US President Joe Biden has shown himself open to an examination of star entrepreneur Elon Musk's foreign business by American authorities. "I think Elon Musk's collaborations and technical relationships with other countries are worth examining," Biden said in Washington on Wednesday. He doesn't want to imply that Musk is doing something wrong. However, an examination is in order. Biden had been asked if he viewed Musk as a threat to national security.
Musk leads, among other things, the electric car manufacturer Tesla and the aerospace company SpaceX and recently bought the online service Twitter. For Tesla, China, where the company has a large factory, is an important market. In the roughly $44 billion acquisition of Twitter, Musk received money from, among others, Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, a subsidiary of Qatar's state investment fund and cryptocurrency exchange Binance, which was originally founded in China.
The Washington Post reported a week ago that the Treasury Department had asked Twitter for more information about the role of such investors. In particular, it is about whether they could get access to information such as user data. Access to data by Americans from third countries is a major concern of the US authorities and has already prompted them to take action against the popular video app Tiktok, which belongs to the Chinese group Bytedance.
Tech billionaire Musk also caused a stir a few weeks ago with two foreign policy advances that brought him criticism. He suggested making Taiwan a "special administrative region" under Chinese rule. The government in Taipei rejected this as unacceptable. Musk also advocated that Ukraine give up Crimea, which Russia illegally annexed, and agree to a UN-supervised referendum in its Russian-held territories.