- Twitter announced it accepted Elon Musk’s $44 billion buyout offer on Monday.
- Jeff Bezos took to Twitter to question whether Tesla’s business dealings in China would give it leverage over the company.
- Twitter has been banned in mainland China since June 2009 as part of the country’s “Great Firewall.”
Former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos wondered aloud to his nearly 4 million followers whether Tesla’s ties to Chinese suppliers could give the country leverage over Twitter after the social media platform accepted Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s buyout offer.
On Monday, Twitter announced it had accepted Musk’s buyout offer totaling $44 billion after initially being resistant to the Tesla CEO’s takeover proposal. The deal is expected to close this year, the social media platform said, pending feedback from shareholders and other regulatory details.
New York Times reporter Mike Forsyth pointed out in a tweet that the electric-car company’s second-biggest market in 2021 was in China, and that Chinese battery makers are major suppliers for Tesla vehicles. Tesla’s gigafactory in Shanghai stands at the heart of the company’s global supply chain, being its most productive plant in the world, per the Observer.
Forsyth also questioned whether China stands to gain any leverage over Twitter through the deal, a question Jeff Bezos — a longtime rival of Musk’s — echoed in a tweet of his own.
“Interesting question,” Bezos wrote in the tweet on Tuesday. “Did the Chinese government just gain a bit of leverage over the town square?”
—Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) April 25, 2022
Since June 2009, Twitter has been banned from mainland China as part of the country’s “Great Firewall,” which also blocks other major social media platforms such as Facebook.
It’s not the first time Bezos has weighed in on Musk’s Twitter acquisition. Earlier this month, he tweeted out a May 2020 report by Geekwire about a family homeless shelter attached to Amazon’s Seattle headquarters and suggested converting at least a part of Twitter’s headquarters into a homeless shelter. In response, Musk tweeted that it’s a “great idea.” Bezos’ tweet has since been deleted.
In December, Musk took a playful dig at Bezos when he tweeted a silver-medal emoji at the Amazon founder. Musk had earlier told Forbes that he would send Bezos — previously the richest person in the world — a silver medal when he topped the media outlet’s billionaires list.
Musk is currently the richest person in the world with a net worth of $219 billion, according to Forbes. He is followed by Bezos, who’s worth an estimated $171 billion.
Musk did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.