Unbelievers in China and India fear a decline as Musk plans his Twitter options

The $ 44 billion offer for Twitter by Tesla CEO Elon Musk put the billionaire to the crossroads of censorship-prone Beijing and New Delhi. Activists and human rights activists are concerned that countries such as China and India will use Elon Musk’s trade interests to suppress opposition. [Bloomberg/Roy Liu/File] Elon Musk’s $ 44 billion donation to Twitter has put him in the crosshairs of sanctions-ridden governments such as China and India, raising concerns about how Tesla’s leader will respond to calls to reduce opposition in countries where he has done so. trade.

For Musk, with his various assets ranging from SpaceX to his signature company Tesla, managing the levels of information that governments would like to suppress carries the risk of serious recession for its brand. With a quarter of its global sales in China, and about half of its production and a major battery company at Tesla Giga Shanghai, the electric car company is seeing how it can be under pressure from Beijing in once Musk took charge on Twitter.

Human rights activists fear that pressure could be in the form of requests to censor action by opponents and activists on Twitter, providing information about widgets, or removing the “state-affiliated media” label associated with Kannada media. “I think people are very worried because Musk has a Tesla business in China,” Yaqiu Wang, a senior Chinese researcher at Human Rights Watch, told Al Jazeera. “People are therefore worried that the government could use the deal in China to try to sway, or influence, Twitter.”

Tesla’s relations with China have led to retirement in the past. During the launch of the Tesla 3 Model 3 in Hong Kong in mid-2019 in the wake of China’s loss of government protests in the city, Tesla drew criticism from activists who demanded the launch time for major industrial projects in mainland China. More recently, the company provoked outrage in January when it opened a demonstration room in China’s Xinjiang province, where rights groups estimate more than a million Uighurs members are being held in detention centers. called “re-education”.

Tesla has faced retirement from right-wing advertisers over its trade deals in China [File: David Zalubowski/AP] “China’s demand is a huge issue that needs to be addressed,” Dexter Thillien, a leading technology and telecoms analyst for the Department of Commerce, told Al Jazeera. The potential risks include some questions as to whether the deal will go through the Oct. 24 deadline. Antitrust reviews in the US could delay that recovery even further. On Tuesday, Tesla’s share price declined 12 percent, or an estimated $ 21bn, and any further slides could put the business at risk.

Concerns among Musk’s views on free speech, government policies on social media, and the billionaire’s business interests may also emerge in India, which has the third-highest number of Twitter users in the world, after the US and Japan. Although India’s 23.6 million accounts for at least 2 percent of the country’s population, the altar has increased in popularity due to its use by celebrities, politicians, cultural figures, athletes and other celebrities, in according to experts.

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