The Tesla founder Elon Musk recently tweeted overnight lauding China for its prosperity and growth. He also posted the message on Weibo — a Chinese platform that has copied Twitter — feature wise. He responded to a post by China Xinhua News. He was criticized by many people on Twitter who reminded him of China’s human rights violations, coal fueled growth and more. He was accused of repeating official propaganda.
The Tesla CEO said that the economic prosperity that China had achieved was truly amazing, especially in infrastructure. He encouraged people to visit the country and see it for themselves.
People immediately posted their criticism against his remarks on Twitter. Some of them are as follows
- One person said the billionaire did a nice job kissing the plutocracy brass ring. The tweeter also rejected Musk’s suggestion to see the country by saying “No, thanks” as the economic prosperity was powered by filthy coal and slave labor conditions.
- Another one said that Tesla could perhaps move to China where he could also economically prosper. He might also be able to give China a few tips on climate change. On a cautionary aside note, we think if Musk goes to China and speaks about climate change, he needs to be careful in case he is considered to be a bully instead of an admirer as President of China Xi recently said that anyone who tries to bully China “will face broken heads and bloodshed.”
- Another person wrote that Elon Musk’s desperate groveling to save #Tesla in China would not work and that he was just repeating propaganda that was spread by a genocidal regime.
- Another person posted that Musk was trying to win the Communist Party of China’s heart to improve Tesla’s prospects in the country and to achieve that he had to “lick those boots.”
The Tesla billionaire has been facing a huge 285,000 electric vehicle recall in China. He has faced earlier challenges as well including alleged failure to address customers complaints. He has a huge following on Twitter as well as almost 1.8 million followers on Weibo.
Musk is not the first U.S. millionaire or billionaire businessperson to try to get on the better side of China. A few months ago, several clothing U.S. and European giants protested against the use of cotton from Xinjiang as it was produced by slave labor according to UN officials, Amnesty International and more. However, when faced with Chinese backlash, some of the groups withdrew their criticism of China as they were losing a sizable percentage of Chinese customers.