Beijing Regards Musk’s Satellites As Threat; Billionaire May Find It Harder To Operate In China: Report

by Swarajya Staff - Jun 24, 2022 02:52 PM +05:30 IST
Beijing Regards Musk’s Satellites As Threat; Billionaire May Find It Harder To Operate In China: ReportSpace X's CEO Elon Musk
Snapshot
  • As per report, Beijing’s military planners fear a scenario in which Musk’s satellites are deployed to conduct surveillance of China or support Taiwan.

As per a recent report by the Financial Times, Tesla chief Elon Musk may find it harder to balance his business interests between the USA and China. As per the report, Tesla is ‘under increasing pressure from Beijing’s national security and data hawks, threatening his access to the world’s biggest consumer market’.

The trigger for Beijing’s latest concern, according to the report, came from Musk’s active support for Ukraine in the country’s conflict with Russia. In less than two days after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Musk’s company SpaceX dispatched a shipment of Starlink satellite kits to fortify the country’s internet network. While this action was appreciated by the West it was viewed differently by China.

Importantly, China is where Musk’s company Tesla makes a quarter of its revenues.

According to the FT report, Beijing considers SpaceX and Starlink as critical parts of the US Space Military industrial complex and that several experts have warned that Musk will struggle to balance the competing interests of the rival superpowers as US-China space race accelerates.

The report mentions that Beijing’s military planners fear a scenario in which Musk’s satellites are deployed to conduct surveillance of China or support Taiwan.

The report quotes Dexter Roberts, a senior fellow with the Atlantic Council, saying that state-affiliated military researchers were very clear that Starlink “poses a threat to China”.

Also Read: China Begins Nationalising Private Schools In Order To Reform The Education Sector

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