Chinese officials have reportedly issued a warning to Elon Musk, the billionaire entrepreneur and CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, after he shared content related to Covid-19 lab leak theories on social media.
The Global Times warned Musk that he could be “breaking the pot of China” after the Tesla and Twitter CEO responded to tweets that asserted that the Covid pandemic originated in a Wuhan research laboratory.
According to sources familiar with the matter, the warning was issued in a private message to Musk by a Chinese government representative. The message cautioned Elon Musk against promoting “false and harmful” information that could harm the country’s reputation.
Musk has been known to use his social media platforms to express his opinions and ideas, often with a vast reach and influence. Recently, he shared a tweet that linked to an article discussing the possibility that Covid-19 could have originated from a laboratory in Wuhan, China, which sparked a significant backlash from Chinese citizens and officials.
Chinese state media outlets have repeatedly dismissed such claims, insisting that the virus originated from a wet market in Wuhan, where wild animals were sold. They have also accused the United States of spreading rumors about a possible lab leak, and have criticized individuals like Elon Musk for amplifying such claims.
The warning to Musk is the latest example of China’s efforts to control the narrative surrounding the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic. The country has been accused of suppressing information and restricting access to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, where some scientists have theorized the virus could have escaped from.
Musk has not publicly commented on the warning, but the incident underscores the ongoing tensions between China and the United States, as well as the role of social media in shaping public discourse around the pandemic.