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6 Oct 2022

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Elon Musk says the Chinese government isn't allowing him to sell his satellite

Elon Musk says the Chinese government isn't allowing him to sell his satellite internet service in the country, CNBC reports. The tech Billie said on Friday that he'd like to offer Starlink in China, but regulators are preventing it from happening — I don't know why Musk added it on Twitter.

According to the Financial Times, "Musk says Beijing has made clear its disapproval of his recent rollout of Starlink, SpaceX's satellite communications system, in Ukraine to help the military circumvent Russia's cut-off of the internet."

Additionally, more than 20% of Tesla's revenue comes from China, and it has a large factory in Shanghai. And while the U.S. and other countries condemned Russia's invasion of Ukraine this year, China refused to label it an attack.

Including aerospace and other aspects of technology, China has emphasized growing its technology in recent years.

Chinese telecom giants, including China Mobile and Huawei, have assisted China with one of the highest penetration rates of 5G globally.

In 2020, China completed its satellite communications system, Beidou; the technology rivals the GPS, or Global Positioning System, owned by the United States government.

The Ministry of Commerce of the People's Republic of China and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology have not replied to CNBC's request for a comment regarding the trend.

According to the Financial Times, Musk expects Tesla to be involved in an "inevitable" conflict over Taiwan but will still be able to deliver vehicles to Chinese customers.

Furthermore; Musk said his recommendation "would be to figure out a special administrative zone for Taiwan that is reasonably palatable, probably won't make everyone happy."

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in China responded to Musk's Taiwan recommendation: "We remain committed to the basic principle of peaceful reunification and One Country, Two Systems and aim to work with the greatest sincerity and effort to achieve peaceful reunification."

"At the same time, we will resolutely defeat attempts to pursue the 'Taiwan independence' separatist agenda, push back interference by external forces, and safeguard our sovereignty and territorial integrity," the spokesperson added at a regular press conference on Saturday.

While Beijing may have a legitimate concern about the potential for spying, it seems more likely that this is another form of protectionism. Much like how many countries require certain technology providers to store data locally, this could be seen as an attempt by the government to keep foreign companies from competing with domestic ones.

Also Read: T-Mobile Partners with SpaceX for Satellite-to-Cellular Service

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