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How China could force Elon Musk to censor Twitter


Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter could spell disaster for the social media platform, an expert says, as there is a danger that China will leverage Tesla’s footprint to force it to censor online content.

Scott Sheridan, CEO of online brokerage platform Tastyworks, told The Post that Musk’s $44 billion acquisition of Twitter doesn’t bode well for the social media company as well as its other prized businesses. – Tesla and SpaceX.

“I find it hard to believe that Elon’s purchase of Twitter could end well,” Sheridan told the Post.

Musk, the world’s richest person whose personal wealth – valued by Forbes at $241 billion – comes mostly from his stake in Tesla, has strong business ties to China.

Tesla’s largest factory is in Shanghai, the financial center of China. It is the only China-based factory wholly owned and operated by a non-Chinese entity.

In order for US-based companies to do business in China, the government in Beijing normally requires them to form “joint ventures” with domestic companies. Tesla was exempt from this stipulation.

Tesla’s access to China’s lucrative electric vehicle market could be used as leverage by the government in Beijing, experts warn.
Reuters

Tesla’s access to China – the world’s largest electric vehicle market – has paid huge dividends. Last year, Tesla sold $13.8 billion worth of electric cars to Chinese consumers, accounting for a quarter of the company’s global revenue.

In 2021, Tesla sold more than 470,000 electric cars made at its Shanghai gigafactory. That’s more than half the number of vehicles sold by Tesla worldwide.

Tesla’s growing reliance on China could give the Communist Party-led government leverage over Musk once it acquires Twitter.

Musk has pledged to make Twitter private and liberalize its content moderation policies to allow for greater freedom of expression.

But Sheridan predicted that China could press Musk in a bid to force him to adapt Twitter’s censorship policies so they align with Beijing’s political interests.

“China embraces freedom of expression as well as [Chicago] Bear fans hug each other [Green Bay Packers quarterback] Aaron Rogers at their dinner table,” Sheridan said.

He predicted to The Post that if Musk plays ball with China, it could jeopardize SpaceX’s contracts with NASA.

The huge gigantic Tesla factory in the financial center of Shanghai.
China is home to Tesla’s massive gigafactory in the financial hub of Shanghai.
PA

“If Elon’s Twitter story is nothing to worry about and you think he’ll take it seriously, you still can’t get around the potential conflicts he’ll encounter with China and even the US government,” did he declare. .

“You don’t have to try too hard to imagine a scenario where China is pressuring Elon to censor critics,” Sheridan continued.

“And any potential special treatment for China could potentially cost SpaceX existing and/or future contracts with the U.S. government.”

After Musk’s $44 billion Twitter bid was approved by the company’s board of directors last month, his billionaire rival Jeff Bezos wondered if the deal would end up empowering the company. China.

Elon Musk
Analysts are warning that China could force Musk to censor Twitter if he intends to maintain Tesla’s footprint there.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

“Interesting question. Did the Chinese government just gain some influence in the town square?” Bezos asked.

He shared a tweet from a New York Times reporter who noted that China was the second biggest market for Tesla, Musk’s pioneering electric car company which also opened its first overseas factory in Shanghai.

Twitter is blocked in China, giving it no effect on the site – which the plot shared by Bezos suggested could change under Musk.

Shortly after getting thousands of shares for his tweet, Bezos went on to admit he didn’t really believe it.



New York Post

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remon

Passionate troublemaker. Amateur gamer. Lifelong alcohol specialist. Social media nerd. Thinker
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