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Bits: The Week in Tech: Executives Pull Out of Saudi Conference

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Sprint, which is owned by SoftBank and is applying with regulators for an acquisition from T-Mobile, has been walking a fine line on how to respond.

“At this point in time, we, like most companies that have a relationship with Saudi Arabia, are watching developments and seeing where this goes,” said Marcelo Claure, the executive chairman of Sprint and chief operating officer of SoftBank.

The controversy adds to the already tricky terrain for Silicon Valley companies that have developed global supply chain partnerships, take foreign investments, and look to operate in countries that don’t value free speech or have adversarial relationships with the United States. In many instances, it’s nearly impossible to unscramble the egg.

In other news:

■ Don’t miss the in-depth report by The Times’s Paul Mozur on how the Myanmar military used Facebook as a tool for ethnic cleansing of the Muslim Rohingya. He shows in interviews with military and government officials there how easy it was to use the site to spread falsehoods and stoke anger against the Rohingya.

■ The ride-hailing rivals Uber and Lyft are preparing for I.P.O.s next year. Uber’s is predicted to be valued as high as $120 billion, according to Goldman Sachs estimates. The plans are part of a resurgence in tech public offerings, Michael J. de la Merced and Kate Conger reported.

Michael and Kate added that nearly 200 companies had raised more than $53 billion in initial public offerings in American markets in 2018, making it the busiest year for tech newcomers to Wall Street since 2014, according to data from Dealogic.

■ Paul Allen, who founded Microsoft with Bill Gates, died. He helped usher in the era of personal computing but may have been known less for his work at Microsoft than for his lasting legacy in Seattle, my hometown.


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