In a battle of the billionaires, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos discussed the possibility of China gaining influence on Twitter following news of Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s acquisition of the social media company.
With many sharing their dismay at Musk buying Twitter and questioning his motives to spend $44 billion on the deal, a New York Times reporter, Mike Forsythe, shared Tesla’s impact in China and questioned the possible influence the nation could gain.
In response to the comments from Forsythe, Bezos questioned the possibility of China gaining influence in a major US-based social media company, taking shots at his rival Musk.
In 2021 Tesla’s second-largest market was China after the US On top of that, the nation is a major supplier of the batteries used in Tesla’s electric vehicles.
It also bears mentioning that Twitter was banned in China in 2009 because its government “had almost no leverage over the platform,” Forsythe said.
Bezos did add more to his comments saying, “My own answer to this question is probably not,” to whether or not China will gain a strong influence on Twitter.
“The more likely potential in this regard is complexity in China for Tesla, rather than censorship at Twitter,” Bezos said.
He then went on to compliment the world’s richest man, saying he is “extremely good at navigating this kind of complexity.”
Bezos and Musk have long been rivals as the two continue to have their own private space race between their companies, Blue Origin and SpaceX.
But some have pointed to Bezos’ comments as being hypocritical, being that he has had his own run-ins with China and his company Amazon.
In December, an investigation uncovered that Amazon had given in to demands from the country in order to grow the company there, Reuters reported.
When the Washington Post, which Bezos owns, published the op-ed “Elon Musk’s Twitter Investment Could Be Bad News for Free Speech,” Musk tweeted it, saying it was “always good for a laugh.”