Amazon rolls out shopping site in Saudi Arabia

E-commerce giant Amazon has launched its shopping site in Saudi Arabia, rebranding Souq.com as Amazon.sa.

The launch which comes amid growing interest in online shopping amid the coronavirus crisis across the world also reflects that Amazon’s business interest in the kingdom did not dwindle even in the face of the e-commerce giant’s CEO Jeff Bezos’ tensions with Riyadh following the publication of his leaked private conversations with his girlfriend last year.

With the rebranding of Souq.com, customers are automatically redirected to the new Amazon site.

“The new store brings together the best of Souq’s local know-how and Amazon’s global retailing experience. The store’s selection ranges from local products to those from all over the world, including Amazon US,” Amazon.sa said on its homepage on Wednesday.

Amazon, which aquired the Middle East e-commerce platform Souq.com in 2017, made a similar change last year when it rebranded Souq’s website in the United Arab Emirates to Amazon.ae.

The Amazon CEO’s tension with the kingdom began following the publication of his private phone messages to his lover, former TV anchor Lauren Sanchez, in The National Enquirer.

A veteran security consultant at the tech giant had claimed that the kingdom had access to the billionaire’s phone and had “gained private information”.

Saudi Arabia, however, denied any involvement in the National Enquirer’s reporting of Amazon Founder and CEO’s extra-marital affair.