13. April 2023

Saudi-Arabiens digitale Abhängigkeit: Balanceakt zwischen Modernisierung und „Daten-Nationalismus“ Saudi-Arabiens digitale Abhängigkeit: Balanceakt zwischen Modernisierung und „Daten-Nationalismus“

Michelle Gassner & Barbara Schallhart

Drawing on the Digital Dependence Index, Michelle Gassner and Barbara Schallhart discuss Saudi-Arabia's digital dependence in their article.

Universität Bonn
Universität Bonn © CASSIS
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Saudi Arabia is striving to open up new future fields of digitalisation and the data economy with the help of its oil industry. Saudi Aramco is to help reduce the one-sided dependence on fossil resources. Investments in artificial intelligence (AI) and the initiation of international projects, such as the high-tech city of Neom, which is to become the Arab Sillicon Valley, are among the cornerstones of Vision 2030, the royal house's official strategy for digital transformation. Foreign investors and technologies play an important role in the royal agenda; any dependencies on hardware, software and related supply chains are not addressed. However, companies (domestic as well as foreign) are legally obliged to process data sets within the borders in the name of cyber sovereignty. The government also censors content on the internet. Statements on social platforms that the royal family classifies as oppositional are punished as cybercrime. It remains to be seen whether the monarchy on the Gulf will succeed in the balancing act between modernisation efforts and "data nationalism".

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