More than 1,000 mobile shops in Saudi Arabia were shut down between the beginning of September and mid November due to their non-compliance with new Saudisation rules.
Saudi Press Agency reports that 1,207 violators of the new rules, which require mobile phone sales and maintenance shops to employ only Saudi workers, have been referred for penal action.
Muhammad Al-Faleh, assistant undersecretary for inspection and work environment development at the ministry, was quoted as saying 116,078 inspections had taken place across the kingdom to check for violations.
As a result 1,079 shops were shut and 138 served warning notices during the September 3 to November 16 period.
This included 88 shut in the Eastern Province, 270 in Riyadh and 102 in Al-Qassim.
Members of the public have been told to report any violations of the new rules to the ministry of labour.
There have been concerns that the new rules, which were first announced in March, have negatively impacted the industry with many investors choosing to exit the sector.
Nearly 2,000 shops were closed following the introduction of the first phase of the Saudisation plan, requiring 50 per cent of mobile shop staff to be Saudi, earlier this year.
Following the nationalisation drive in the mobile industry, the labour ministry is reported to be seeking to nationalise health and automobile sales and rental jobs.
However, a survey earlier this year showed that many unemployed Saudis are still put off by the lower salaries and longer working hours in the private sector.
Statistics for the second quarter showed Saudi unemployment increased with more than one in ten nationals out of work.