Bezos asks if Musk's Twitter gives China 'leverage'

STORY: The second richest man in the world used Twitter to shine a light on Elon Musk's $44 billion deal to buy social media platform.

Just hours after Twitter agreed to be bought by Musk, who supplanted Bezos as the world's richest man last year, the Amazon founder tweeted: "Did the Chinese government just gain a bit of leverage over the town square?"

While he followed that up with "probably not," the post brought fresh scrutiny to the deal in the very "town square" he referenced.

Since the beginning of Musk's pursuit of Twitter, which he intends to take private and initiate changes at the company, some have asked what the deal will mean for Twitter's content policy in China, where the social media platform is blocked.

Musk has key business interests in China, as Tesla relies heavily on the country for production and vehicle sales.

A Tesla spokesperson said the company has no comment and Twitter did not immediately reply to a Reuters' request for comment.

But China's foreign ministry weighed in, saying on Tuesday that there was no basis for speculation that Beijing could try to use leverage over Tesla in order to influence content on Twitter.

Some Twitter users have threatened to leave the micro-blogging site, fearing Musk - a self-described free speech absolutist - could bring about less content moderation and the reinstatement of banned individuals.

But the most well-known of the banned Twitter users – former U.S. President Donald Trump – said he would not be rejoining the platform even if his account is reinstated.

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