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SoftBank CEO Son says Saudi fund to continue despite Khashoggi murder

43 Comments
By Sam Nussey and Makiko Yamazaki

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43 Comments
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It is not "investment" - it is blood money, and not only Kashoggi's.

It is not an "incident", but coldblooded, premeditated murder, including the premedidated cutting of the victim into pieces.

It is not carrying on responsibility towards the Saudi people, but making sure that the Saudi people are and continue to be shackled.

What it is: Coldblooded and ruthless profiteering without any regard for human decency.

16 ( +19 / -3 )

I do not like Son invest his profit in other than his essential job of mobile communications. Compared with NTT Docomo and KDD au, Softbank employees are not treated as good as other two.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

I doubt anyone thought anything different. If it was some third-world country, with no money, nor influence, he'd be walking out the door.

Sadly this incident is going to go by the wayside right quick.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

If this were one isolated incident then maybe Mr Son’s attitude would be comprehensible.

However,the abhorrent practices of public executions and hangings,the street beatings and public amputations show that there is an ingrained violence perpetrated by the state.

Son is in bed with the devil........

20 ( +20 / -0 )

Lost all my respect for Son.Was even a mini SB stockholder for 15 years back in the day because of him.But he's shown,he's morally as bankrupt as Trump is, when it comes to money.

13 ( +16 / -3 )

Its money...stupid! This is what has always and will always make the world go round. Obliviousness to this is comical.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

So to be a good businessman, one must be soulless. Wonder how many people have to die before he ever changes his mind, if ever, that is.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

financial collaborations with murderous states are cool, until it happens to you. ROFLMAO.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Would he still do this if a Japanese citizen had been given a vivisection?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Compared with NTT Docomo and KDD au, Softbank employees are not treated as good as other two.

and foreigners are treated even worse.

Its money...stupid! This is what has always and will always make the world go round. Obliviousness to this is comical

absolutely.

So to be a good businessman, one must be soulless.

Unfortunately, yes. That's exactly what it takes.

Wonder how many people have to die before he ever changes his mind, if ever, that is.

He won't.

Would he still do this if a Japanese citizen had been given a vivisection?

Honestly Cricky, I think he would- UNLESS the outcry from the citizenry and the right wing calling him out for being an ethnic Korean and not caring about Japan and all that was loud enough. Other than that, someone like him has 0 empathy with anyone.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The face of greed where morals go out the door...sad very sad

6 ( +7 / -1 )

But he's shown,he's morally as bankrupt as Trump is, when it comes to money.

Almost everybody is. At least Trump doesn't cloak it as an "incident" and "responsibility towards the Saudi people".

4 ( +4 / -0 )

No doubt it is "Coldblooded and ruthless profiteering", but what should Son have done, given all the money back? I think he already committed to the project and now has no choice but to put as good a face on it as possible.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Pathetic. Who wants their share of Saudi blood money?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

It must be OK. Remember "Masa" is one of President Trump's best friends and surely would not do anything to offend Mr. Trump. Right?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Fail.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The most insulting thing is that, he says its money from the Saudi populace. Its not. Its from the corrupt royal family.

Which common Saudi citizen know, let alone have a say about where the wealth is hidden?

Good that i stopped using anything softbank. Unfortunately this move by Son san will quitely die out in the japanese media and japanese mind. Remember they have stakes in yahoo japan.

In more enlightened societies, there would be boycotts. But here, everyone is minding their own business. After all, the family member didn't die.

The saying is true; dignity doesn't pay bills. He got to be soul-less for him to be super rich.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

"It is true that a horrible incident happened. On the other hand, we have a responsibility towards the Saudi people, and we must carry out our responsibility rather than turn our backs on them."

OK...he is not a native English speaker, but I would hardly call what happened an "incident"

And yes, you do have a duty to your investors buddy...and no one is saying you should turn your backs on them.

But...you also have a moral duty (as everyone even remotely connected) to assist in the search for the facts surrounding the brutal torture and murder of a man doing his job.

I was shocked to the core reading what happened to that poor fellow. And it wasn't no "incident" it was organised, premedatated murder!

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I'm not one to generally boycott anything.

But I find this so disturbing. It's one thing to know a regime are bad people, and do business with them. It's another thing to have that regime's murder out in the open, and yet still continue to do business with them for money. This goes beyond ignorance of the unknown, it's wilful disregard of entirely atrocious behavior, for money.

So if I continue to give my money to Softbank, I am guilty of that wilful disregard. I may have to switch off Softbank for this one, I'm definitely going to strongly consider it. This really doesn't sit well with me.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Would anyone criticising Son here instead demand a boycott of Saudi oil and pay more at the pump to show solidarity with Khashoggi? Didn't think so.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

who cares about life and death when there’s money to be made right? :-/

3 ( +5 / -2 )

"It is true that a horrible incident happened. On the other hand, we have a responsibility towards the Saudi people, and we must carry out our responsibility rather than turn our backs on them."

