The rival billionaire seemed to suggest that Elon Musk owes Beijing
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has asked if China won “lever” via Twitter after Tesla CEO Elon Musk bought the platform in a multi-billion dollar deal, though he quickly backtracked on the comment.
Bezos took to social media Monday to muse on Musk’s $44 billion purchase of Twitter, insinuating that the move could give Beijing influence on the online world. “Town Square.”
“Interesting question. Did the Chinese government just get a little influence on the town square? he asked, citing a report by New York Times reporter Mike Forsythe outlining Musk’s business dealings in China.
Interesting question. Has the Chinese government just gained a little influence over the town square? https://t.co/jTiEnabP6T
— Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) Apr 25, 2022
Bezos quickly returned to clarifyhowever, saying that the deal with Musk will “probably not” give China dominion over the platform, predict instead “complexity in China for Tesla, instead of censorship on Twitter.”
‘But we’ll see. Musk is extremely good at navigating this kind of complexity.” he added†
Tesla’s CEO first pitched his takeover offer on Twitter earlier this month, shortly after buying a 9.2% stake in the company on April 4. to announce the deal on Monday afternoon, Musk called Twitter the “digital city square” and emphasized the need to maintain “freedom of opinion” on the site, and also promises to make the algorithms open source “increase trust.”
Despite Bezos’ warnings about the Chinese government’s influence on Western tech companies, his own company faced similar allegations last year after reports that Amazon was collaborating with a Chinese company. “propaganda poor” to scrap negative reviews on President Xi Jinping’s works. Sources cited by Reuters said the e-commerce giant did so in accordance with a “government order”, part of a “The company’s decades-long effort to gain favor in Beijing to protect and grow its business in one of the world’s largest markets.”
Tesla has also been working to enter the Chinese market, making the country the second-largest buyer after the United States last year. And while the electric car company aims to reduce its reliance on Chinese graphite used in battery production, it has long supplied such materials from China.