Amazon chairman Jeff Bezos inquired in a tweet whether Elon Musk’s $44 billion deal to acquire Twitter provides China “a bit of leverage over the town square.” The social media platform is currently banned in the country, where the business magnate has major business ventures.
On Monday, Musk, who describes himself as a free speech absolutist and has condemned Twitter’s content moderation policy, struck a deal to buy the company.
Several political activists believe that Musk’s acquisition of Twitter will indicate faint moderation and the reinstallation of blocked personalities such as former US President Donald Trump.
Questions about the deal’s impact on Twitter’s China content policy are emerging, with Tesla, Musk’s automaker company, mainly depending on China for manufacturing and car sales.
Late on Monday, a tweet from Bezos read: “Did the Chinese government just gain 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,” he added.
Musk posted on Twitter Monday that he hopes “that even my worst critics remain on Twitter because that is what free speech means.”
On Tuesday, China’s foreign ministry stated that there were no grounds for notions that Beijing could try to utilize leverage over Tesla to gain control of Twitter content.
The company has no comment, said a Tesla spokesperson. Twitter has also not commented on the matter.
Employees and Twitter management wonder if the deal justly compensates for the company’s value and how it would impact the operations. Some spectators also ask how Musk will run the company considering his already helming two giants – Tesla and SpaceX.
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