With Twitter now under Elon Musk, China junks speculations that it may try to influence Tesla

Wang Wenbin, the spokesperson of the Chinese foreign ministry, on Tuesday (April 26) dismissed speculation that may try to influence Twitter through Tesla.

Addressing a press conference, Wenbin said, “I noticed that you’re good at speculating but there is no basis.”

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has bought Twitter with a cash deal of $44 billion and since China is the biggest market for the electric automobile company it was speculated that it might use this to influence the content on the microblogging site Twitter.

Earlier, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos had said the Twitter deal gives China “a bit of leverage over the town square.”

“My own answer to this question is probably not. The more likely outcome in this regard is complexity in China for Tesla, rather than censorship at Twitter,” Bezos had tweeted.

In response, Musk, who is the world’s richest man and a competitor of Bezos said, “I hope that even my worst critics remain on Twitter, because that is what free speech means.”

Interestingly, Twitter is blocked in China and Beijing uses Weibo as its replacement in the Communist country.

Also see | Musk buys Twitter, here are other biggest-ever tech acquisitions so far

After Musk opened a new showroom in China’s northwestern region of Xinjiang, American activists had urged him to close it as Beijing has made concentration camps over there to abuse Uighur Muslims.

According to Ibrahim Hooper, the communications director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, “No American corporation should be doing business in a region that is the focal point of a campaign of genocide targeting a religious and ethnic minority.”

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Even White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki had condemned the move saying, “The international community, including the public and private sectors cannot look the other way when it comes to what is taking place in Xinjiang.” 

In 2019, Musk opened Tesla’s first factory outside the US in Shanghai. He has been at loggerheads with the US Securities Exchange Commission over a tweet claiming he will take Tesla private in 2018.

(With inputs from agencies)

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