China Warns Elon Musk Over Wuhan Lab Leak Tweet

A Chinese state-run media outlet has rounded on the Tesla CEO Elon Musk after sharing a post about the “lab leak” theory for the source of Covid-19.

According to CNBC, a Chinese state-run newspaper issued a warning to Elon Musk after he shared reporting on the US Department of Energy’s “low confidence” assessment that the global Covid pandemic originated in a Wuhan laboratory.

The origins of the Coronavirus is a hugely sensitive subject in China, after the virus that was first detected in Wuhan, turned into a full blown global pandemic that killed an estimated 6.87 million people, and caused huge amounts of economic turmoil and population lockdowns.

Image credit: World Health Organisation

China warning

According to CNBC, the social media pages of the Global Times, the English-language subsidiary of the government-controlled People’s Daily, warned Musk that he could be “breaking the pot of China” (aka biting the hand that feeds him) after Musk responded to tweets that asserted that the Covid pandemic originated in a Wuhan research laboratory.

Predictably Musk was responding to ongoing allegations by the far right in the US that Dr. Anthony Fauci funded gain-of-function research at the Wuhan lab.

The tweets cited news of a classified US Energy Department report concluding, with “low confidence” that the Wuhan Institute of Virology was the source of the virus.

Chinese response

A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman reportedly called for the US government to “stop defaming China” and “politicising” the process of tracing the origins of the virus.

The Global Times post said Musk’s tweets and retweets are being used to “frame” China.

Musk has to tread carefully, as China is Tesla’s second-largest market and is home to one of its most important gigafactories.

China is also a source of materials that are vital to making electric cars.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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