Saudi Arabia funds new digital news platform in U.S.
Islam News – Saudi Arabia is funding a yet-to-be-announced digital news platform, which will have a studio in Washington, D.C., as the kingdom begins a new lobbying effort aimed at the White House and Congress.
The new effort, which had yet to be reported, is being backed by a subsidiary of the Saudi Technology Development and Investment Co., or Taqnia, according to new foreign lobbying disclosures filed with the Department of Justice.
Journalists and presenters involved in the project have past experience at Fox News, Al Jazeera, NBC and SiriusXM satellite radio.
The creation of what one of the documents calls a “news platform” comes as the kingdom has started hiring a new team of lobbyists as the Saudis seek access to President Joe Biden’s administration and the new Congress.
The subsidiary backing the initiative is Taqnia ETS, a company that focuses on engineering and technological services for Saudi Arabia.
PitchBook says Taqnia is based in Saudi Arabia, which “prefers to invest in the life sciences and health, security and defense, information and communication technology, material sciences, energy and environment and water technology sectors.”
Taqnia’s website says it is owned by the kingdom’s over $400 billion Public Investment Fund, or PIF, the country’s massive sovereign wealth fund that’s meant to invest into projects and help boost Saudi Arabia’s economy. The lobbying disclosure report says Taqnia ETS is “supervised and financed by the Saudi Ministry of Information.”