US Companies Back Out of Saudi Events as Tensions Mount

Saudis will hold investment conference despite sudden loss of participants

Cash-rich oil exporter Saudi Arabia is always a sure thing for US companies. The recent controversy surrounding journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance and apparent murder, along with rising international tensions, has many companies rethinking that.

An upcoming investment conference in Saudi Arabia is losing participants left and right. JP Morgan Chase, Ford, Mastercard, and Blackrock have all announced that their CEOs have cancelled their planned attendance in the past couple of days. Google has also dropped its participation, and almost all major Western media outlets that were supposed to cover it have backed away.

Saudi officials say the conference will be going on as scheduled, despite having lost most of their major US participants and media coverage. Officials emphasized that they’re still going to have quite a few speakers in spite of this.

The other big even coming up in Saudi Arabia, WWE Crown Jewel, has yet to be cancelled. The company is, however, facing growing political pressure to back out of the event, and a number of their professional wrestlers have reportedly expressed discomfort with participating in the show.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of