Subscribe to Entrepreneur for $5
Subscribe

A Rare Compliment? Bezos Says Musk Is 'Extremely Good' At One Skill

The billionaire took to Twitter to chime in on the potential future of Twitter following Musk's acquisition of the company.

By

Could this possibly be some sort of peace offering?

Alberto Rodriguez/E! Entertainment | Getty Images

Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos have been longstanding rivals, especially when it comes to business dealings like their pursuits of outer space via both of their respective space exploration companies and initiatives.

Upon Musk's highly buzzed about official acquisition of Twitter on Monday, many weighed in (ironically) on the social media platform to mull over what may happen now that Twitter is a privately held company.

Related: Tesla Has Reportedly Been Using Bots Since 2013 to Manipulate Stock Prices

"Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated," Musk proclaimed in a company statement upon the announcement of his purchase.

This notion of free speech and the longstanding comparison between Twitter being a "town square" lead to curiosity from New York Times reporter Mike Forsythe who pointed out that Musk's Tesla is heavily reliant on China for lithium batteries used for the company's EVS and also noted that China was Tesla's second biggest market last year.

Twitter has been banned in China since 2009, which is a detail that prompted Bezos to chime in on a series of Tweets that questioned what Musk's takeover could mean for the country and the social media platform.

"Did the Chinese government just gain a bit of leverage over the town square," Bezos Tweeted out before almost immediately giving his personal opinion on the matter.

"My own answer to this question is probably not," He quipped. "The more likely outcome in this regard is complexity in China for Tesla, rather than censorship at Twitter."

Related: It's Official: Elon Buys Twitter

But it wasn't Bezos' commentary on China that drew attention — it was his subsequent compliment of his rival Musk.

"We'll see," the Amazon founder wrote in a third Tweet. "Musk is extremely good at navigating this kind of complexity."

Whether that was meant to be sarcastic or not is unclear but it seems as though Bezos may just be tossing Musk a benefit of the doubt.

According to Reuters, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said on Tuesday that there was "no basis to speculation" that the country would have interest in influencing content on the social media platform by leveraging Tesla's dependence on China.

China provided around $13.8 billion in revenue for Tesla in 2021, more than double its revenue in 2020 which was around $6.7 billion.

Twitter was down just shy of 4% in a 24-hour period as of Tuesday afternoon. Tesla was down about 9.8% in the same period.

Entrepreneur Editors' Picks