According to a report in Reuters, Bahrain’s foreign minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, has called for a boycott of ride-sharing app Uber after CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi decided to pull out of the Future Investment Initiative conference in Saudi Arabia because of the disappearance of a prominent Saudi journalist in Turkey. The Uber chief joins a list of high profile business executives distancing themselves from the country since Jamal Khashoggi, a journalist who has criticised the Saudi regime in the past, reportedly entered the Saudi consulate in Instanbul, Turkey, and has not been seen since. Amongst major figures to boycott the country are Virgin Group founder Richard Branson, AOL co-founder Steve Case, Los Angeles Times owner Patrick Soon-Shiong and The Huffington Post co-founder Arianna Huffington.
Khosrowshahi’s decision to not show up to the conference which is scheduled to be hosted by one of Uber’s largest investors has left Bahrain’s foreign minister scaving. Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund, invested $3.5 billion into Uber in 2016. Foreign minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa has now tweeted calling for a boycott of Uber in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. No further details of the boycott call have been released. It is unclear if it has been aimed at user’s of Uber’s service or investors in the company, or even both. Are Bahrain planning any other measures against Uber? We’ll soon find out.