Jeff Bezos Wonders About Elon Musk and China
Jeff Bezos Wonders About Elon Musk and China
April 26, 2022
After Elon Musk bought Twitter, his rival Jeff Bezos wondered if China might use Musk’s new toy to take advantage of him. Why would Bezos say such a thing?
It’s because Tesla has connections in China, as New York Times reporter Jeff Forsythe pointed out in a tweet. First of all, China supplies batteries for the electric cars. On top of that, China is also Tesla’s second-largest market, after the United States.
And guess who commented on that tweet by Forsythe? None other than Jeff Bezos.
Interesting question. Did the Chinese government just gain a bit of leverage over the town square? https://t.co/jTiEnabP6T
— Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) April 25, 2022
However, Bezos went on to answer his own question:
“My own answer to this question is probably not. The more likely outcome in this regard is complexity in China for Tesla, rather than censorship at Twitter.”
“But we’ll see. Musk is extremely good at navigating this kind of complexity.”
But the Chinese Communist Party does allow Tesla to operate a factory in Shanghai, which could not happen without their permission. Even more cringeworthy is when Musk praised the CCP on its 100th anniversary in June, 2021, tweeting:
“The economic prosperity that China has achieved is truly amazing, especially in infrastructure! I encourage people to visit and see for themselves.”
Musk also posted that comment at Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, a platform which exists only at the pleasure of the CCP. Moreover, Elon Musk had also appeared on China Central Television (CCTV) in March, praising China and predicting that it would “become the biggest economy in the world.”
Dancing in China. Tesla News.
So does Jeff Bezos have a point about Musk’s Chinese connections?
Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy had words about Jeff Bezos and his criticism of Elon Musk, tweeting:
“Interesting that you ask this question about Twitter but haven’t said a peep about your concerns about Chinese influence over, say, BlackRock (the world’s largest asset manager). Or countless other companies. I wonder why.”
While another Twitter user pointed out how Amazon, owned by Jeff Bezos, also kowtowed to China’s wishes.
— Kaylan_TX ☮️ (@Kaylan_TX) April 26, 2022
Maria Bartiromo at Fox Business also pointed out Bezos’s hypocrisy about China.
And, of course, we’ve all bought stuff from Amazon. So think back — how many of those items came from China? How many of those Amazon “suggestions” that you’ve received in your email inbox featured stuff not only made in China, but directly from Chinese companies? And have you ever wondered if some of that Amazon stuff was made by Uyghurs in forced labor camps?
Say more Jeff pic.twitter.com/OpAdXCp4rI
— firstname.lastname@example.org (@Jason) April 26, 2022
So Jeff Bezos has some ‘splainin’ to do, too.
Perhaps it’s because of the ginormous egos involved, but the CEO’s of some of the most powerful Silicon Valley companies are arch-rivals. Or so they would like you to believe.
For example, there’s Mark Zuckerberg vs. Apple’s Tim Cook. The legendary feud between Bill Gates and the late Steve Jobs. And then there’s Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos.
Supposedly it’s because of their respective rocket programs — Musk’s Space X vs. Bezos’s Blue Origin. (The phallic jokes here just write themselves, don’t they?) Starting in 2013, Musk and Bezos sued each other over things like NASA launch pad rights and patent battles.
But Ben Little of the University of East Anglia, a public research university in the UK, says this “rivalry” may be more about publicity than actual hatred.
Writing in “The Conversation,” Little says that the interests between Musk and Bezos, as well as other billionaires such as Alphabet’s Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Mark Zuckerberg, or Palantir’s Peter Thiel actually align more than they collide, especially when it comes to space. Thiel himself has even written that “monopolists lie to protect themselves,” while Page said in a speech that billionaires “travel as if they are pack dogs and stick to each other like glue.”
Moreover, Little and his colleagues researched the tech industry and found that its moguls actually support each other financially and strategically. As for those feuds? Little writes:
“So if we find ourselves swimming in clickbait about these men, it’s not incidental that we find them alongside celebrity news: it’s absolutely fundamental to their business strategies and thus a key source of their wealth and power.”
So those Jeff Bezos tweets about Elon Musk may be about publicity and little more. Meanwhile, why can’t they divorce themselves from China and focus on production in the United States, or at least in more friendly nations? After all, if little Lithuania could dare to poke the Chinese dragon by supporting Taiwan, think of how the world’s two richest men could impact China’s harms to all of us.
Featured image: photo compilation by Brand X Studio.
Kim is a pint-sized patriot who packs some big contradictions. She is a Baby Boomer who never became a hippie, an active Republican who first registered as a Democrat (okay, it was to help a sorority sister's father in his run for sheriff), and a devout Lutheran who practices yoga. Growing up in small-town Indiana, now living in the Kansas City metro, Kim is a conservative Midwestern gal whose heart is also in the Seattle area, where her eldest daughter, son-in-law, and grandson live. Kim is a working speech pathologist who left school system employment behind to subcontract to an agency, and has never looked back. She describes her conservatism as falling in the mold of Russell Kirk's Ten Conservative Principles. Don't know what they are? Google them!
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