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Saudi Arabia Expected to Invest $20 Bln in Chinese Technologies

Saudi Arabia Expected to Invest $20 Bln in Chinese Technologies

Tuesday, 27 July, 2021 - 10:30
A general view of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (SPA)

Saudi Arabia is expected to lead Gulf investments estimated at $20 billion in the Chinese technology sector over the next two years, according to investment sources.

Governor of the Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC), Mohammad al-Tamimi confirmed that the Saudi telecom market is the largest growing market in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

He indicated that the telecom market is worth an estimated $18.6 billion, the information technology market $17 billion and the postal market $1.7 billion. Telecom companies have a market value of $65.6 billion.

Abdullah bin Zaid al-Meleihi, an investor in Chinese technology, explained that Beijing plans to offer the Chinese technology sector to invest in the Middle East region.

He noted that the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology drafted a three-year work plan to develop the country’s cybersecurity sector, estimating its value could exceed $38.6 billion by 2023, according to Chinese reports.

The draft comes as the Chinese authorities intensify their efforts to prepare regulations to improve storage, data transfer, and the privacy of personal data, he added.

Cyberspace Administration of China proposes draft rules that call on all data-rich technology companies with more than one million users to undergo security reviews before listing their shares.

Meleihi told Asharq Al-Awsat that Chinese software revenues in the first half of this year amounted to $684 billion, while Gulf investments in the Chinese technology sector amount to $7 billion, with expectations to reach $20 billion over the next two years.

According to the investor, the electric car market in China is about threefold the European market. Recent data revealed that the global electric car market has grown at about 60 percent year-on-year.

Moreover, Alibaba Cloud has opened its headquarters in Saudi Arabia, which enhances the Kingdom’s digital leadership, both regionally and globally.

Alibaba Cloud plans to invest $500 million in the Kingdom as part of the qualitative partnership, said Meleihi.

The partnership seeks to provide an integrated set of cloud products and services to companies and establish the largest high-performance public cloud service for the MENA region.

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