Bezos questions whether China will gain influence on Twitter by buying Musk

Jeff Bezos questioned whether Elon Musk’s purchase of the social media company could allow China to gain influence on Twitter — but after voicing the prospect, Bezos said he doesn’t think Musk will go down a path of censorship.

“Interesting question. Has the Chinese government just gained some leverage over the town square?” Bezos asked while retweeting a post about Tesla’s ties to China.

“My own answer to that question is probably not. The more likely outcome in this regard is the complexity in China for Tesla and not the censorship on Twitter,” Bezos later added. “But we will see. Musk is extremely good at handling that kind of complexity.”

Musk – the co-founder and CEO of Tesla, a company known for its popular electric vehicles, has reached an agreement to purchase Twitter. The business tycoon has hinted that he believes Twitter should serve as a hub for free speech.

“Freedom of expression is the foundation of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital marketplace where important issues affecting the future of humanity are debated,” Musk said, according to Twitter press release about the deal.

Twitter announced Monday that the company “has entered into a definitive agreement to be exchanged from a company wholly owned by Elon Musk for $54.20 per share in cash in a transaction valued at about 44 billion US dollars is to be taken over. Upon closing of the transaction, Twitter will become a privately held company.”

Bezos, the founder and former Amazon CEO, retweeted a post by New York Times reporter Mike Forsythe, who noted that “Tesla’s second largest market in 2021 was China” and that “Chinese battery makers are key suppliers to Tesla’s electric vehicles.”

“After 2009, when China banned Twitter, the government there had almost no control over the platform,” Forsythe wrote. “That may have just changed.”

In response to Bezos’ tweet questioning whether China could potentially gain influence on Twitter, Jennifer Van Laar said tweeted“It’s interesting that you suddenly care about the Chinese government.”

“Democracy dies when it lets billionaires other than me control the media,” Mark Hemingway tweeted in a reference to the Washington Post slogan “Democracy dies in the dark.” Bezos owns the Washington Post.

Some on the left have sounded the alarm over Musk’s plan to buy Twitter, including Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who said the deal was “dangerous to our democracy.” Bezos questions whether China will gain influence on Twitter by buying Musk

Laura Coffey

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