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Major news organisations and business leaders withdraw from Saudi investment conference over missing journalist

On October 2, 2018, prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi went missing after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Khashoggi, a once royal advisor turned critic, was murdered by Saudi agents in the consultate. Khashoggi's case prompted a number of media organizations and business leaders to withdraw from a high-profile investment conference dubbed "Davos in the Desert" due to take place in Riyadh on October 23, 2018. The following organisations and personalities have reportedly pulled out of the conference: Bloomberg, CNBC, CNN, Financial Times, Fox Business, The New York Times, Ajay Banga (MasterCard), Arianna Huffington (Thrive Global), Bill Ford (Ford), Bob Bakish (Viacom), Christine Lagarde (IMF), Dara Khosrowshahi (Uber), Diane Greene (Google Cloud), Ernest Moniz (former US Energy Secretary), Jamie Dimon (JP Morgan), Jean Lemierre (BNP Paribas), Joe Kaeser (Siemens), John Flint (HSBC), Kai-Fu Lee (Sinovation Ventures), Larry Fink (BlackRock), Liam Fox (UK International Trade Secretary), Fréderic Oudéa (Société Générale), Patrick Soon-Shiong (LA Times), Richard Branson (Virgin Group),  Masayoshi Son (SoftBank), Sheila Patel (Goldman Sachs), Stephen Schwarzman (Blackstone), Steve Case (AOL), Steven Mnuchin (US Treasury Secretary), Tidjane Thiam (Credit Suisse), William Winters (Standard Chartered), and Zanny Minton Beddoes (The Economist).

On October 19, we reached out for comment to several companies that were reported as planning on attending and/or sending their staff to the conference: EDF, Credit Suisse, and Siemens responded to our invitation - their responses are available below.

Read the latest news below on companies withdrawing from Saudi Arabia's investment conference.

Related story: Saudi govt. deployed "Twitter troll army" to silence critics and allegedly used McKinsey analysis to target dissidents

Company Responses

Credit Suisse View Response
Siemens View Response
HSBC

No Response

Accor

No Response

PricewaterhouseCoopers

No Response

Thales

No Response

Softbank

No Response

EY (Ernst & Young)

No Response

McKinsey

No Response

Deutsche Bank

No Response

Morgan Stanley

No Response

Bank of America

No Response

JPMorgan Chase

No Response

Société Générale

No Response

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