted its crown prince at its headquarters. Beyond that, Apple has more of a tangential relationship with Saudi Arabia.

Apple's 'Store' in Riyadh
Apple's 'Store' in Riyadh

Apple products are available in the country, mostly through third party dealers, and have been ever since a series of deals in 2014. Apple does not have offices or employees in Saudi Arabia.

In July, a store opened at the King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, described in Saudi media reports as an "official Apple Store." Opened in partnership with the adjacent Virgin Megastore, the store looks exactly like a standard Apple Store in every way except its small size. Another store, known as an "Apple Shop" but also resembling an Apple Store, opened in 2015 in Jeddah, also in partnership with Virgin.

However, the list on Apple's website of Apple Stores does not include any Saudi Arabia locations, nor does it list the kingdom as among the countries where the Apple Store does business. Reuters reported in December of 2017 that Apple was in talks with the Saudi government, with hopes that a licensing agreement would be reached by February, paving the way for Apple Stores to open in Saudi Arabia in 2019. However, no such deal was ever announced.

Apple has more of an established relationship with the United Arab Emirates, a neighboring country which is closely allied with Saudi Arabia. The three stores in UAB -- two in Dubai and one in Abu Dhabi -- are currently the only Apple Stores in the Middle East, although reports this summer say Israel will open one soon.

Apple's website's only mention of KSA has to do with repair policies in that country.

Apple has been quiet

Apple has made no official comments about its relationship with Saudi Arabia since Khasshogi's death. Several top American business executives have been pressured to pull out of this week's Saudi investment conference, known as "Davos in the Desert," although it doesn't appear anyone from Apple was ever scheduled to attend. Separately, however, Jony Ive's name recently was removed from a list of advisors for a planned megacity project in Saudi Arabia.

NEOM in Saudi Arabia
The project from which Jony Ive's name recently disappeared.

Apple is a multinational corporation, and not a government. Powerful as it is, Apple isn't able to impose sanctions or directly do much more to punish the Saudis for the murder of a journalist. That's generally a job for governments to do, not companies. Apple and other companies could push for sanctions or other government-initiated penalties against the Saudi regime, but the Trump Administration, based on comments by the president, appears inclined to give the Saudis the benefit of the doubt.

Apple is a partner in the same fund as the Saudi government, to the tune of $1 billion. But that's $1 billion to a company with a market cap of over $1 trillion, and invested in a fund worth close to $100 billion. If it wanted to, Apple could threaten to pull out of Saudi Arabia completely, by pulling its products, dropping any plans it had for Apple Stores or the education program discussed with MBS in April, and liquidating its position in the Vision Fund.

Both as a matter of conscience and of avoiding complicity in the murder of a journalist who resides in the United States, Apple should immediately move to do all of these things. After all, Apple wouldn't likely feel much pain to its bottom line if it pulled away from Saudi Arabia completely.

It hasn't been Tim Cook's style for Apple to make enemies with entire countries, although sometimes that has happened anyway. Even Turkey, the country in which Khashoggi died, got into the crosshairs with Apple this past summer, when Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoan called for a boycott of Apple products in retaliation for U.S. tariffs.

Given all of the talk in both the Steve Jobs and Tim Cook eras about doing the right thing, it would be perfectly in line with Apple's stated corporate ethos for Cook and Apple to pull away from the Saudis. But, the company will probably take the position that further access to iPhones and other Apple products will better serve to open up the Saudi people to the outside world and bring about positive change.

They may be right. But, it won't change the fact that just four months ago Apple may very well have hosted a murderer at Apple Park.
jahblade
«1345

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 83
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,339administrator
    This is an important topic to discuss. However, we do have rules for a reason. If you're going to participate in this thread, new user or old, read the commenting guidelines linked at the bottom of every page.

