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  • eth = $2 940.26 -55.91 (-1.87 %)

  • ton = $2.09 -0.04 (-1.77 %)

1 Mar, 2023
2 min time to read

The suggestion from a state-run paper in China is that by posting about a "lab leak" theory as the source of COVID, Musk is being ungrateful to the entity that supports him.

According to CNBC, Elon Musk has been warned by China's state-run paper, The Global Times, about promoting the COVID "lab leak" theory. In a social media post, the paper questioned if Musk is "breaking the pot of China," meaning he is biting the hand that feeds him.

It was anticipated that at some point, Twitter's content would put Musk at odds with the Chinese Communist Party, following his announcement of buying the platform. Nilay Patel wrote about this after the deal closed, stating that the Chinese government could threaten Tesla's business in China over Twitter content.

It is unsurprising that this issue has surfaced, but it is still astonishing that Elon Musk himself posted saber-rattling tweets over something that China does not approve of.

China serves as Tesla's second-largest market and hosts one of its gigafactories, while also providing key materials for the production of electric cars. However, Tesla's Shanghai factory expansion faced a delay in January due to the Chinese government's concerns about Starlink, highlighting the potential impact of other ventures on Tesla's operations.

Recently, Elon Musk responded to tweets alleging that the COVID-19 virus originated from a Chinese laboratory. These tweets referenced a Wall Street Journal report of a classified Energy Department document, which concluded with "low confidence" that the Wuhan Institute of Virology was the virus's source. In response, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman called for the US government to refrain from defaming and politicizing the tracing of the virus's origins. The Global Times further suggested that Musk's tweets and retweets are being utilized to unjustly implicate China.

Previously, Twitter under Musk has faced government censorship pressure, but now it appears that Musk's own tweets are causing controversy. According to a 2021 Bloomberg report, Tesla's response to the Chinese government has been markedly different from its approach in the US, with the former being apologetic and deferential, while the latter has seen Musk hang up on government officials and invite followers to invent new acronyms for agencies such as the SEC.