Jeff Bezos took to Twitter to draw attention to Tesla’s apparent link to China soon after it was announced that the micro-blogging platform had accepted Musk’s USD 44 million buy-offer. Quoting a separate tweet, Bezos said, “Did the Chinese government just gain a bit of leverage over the town square?”
China is, in fact, the world’s largest EV vehicle market and Tesla established its first overseas production unit in the country in 2018.
The tweet Jeff Bezos quoted was by Mike Forsythe, a New York Times reporter. In his tweet, he pointed out that China is Tesla’s second-largest market after the US. Further, some of China’s major battery makers are suppliers of Tesla’s EVs. It is noteworthy that Twitter is also banned in China.
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Bezos did send out the provocative tweet to hit out at his rival. In a separate tweet, he answered his own question by saying that the more likely outcome in this regard is complexity in China for Tesla rather than censorship on Twitter.
Bezos’ tweet did not go unnoticed as many users questioned him as well on his handling of the Washington Post that he acquired in 2013 in a $250 million deal.
Responding to Bezos’ tweet, Becket Adams, programme director at the National Journalism Center, pointed out the Washington Post’s own connections to China.
Both Bezos and Musk have been rivals for over a decade. Their rivalry intensified after they launched their respective space programmes. While Musk launched SpaceX in 2002, Bezos launched Blue Origin in 2000. Over the years, Bezos has appeared to be a critic of Musk’s goal to colonize Mars.
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