China’s internet watchdog, the Cyberspace Administration of China, is in charge of creating rules on the internet in China. It regularly publishes a magazine called China Wangxin, or China Cyberspace. Typically, it uses the publication to make announcements about policy decisions, but it also can sometimes feature prominent people in the tech sector – and this most recent one was a doozie.
Elon Musk was one of the authors in the recent edition, writing a pretty lofty article where he essentially pitched his beliefs and ideas for his companies SpaceX, Tesla and Neuralink.
“As technology accelerates, it may one day surpass human understanding and control,” he wrote in the article. “Some are optimistic and some are pessimistic. But I believe that as long as we are not complacent and always maintain a sense of urgency, the future of humanity will be bright, driven by the power of technology.”
Musk makes a lot of money in China – Tesla makes about a quarter of its revenue there. So this article was a really big chance for Musk to advertise his products with implicit approval from Chinese officials essentially.
Musk wasn’t the only big name in this edition, though – Ant Group CEO Eric Jing Xiandong also had an article in the magazine titled “Bringing small but beautiful changes to the world.”
Stepping back, these articles have been published as China starts to ease its grip on the internet and tech industry after an unprecedented, sweeping crackdown. It also represents the remarkable amount of influence the private sector has recently gained in the country in just a quick few decades.