The fallout from the Jamal Khasoggi affair may leave a black cloud over Souq’s White Friday sale in Saudi Arabia. Earlier this month, several Saudis went online to express their anger at “Washington Post’s” coverage of the kingdom and called for a boycott of Amazon to punish Jeff Bezos, who owns both companies. Bezos had bought the Post for $250 million in 2013.
According to reports, “Boycott Amazon” was the top trending hashtag on Twitter in Saudi Arabia for several hours on November 4. Users shared images showing the deletion of the Amazon smartphone app, Bloomberg said at the time. They also called for a boycott of regional subsidiary Souq, which was acquired by Amazon in 2017.
The Middle East’s largest e-commerce player, Souq operates in both the UAE and Saudi Arabia, selling products from the Amazon Global Store to customers in both markets. “Let us boycott Amazon and Souq Com because its owner is the owner of the Washington Post anti-Saudi newspaper. We do not need this company because there is an alternative in the world,” said one Saudi Twitter user earlier this week.
“He made his newspaper a platform to lie and attack Saudi Arabia! Sorry my shop is a platform noon. I’ll cancel my account at your stores,” wrote another.
Noon, a region rival to Souq, is owned in part by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.