    While we're loosening the political restrictions for this thread, and this thread alone for now, this thread will be strictly moderated for other infractions. Be respectful.
    edited October 2018 jahbladedick applebaum
  • Reply 2 of 83
    Great article and thank you for taking a stand!
    jahbladenetmagewaltglarryjwaylkobiwanbill
  • Reply 3 of 83
    While I didn’t see it mentioned, there’s another underlying issue that affects Tim Cook. As an out gay man, I find it curious that he chums it up with someone who would have him executed just for his sexuality (note, not even behavior). It is simply enough to be accused of being gay to be arrested and executed in Saudi Arabia. I understand his fiduciary responsibility as CEO supersedes his personal issues in this context. But if the murder of a journalist is a red line, then why not this?
    jahbladenetmagejbdragonNigel_Swaltgshewygutengelyojimbo007leehammretrogusto
  • Reply 4 of 83
    teonyc said:
    While I didn’t see it mentioned, there’s another underlying issue that affects Tim Cook. As an out gay man, I find it curious that he chums it up with someone who would have him executed just for his sexuality (note, not even behavior). It is simply enough to be accused of being gay to be arrested and executed in Saudi Arabia. I understand his fiduciary responsibility as CEO supersedes his personal issues in this context. But if the murder of a journalist is a red line, then why not this?
    Right. My thoughts exactly. 

    Cook and all the other tech giants have no trouble cozying up to regimes such as Saudi Arabia and China--where gay rights are virtually nonexistent. And they don't say one negative word about those regimes. But Trump is the devil.

    Uh huh...

    They are all just massive hypocrites. As long as it's good for business, they are more than happy to do business with bad state actors. 
    acejax805jbdragoncanukstormcornchipaylkshewygutengelyojimbo007spacekid
  • Reply 5 of 83
    teonyc said:
    While I didn’t see it mentioned, there’s another underlying issue that affects Tim Cook. As an out gay man, I find it curious that he chums it up with someone who would have him executed just for his sexuality (note, not even behavior). It is simply enough to be accused of being gay to be arrested and executed in Saudi Arabia. I understand his fiduciary responsibility as CEO supersedes his personal issues in this context. But if the murder of a journalist is a red line, then why not this?
    Many Saudi's are pretty two-faced. There is the official face they use as the Guardians of Mecca and Medina. Then there is the face they often show in the west. That is very different than the other face. I've worked in Riyadh and Jeddah for extended periods. I had a few drinks with my former boss (a Saudi) in London a few years back. They are far more tolerant to people who do not agree with their beliefs when outside KSA. Business is Business. The older members of the house of Saud would not have done that but many of the younger ones have been educated in the west.

    shewy
  • Reply 6 of 83
    American journalists? I think that is not a correct assumptions. He is not an American and probably hates America. Just my opinion.
    Business is business, Tim have responsibilities to Apple stockholder....
    tylersdadDAalseth
  • Reply 7 of 83
    The balancing act between turning a dollar and maintaining morals and values. They can coexist (and should) however, when one side of the pendulum weighs more heavily than the other, that is when problem cans occur.
  • Reply 8 of 83
    teonyc said:
    While I didn’t see it mentioned, there’s another underlying issue that affects Tim Cook. As an out gay man, I find it curious that he chums it up with someone who would have him executed just for his sexuality (note, not even behavior). It is simply enough to be accused of being gay to be arrested and executed in Saudi Arabia. I understand his fiduciary responsibility as CEO supersedes his personal issues in this context. But if the murder of a journalist is a red line, then why not this?
    I think there are three aspects that worry people - one is that it was carried out on NATO soil, two, he was a US resident and some of his kids are citizens, three, he's a "journalist" even if it's part time and state-sponsored intimidation of the media is a classic anti-democratic move. If he was just some guy living in KSA and a victim of an extra-judicial killing, I doubt people would bat an eyelid. This will all blow over - look at what the Russians did in the UK, nothing has changed really 
    aylk
  • Reply 9 of 83
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,339administrator
    Kuyangkoh said:
    American journalists? I think that is not a correct assumptions. He is not an American and probably hates America. Just my opinion.
    Business is business, Tim have responsibilities to Apple stockholder....
    Based on what? 

    The guy had an American green card O-1, and wrote for the Washington Post. It doesn't get much more "American journalist" than that.
    edited October 2018 jbdragonSolispice-boyaylkshewygutengellolliver
  • Reply 10 of 83
    So happy Jony Ive pulled out of that enterprise. There was an episode of the West Wing where schoolgirls burned to death in Saudi Arabia. Men wouldn't let them leave the building because they "weren't dressed properly." This was based on multiple true stories. President Bartlet went on to sell them tanks and planes.

