Softbank boss condemns Khashoggi killing but won't cut ties with Saudi Arabia

 
Callum Keown
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Softbank chief executive Masayoshi Son condemned the killing of Jamal Khashoggi (Source: Getty)

The chief executive of Softbank has condemned the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi but said the Japanese tech giant would not cut financial ties with Saudi Arabia.


Masayoshi Son withdrew from a controversial Saudi investor conference last month after the Washington Post columnist was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

The kingdom's sovereign wealth fund is the largest investor in Softbank's $93bn (£72bn) Vision Fund after Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman agreed to plug $45bn into the fund.

But Son, speaking at an earnings presentation in Tokyo, said the fund had a responsibility to the people of Saudi Arabia,

He said: “We have accepted funds from the people of Saudi Arabia that will be critical to diversifying the economy so that it will not be dependent only on oil.


“It is true that a horrible incident happened, but we also have a responsibility that we must uphold for the future of the people in Saudi Arabia.”

Softbank's Vision Fund has made large bets in startups such as messaging service Slack, office space provider WeWork and hotel chain OYO hotels.

With Saudi Arabia providing almost half of the fund, all eyes were on Son as he presented Softbank's June to September results, in the aftermath of Khashoggi's death.