US President Joe Biden has hinted his government may look into Elon Musk’s business and technical ties with certain foreign governments, including Saudi Arabia, which has emerged as a major investor in the Twitter takeover.
While at a press conference at the White House to discuss the midterm elections and foreign policy, Joe Biden was questioned by the journalist of Bloomberg, jenny leonardif Elon Musk was a threat to national security. The journalist also asked the US president if Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter with funds invested by Saudi Arabia and other foreign governments should be investigated.
“I think Elon Musk’s technical cooperation or ties with other countries are worth looking at,” Biden said. “I’m not saying he’s acting inappropriately or not. I am simply indicating that this situation merits consideration. I won’t say more. »
The US president’s comments are unlikely to improve his strained relationship with the world’s richest man. The latter made fun of Joe Biden’s age and called him a “wet sock puppet in human form. Elon Musk seemed particularly angered last year that the Biden government ignored Tesla’s successes in the electric vehicle market, while praising efforts by General Motos and Fors to grow their own businesses. in this same market.
Joe Biden is not the only one to worry about certain links maintained by Elon Musk with foreign governments. The Saudi Prince Al-Walid bin Talalwhose country is not known for its liberal democratic values, backed Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter by investing 1$.9 billion in the operation. Now he is the second largest investor in Twitter (having invested in the platform in 2011, Prince Al-Walid bin Talal already owned much of the company). Likewise, the Qatar Investment Fund (the sovereign investment fund of the emirate of Qatar, editor’s note) has also invested $375 million. These investments have raised many national security concerns among some government officials. In this regard, US Senator Chris Murphy (Democrat) has demand a review by the Committee on Foreign Investment of the United States (or CFIUS).
Aside from Twitter, Elon Musk’s other business interests may be in question. SpaceX helped Ukraine after the Russian invasion by providing Starlink satellite internet service for several months. However, Elon Musk wonders about the possibility of ending this assistance, because it operates at the expense of the company.
For its part, Tesla needs large quantities of raw materials for its batteries, in particular Russian nickel. Elon Musk recently came under fire for proposing a peace plan on Twitter to end the war in Ukraine, but the tone of that post was clearly pro-Kremlin. Elon Musk also has ties to China, as Tesla is the only foreign automaker allowed to fully own and operate its factory in the country, without being required to work with a Chinese partner.
This situation has led many observers to wonder whether China, which bans Twitter, will be able to exercise control over the platform by seeking to minimize criticism of its policies, including the treatment of Uyghurs, or by removing content. pro-Taiwan.
Article translated from Forbes US – Author: Alan Ohnsman
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