Google's parent company Alphabet is exploring a relationship with Saudi Arabia's oil giant to build a 'tech hub' in the Middle East

Ethan Miller/Getty ImagesAlphabet CEO Larry Page has reportedly been talking with the Saudi Arabian government about building a ‘tech hub’ in the Middle East.
  • Google’s parent company, Alphabet, is reportedly in talks with Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil company Aramco about building a “tech hub” in the Middle East.
  • According to The Wall Street Journal, Alphabet would build data centres in the region.
  • Aramco, potentially the world’s most valuable company, is planning a late 2018 IPO that could valua the oil giant at $US2 trillion.

Google’s parent company Alphabet is exploring a deal with Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil company Aramco to build data centres in the Middle East, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

The report says Alphabet wants to help Aramco build a “tech hub” in the region as competition from other companies like Amazon heats up. The tech hub could reportedly include data centres built as a part of the partnership, though the specifics of which company would construct and operate the cloud servers isn’t clear.

Alphabet CEO Larry Page has reportedly been involved in talks between the two companies for months. Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, reportedly has a keen interest in Silicon Valley, and is in favour of the talks of a potential partnership between the two companies.

Aramco, a privately held company that could be the most valuable company in the world, has been planning an IPO set for late 2018 that could value the oil giant at $US2 trillion. It will likely be the world’s biggest IPO.

While a joint venture with Alphabet isn’t directly tied to Aramco’s plans to go public, The Journal notes that the oil company could use the partnership to entice investors.

The deal is not finalised, and a partnership may never materialise, the report says.

Read The WSJ piece for more details.

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