    C.J. Cregg: "
    That is Saudi Arabia, our partners in peace."

    Nothing has changed there. Their "
    Perestroika" is lipstick on a pig. Ironically, it turns out, just like the Russian version.
    edited October 2018 cornchip
  • Reply 11 of 83
    There is a significant error in this article. It refers to the journalist as "an American journalist". He is not an "American", he is a Saudi born citizen of Saudi Arabia, who self-imposed his own exile a very short time ago (September 2017). He was here on an "O Visa" sponsored by the Washington Post. He had not been in the country long enough to apply for citizenship nor had he applied for permanent residency. He in no way indicated that he was interested in becoming an American, and legally he absolutely was not an American by any sense of the word. 

    It would be great if you would correct your article. 


    radarthekatrandominternetpersoncornchipsacto joeSpamSandwichspacekid
  • Reply 12 of 83
    Kuyangkoh said:
    American journalists? I think that is not a correct assumptions. He is not an American and probably hates America. Just my opinion.
    Business is business, Tim have responsibilities to Apple stockholder....
    Based on what? 

    The guy had an American green card, and wrote for the Washington Post. It doesn't get much more "American journalist" than that.
    Green Card? This is inaccurate. 
    cornchipSpamSandwich
  • Reply 13 of 83
    dewmedewme Posts: 1,988member
    The knife cuts both ways. The west, and especially the US, is exploiting Saudi Arabia as much as they are exploiting the west. The root cause of many of the current problems in the region are traceable to the US installing a puppet government in Iran during the Cold War. Once that fiasco blew up in the US's face there has been a constant struggle to form a new Arab partnership with a malleable country to maintain permanent US influence in the region. The current weight being placed on the economic interdependencies between the US and Saudi Arabia are merely a facade for what is being put in place to exert extreme global pressure on Iran. The US still has a score to settle with Iran and the Saudis are simply a tool to be leveraged towards that end. 

    The "hates America" thing is, imho, total BS. I've worked directly with engineers, technicians, and military members in that region including Saudi Arabia, Iran, Syria, and Israel and to a person they have all been respectable family oriented professionals and caring individuals who value good relationships with their US colleagues and peers. Politicians, autocrats, and dictators with agendas use loaded phrases for propaganda purposes and to advance their own causes, political, idealogical, and financial, not the causes and priorities that matter to the people. Don't believe them, it makes you their tool. 
    canukstormhammeroftruthspice-boymac_dogGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 14 of 83
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,339administrator
    matthewk said:
    There is a significant error in this article. It refers to the journalist as "an American journalist". He is not an "American", he is a Saudi born citizen of Saudi Arabia, who self-imposed his own exile a very short time ago (September 2017). He was here on an "O Visa" sponsored by the Washington Post. He had not been in the country long enough to apply for citizenship nor had he applied for permanent residency. He in no way indicated that he was interested in becoming an American, and legally he absolutely was not an American by any sense of the word. 

    It would be great if you would correct your article. 


    This is a very fine hair to split. I understand what you are saying, but with the green card O-1 he is entitled to all of the legal protections of a citizen.

    In this case, the term "American" is not referring to his nationality, but the fact that he worked for the Post. We address his citizen status a few paragraphs in.
    edited October 2018 radarthekataylklolliver
  • Reply 15 of 83
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,339administrator
    matthewk said:
    Kuyangkoh said:
    American journalists? I think that is not a correct assumptions. He is not an American and probably hates America. Just my opinion.
    Business is business, Tim have responsibilities to Apple stockholder....
    Based on what? 

    The guy had an American green card, and wrote for the Washington Post. It doesn't get much more "American journalist" than that.
    Green Card? This is inaccurate. 
    What's your agenda here? The O-1 versus EB-1 "green card" have the same legal protections. I apologize for generalizing the term. I have struck out my own imprecise language in my comments and corrected the specific term, but it doesn't change the protections one iota.
    edited October 2018 aylkhubbaxlolliver
  • Reply 16 of 83
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 2,997moderator
    But, it won't change the fact that just four months ago Apple may very well have hosted a murderer at Apple Park.”