What he says is true. You can’t expect softbank to drop everything and pull out of Saudi Arabia to make a moral point for the crimes of a few murderous individuals, it’s just not how the world works. The corporate world will always be focused on business. You also can’t demand collective responsibility from the Saudis for this grim murder either.

What will be important to the future of the Saudi brand is how they deal with this domestically. Who will be held responsible and whether the rule of law actually applies. Not just for some. The world is watching, and as the comment above states people will choose where to spend their money accordingly. This is just the prudent play from Softbank though.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

SoftBank is not an isolated case. The corporations at best make the appropriate noises but go on feeding the savage Saudi regime. Wait until their oil runs out or is made obsolete. Then watch the roof crash down on the Saudi monsters.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

...his firm must carry out its responsibility to the kingdom's citizens whose money is invested in its Vision Fund

I guess that means money talks, while and morals and ethics walk?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Softbank would not be were it is today, all those buy outs in telecom companies, ARM Processor company etcetc without external investments.. Masyoshi is doing BUSINESS with Saudi's, how can you mix business and politics?

That massive amount of investment is great for Japan, the US and the world.

Without large capital, there is no new emerging tech companies, there is no jobs, there is no economy, there is NO JOBS think before stating politics.. they do not mix.

Aside from that Prince, if any of you follow international markets, you would know Kingdom Holdings owns a ton of large stakes and investments in: Twitter, Apple, Citibank, Four Seasons Hotel etc etc

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-arrests-alwaleed-factbox/factbox-prince-alwaleeds-international-and-domestic-investments-idUSKBN1D50XH

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Questioning morals? how about questioning Google stalking your Gmail, Android phones and every aspect you do in your life, such as your credit card number, online banking everything you do?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

No one did anything to Street View stalking your home address with vans that have cameras to see exactly outside your residential and business adress

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Wake up before even talking business/economics, otherwise you have no job without a COMPANY under their employment..

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Actually this article is wrong, its way beyond a $100 Billion US

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Twitter etc wouldnt exist without their capital

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Its funny how the media plays a heavy hand in how humans judge things, when morals and ethics do not mix with business, yet the Iraq war, the war for taking the Iraqi peoples oil, there was no 'WMD' Afghanistan war, burdens on heavy taxs here, corruption and everything else never get questioned..

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

100 billion in debt free investment, no strings attached, anyone would be laughing to the bank..

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Nice to see many people outraged by Khashoggi's brutal murder. But where was all this outrage when the Saudis were (and still are) brutally murdering 1000's of Yemeni civilians?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Masayoshi Son stating it himself: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ea3Na9HkwOg

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

It is a shame. Persons driven by greed for Saudi money should be avoided.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Err Yemeni children...

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

While clearly Son is VERY directly connected to Saudi Arabia we need to remember we are ALL somewhat complicit as the countries we live in BUY barrels of their oil!!

We need to figure a way to get AWAY from buying oil from the Saudi's until then we are ALL part of the problem.

But clearly Son should have grown a pair instead his have shrunken!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

How is oil and private investments in tech and emerging technologies connected? 2 completly different industries not connected..

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Would anyone criticising Son here instead demand a boycott of Saudi oil and pay more at the pump to show solidarity with Khashoggi? Didn't think so.

Exactly! 35-40% of Japan's oil imports are from Saudi Arabia. Why has no one here sold off their car or bike yet? People can downvote but have no explanation.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Nice to see many people outraged by Khashoggi's brutal murder. But where was all this outrage when the Saudis were (and still are) brutally murdering 1000's of Yemeni civilians?

With MILLIONS on the brink of starvation too, and these foolish Saudis are no closer to winning the war. Worst thing, is that we are giving them guidance and training and resupply of these weapons. It's insane that we are partaking in genocide, and because they are rich, we (conservatives) say, 'well, turn away, and ignore it.'

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The crime itself is most heinous as it involves the murder of a journalist. Journalists are the very mitochondrial DNA of a free democracy.

That said, as others have already suggested, there is certainly an element of hypocrisy with people being outraged when there are clearly equally heinous crimes being committed by governments from all regions. America is not immune from such allegations, Russia certainly has a shadowy past. Do you really need a list?

The suggestion that Softbank, you have been engaged with the Saudis for a long time preceding this, should immediately terminate any further business, is a tough one and in all likelihood, impossible on a contractual basis. My personal hope is that they will slowly disengage and any further major funding comes from less than oppressive cultures.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

sorry... that should read as:

The suggestion that Softbank, who have been engaged with the Saudis for a long time preceding this, should immediately terminate any further business, is a tough one and in all likelihood, impossible on a contractual basis. My personal hope is that they will slowly disengage and any further major funding comes from less than oppressive cultures.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Cancelled my account with them today. Also wrote Son to tell him why. It's not much but it feels better than doing nothing.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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