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Amazon founder Bezos claims China has 'leverage' over Musk following Twitter takeover

NewsAmazon founder Bezos claims China has 'leverage' over Musk following Twitter takeover

Yesterday, SpaceX CEO and the world’s richest man Elon Musk reached a deal with Twitter to buy the social media platform in a $44 billion deal (£34.8 billion). Following a dramatic two-week long takeover attempt, Mr Musk’s offer to buy the social networking app finally prevailed, with the billionaire promising to unlock the “tremendous potential” that Twitter has during his ownership.

This change in ownership has caused several parties to raise alarm bells, ranging from politicians to hate speech activists.

However, one of the prominent critics of the takeover was Amazon’s founder Jeff Bezos, who commented on the influence China could have on Mr Musk and Twitter.

The former richest man tweeted: “Did the Chinese government just gain a bit of leverage over the town square?”

While Twitter is blocked in China, Mr Musk’s Tesla is heavily dependent on the country for its battery manufacturing capabilities, evening having a Tesla Gigafactory in Shanghai.

China is also the largest market for Tesla vehicles after the US.

These factors suggest Xi Jinping could attempt to use Mr Musk’s interests in China to influence how Twitter operates, potentially hamstringing his bid to make the site a hub for free speech.

About an hour after his tweet, Mr Bezos downplayed his earlier tweet, saying: “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 of Twitter.

READ MORE: Musk and Bezos have UK space sector ‘on their radar’

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