Elon Musk just revealed that the Chinese government directly told him they do not want Starlink operational in China!
Elon Musk : China Says No To Starlink!
In an interview with Financial Times, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk revealed that he was directly contacted by representatives of the Chinese government over Starlink.
He was told, in no uncertain terms, that Beijing disapproved of his rollout of Starlink in Ukraine, and demanded that he won’t sell Starlink in China.
It is odd that Beijing would make a personal demand to Elon Musk, as it has the regulatory authority to determine if SpaceX is allowed to market and sell Starlink in China.
What the Chinese government is probably trying to do is get Musk to “turn off” Starlink in Chinese territory, like how he blocked Starlink in Russia-occupied Crimea.
Musk did not say whether he would obey Beijing’s request to never export Starlink to China. However, it is doubtful he would defy such a personal “request” by the Chinese government.
After all, Tesla has a major factory in China that produces hundreds of thousands of electric vehicles. Even if China does not shut down Gigafactory Shanghai to protect local workers and suppliers, it can cut off supply of critical EV components to Tesla’s other Gigafactories around the world.
The Starlink Services Map does not show any plan by SpaceX to roll out the satellite Internet service in China. In Asia, Starlink just started operations in Japan, and is “pending regulatory approval” in Taiwan, Vietnam and Mongolia.
Why CCP Fears Elon Musk Will Activate Starlink In China
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) government has been keenly monitoring Elon Musk and the effect Starlink has on bypassing censorship.
Since February 2022, SpaceX shipped over 25,000 Starlink dishes to Ukraine, providing its military forces with secure satellite communications that has been game-changing. It not only kept Ukraine online, it allowed the Ukrainian military to launch drones to monitor and attack Russian forces.
Then in September 2022, Elon Musk activated Starlink in Iran to help its citizens bypass Internet restrictions and censorship during the government crackdown on protests over the death of Mahsa Amini.
China is understandably very concerned about how Starlink could allow its citizens to bypass its much vaunted Great Firewall to access the Internet, unfiltered.
Chinese military scientists have even called for their government to develop a “hard kill” weapon to destroy Starlink satellites.
Thus it is very unlikely that CCP government will ever approve the marketing and sale of Starlink in China. In fact, they are likely to demand that Starlink be blocked in Chinese territory.
The CCP government certainly does not want Chinese citizens to be able to bypass its Great Firewall by smuggling in Starlink dishes.
And the only way to do that is to pressure Elon Musk into blocking Starlink in China.
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