    This is a disingenuous statement because it carries the suggestion that Apple knowingly hosted a murderer.  Four months ago this murder hadn’t taken place and would have been pure speculation to have predicted.  

    On the general topic, the article touches on the fact that it’s really on shoulders of government to determine sanctions and other actions against bad state agents.  While I agree that Apple, or any ethical business should step away from dealing directly with known bad actors, I think it’s a stretch to suggest Apple, or any other business, should take steps to hold their products back from a country in such a situation we’re witnessing with this murder.  It’s simply not appropriate to condemn an entire populous based upon the actions of its rulers.  I’d say that Apple should maybe hold back on adding any company-owned Apple stores and maybe also refuse to partner with local firms, and maybe also pull out of the investment fund if the company wants to take that stand.  But I’d stop short of suggesting Apple should not make its products available to distribution and retail outlets in the country.  Let the government determine whether there should be sanctions that would prevent product sales.  
    edited October 2018 randominternetpersonsacto joeSpamSandwichlolliver
  • Reply 17 of 83
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 16,937member
    While I appreciate the in-depth editorial and examination of Apple's ties to the Saudis, I object to headline and the premise.  Suggesting I am tied to Saudi Arabia because I use an iPhone is absurd on its face.  By that measure, every person in the United States is tied to Saudi Arabia in some way, because American companies do business with them.  We all use Middle East oil, despite our newfound energy production boom.  It's just an inflammatory concept.  I'd much rather have a similar editorial called Apple's Complex Relationship with Saudi Arabia (and what it means for Apple customers).   
    radarthekathammeroftruthcanukstormrandominternetpersonsacto joelolliver
  • Reply 18 of 83
    thttht Posts: 3,100member
    Given all of the talk in both the Steve Jobs and Tim Cook eras about doing the right thing, it would be perfectly in line with Apple's stated corporate ethos for Cook and Apple to pull away from the Saudis. But, the company will probably take the position that further access to iPhones and other Apple products will better serve to open up the Saudi people to the outside world and bring about positive change.

    I agree with Cook’s general position, if in fact this is his position. Diffusion of culture takes a generations, but it would do its people the most good in the long run. If we think our beliefs are the right ones for humanity, then we should trust that engagement and the diffusion of our culture will work. The same for North Korea and Iran, or whichever country is considered evil these days.

    As we’ve learned however, there needs to be quite a lot of regulation with social media companies and their properties to really do it right, otherwise all the tech stuff can easily be used as tools of oppression.
    edited October 2018 lolliver
  • Reply 19 of 83
    matthewk said:
    Kuyangkoh said:
    American journalists? I think that is not a correct assumptions. He is not an American and probably hates America. Just my opinion.
    Business is business, Tim have responsibilities to Apple stockholder....
    Based on what? 

    The guy had an American green card, and wrote for the Washington Post. It doesn't get much more "American journalist" than that.
    Green Card? This is inaccurate. 
    What's your agenda here? The O-1 versus EB-1 "green card" have the same legal protections. I apologize for generalizing the term. I have struck out my own imprecise language in my comments and corrected the specific term, but it doesn't change the protections one iota.
    Simply accuracy. Working here, and having the same protections, doesn't make to "American". Saying so is inaccurate.
    sacto joe
  • Reply 20 of 83
    tzm41tzm41 Posts: 82member
    tylersdad said:
    teonyc said:
    While I didn’t see it mentioned, there’s another underlying issue that affects Tim Cook. As an out gay man, I find it curious that he chums it up with someone who would have him executed just for his sexuality (note, not even behavior). It is simply enough to be accused of being gay to be arrested and executed in Saudi Arabia. I understand his fiduciary responsibility as CEO supersedes his personal issues in this context. But if the murder of a journalist is a red line, then why not this?
    Right. My thoughts exactly. 

    Cook and all the other tech giants have no trouble cozying up to regimes such as Saudi Arabia and China--where gay rights are virtually nonexistent. And they don't say one negative word about those regimes. But Trump is the devil.

    Uh huh...

    They are all just massive hypocrites. As long as it's good for business, they are more than happy to do business with bad state actors. 

    Although same sex marriage is still not legalized in China, KSA and China are in very, very different leagues when it comes to gay rights...
Sign In or Register to comment.