© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Elon Musk’s twitter account is seen on a smartphone in front of the Twitter logo in this snapshot illustration, April 15, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo
(Reuters) – Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ:) founder Jeff Bezos asked in a Twitter (NYSE:) post if Elon Musk’s $44 billion cash deal to buy the social media platform American association gives China “a bit of leverage over the town. square”.
Twitter is blocked in China, where Musk, the world’s richest man, has primary business interests.
Musk, who calls himself a libertarian and has criticized Twitter’s content moderation policies, reached an agreement to acquire the company on Monday.
Political activists expect that Musk’s ownership of Twitter will mean less censorship and the reinstatement of banned individuals, including former US President Donald Trump.
There are also questions about what the deal will mean for Twitter’s content policy in China since Musk’s Tesla (NASDAQ:) relies heavily on China to make and sell cars.
“Has the Chinese government just gained a bit of leverage over the town square?” Bezos tweeted late Monday.
“My own answer to this question is probably no. The more likely outcome on this is the complexity in China for Tesla, than the censorship at Twitter,” he later said. that tweeted.
“I hope that even my worst critics remain on Twitter, because that’s what free speech means,” Musk said in a tweet on Monday.
China’s Foreign Ministry on Tuesday said there was no basis to speculate that Beijing might try to use leverage over Tesla to influence content on Twitter.
A Tesla spokesperson said the company had no comment. Twitter did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.