TWITTER – His appetite obviously has no limit. The acquisition of Twitter by Elon Musk, for the tidy sum of 44 billion dollars, does not fail to arouse questions and reactions. Including those of Jeff Bezos, the boss of Amazon and rival of Elon Musk in many areas such as the space race (Elon Musk leading SpaceX, while Jeff Bezos is at the head of Blue Origin).
Taking a tweet from Mike Forsythejournalist at the New York Times, the boss of Amazon highlighted the links between Elon Musk and China, wondering in a tweet if the “Chinese government” was not going to gain “a little influence” on the content published on Twitter thanks to this operation.
Interesting question. Did the Chinese government just gain a bit of leverage over the town square? https://t.co/jTiEnabP6T
—Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos)
An extension of Chinese censorship?
The Tesla company, also owned by Elon Musk and known for its success in the production and sale of electric cars, is indeed largely established in China, which is its second largest market. It is also from Chinese suppliers that the electric car company recovers most of its batteries.
Will this dependence of Tesla on China have an influence on Elon Musk’s future decisions regarding what is posted (or not) on Twitter? This is what many observers are wondering, as China has banned Twitter from its territory – like many Western social networks that escape online censorship from Chinese power.
The new acquisition of Elon Musk could thus be an opportunity to influence the content that is broadcast there outside of Chinese territory. “What if Beijing pressures him about, for example, a Uyghur or Hong Kong activist Twitter account? Or about the Chinese disinformation bots that operate this platform?”, also asked Melissa Chanan American journalist, after the takeover was announced.
A long-standing rivalry
However, after asking the question about the potential influence of the Chinese authorities on Elon Musk – without giving any concrete information on the subject -, Jeff Bezos continued his tweets by saying that “no, probably”, China will not win. no influence on Twitter through Elon Musk. According to Bezos, the main problem that his rival will face will be the “complexity” of Tesla’s establishment in China, rather than potential censorship on Twitter. The leader of Amazon then indicates that Elon Musk “is extremely good at navigating this kind of complexity”.
Still, the original question has been asked. And this reaction signs a new episode of a rivalry between Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk which is not new. Immensely rich thanks to American new technology companies, the two billionaires are in competition both in the field of accumulated fortune and the conquest of space. And are then not stingy with spades, each defending their ideas publicly, as shown in the video below.