Editor’s Note: I back currently back Elon Musk’s bid to buy Twitter. It’s not that I completely trust him, but the way I see it the current situation in Big Tech is abysmal. As Roger Simmermaker from our news partners at WND News Center notes below, there is definitely a risk of Musk being vulnerable to the Chinese Communist Party. However, the current leadership situation at Twitter is already a huge concern, so taking a chance with Musk at the helm instead seems prudent. With that said, Simmermaker’s points are valid and should be understood.
t first glance, Elon Musk’s Twitter bid may seem like a “nothing to see here” moment. Still, at least 12 former and current officials examining foreign investment say there could be national security concerns.
How so? In questionable countries like China, Russia, and Saudi Arabia, foreign governments have used Twitter to conduct disinformation campaigns to advance their national interests.
China, in particular, is always looking for ways to clean up its national image in the eyes of foreigners. And which of these three countries has the most leverage over Musk? China. Set aside for a minute the fact that Twitter itself is inaccessible in China. Ironically, China wants to use what it does not allow in its own country to peer into the inner workings of U.S.-based tech companies.
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China has accumulated interests in quite a list of companies blocked from operating in its country, including social media sites Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter, audio and video streaming sites YouTube, Pandora, and Spotify, and news media sites like The Wall Street Journal, Reuters, Financial Times, BBC, CNN, and TIME, productivity tools like Gmail, DropBox, Microsoft OneDrive, and Google Play, as well as VPN websites and politically sensitive websites, of course.
Also, the list of U.S. companies that have voluntarily pulled the plug on China entirely is staggering. It includes Amazon, eBay, Yahoo, Best Buy, Home Depot, Yahoo, Groupon, Uber, LinkedIn, Macy’s, Forever 21, and Airbnb (May 2023).
Few people doubt that Elon Musk is super intelligent. Some would even say he is a genius. Yet some would also say (and have said) that he is incredibly impulsive. Musk is already the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX. How many irons can Musk have in the fire at once? Would Musk being the CEO of three large companies cause him to cut corners by outsourcing U.S. production and have less to manage domestically?
Tesla’s senior vice-president of powertrain and energy engineering, Drew Baglino, has said Tesla is “building 4680 structural packs every day” in California. Panasonic is doing this in Japan for Tesla vehicles there. However, according to company sources, both efforts are “in limited production,” as reported by Automotive News on April 4, 2022.
In the same Automotive News article, Drew Baglino said, “the automaker is also ramping up its use of cheaper lithium-iron-phosphate cells from Chinese battery manufacturers such as CATL” (Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Limited). Baglino was also quoted as saying, “…in the end, it’s about cost competitiveness.”
If it truly is “about cost competitiveness,” does that mean if battery production in China is more efficient due to lower production costs than in the United States, Tesla will prefer to import most of its batteries from Chinese-owned CATL?
Since China’s Communist government still dominates several components critical to Tesla’s current and future fortunes, it holds significant leverage over Elon Musk. This reality should concern America’s national security leaders, including the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).
Elon Musk does not represent foreign investment per se. Still, in 2018, CFIUS was granted increased power that includes potentially blocking acquisitions that do not involve a foreign-owned company taking direct control of an American-owned company.
Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Alsaud should be required to reveal how much of his $2 billion investment in Twitter is owned by Saudi Arabia. The owners of Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund should be questioned about their investment in Twitter as well.
Blocking Musk’s Twitter bid would be no different than when President Obama refused to allow a Chinese-backed takeover of U.S. semiconductor company Aixtron. The justification? One of Aixtron’s past Chinese customers had support from China’s government and connections to the acquisitive company.
It also would be no different than when President Trump prevented Broadcom’s $130 billion acquisition of Qualcomm after Broadcom announced plans to relocate from Singapore to the U.S. The justification? CFIUS was worried that that Qualcomm was a Defense Department supplier, and Broadcom had a long list of Chinese customers.
CFIUS needs to step up with other national security leaders and make sure we don’t allow an acquisition that we will regret later before potentially irreversible damage is done to our country.
About Roger Simmermaker
Roger Simmermaker has written multiple books on buying American and trade policy since 1996, and has been a frequent guest on Fox News, Fox Business Network, CNN, and MSNBC. Roger has also been quoted or featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, BusinessWeek, and The New York Times, among many other publications. His new book ” UNCONSTITUTIONAL: Our Founding Fathers Rejected FREE TRADE And So Should We,” was printed in January 2020.
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Will America-First News Outlets Make it to 2023?
Things are looking grim for conservative and populist news sites.
There’s something happening behind the scenes at several popular conservative news outlets. 2021 was bad, but 2022 is proving to be disastrous for news sites that aren’t “playing ball” with the corporate media narrative. It’s being said that advertisers are cracking down, forcing some of the biggest ad networks like Google and Yahoo to pull their inventory from conservative outlets. This has had two major effects. First, it has cooled most conservative outlets from discussing “taboo” topics like Pandemic Panic Theater, voter fraud, or The Great Reset. Second, it has isolated those ad networks that aren’t playing ball.
Certain topics are anathema for most ad networks. Speaking out against vaccines or vaccine mandates is a certain path to being demonetized. Highlighting voter fraud in the 2020 and future elections is another instant advertising death penalty. Throw in truthful stories about climate change hysteria, Critical Race Theory, and the border crisis and it’s easy to understand how difficult it is for America-First news outlets to spread the facts, share conservative opinions, and still pay the bills.
Without naming names, I have been told of several news outlets who have been forced to either consolidate with larger organizations or who have backed down on covering certain topics out of fear of being “canceled” by the ad networks. I get it. This is a business for many of us and it’s not very profitable. Those of us who do this for a living are often barely squeaking by, so loss of additional revenue can often mean being forced to make cuts. That means not being able to cover the topics properly. Its a Catch-22: Tell the truth and lose the money necessary to keep telling the truth, or avoid the truth and make enough money to survive. Those who have chosen survival simply aren’t able to spread the truth properly.
We will never avoid the truth. The Lord will provide if it is His will. Our job is simply to share the facts, spread the Gospel, and educate as many Americans as possible while exposing the forces of evil.
To those who have the means, we ask that you please donate. We have options available now, but there is no telling when those options will cancel us. We have our GivingFuel page. There have been many who have been canceled by PayPal, but for now it’s still an option. Your generosity is what keeps these sites running and allows us to get the truth to the masses. We’ve had great success in growing but we know we can do more with your assistance.
Thank you, and God Bless!
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JD Rucker – EIC