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Cryptic Elon Musk Post Goes Viral in China Amid Clash with WFP

Cryptic Elon Musk post goes viral in China amid clash with WFP
Tesla Inc CEO Elon Musk walks next to a screen showing an image of Tesla Model 3 car during an opening ceremony for Tesla China-made Model Y program in Shanghai, China January 7, 2020. REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo/File Photo

More commonly known for sparking discussion on Twitter, Elon Musk was in the middle of speculation on Weibo on Tuesday following the Tesla CEO posting writing on the Chinese site that some took to expand his dispute with the U.N’s World Food Program.

Musk and World Food Program (WFP) head David Beasley had been battling a heated dispute since Beasley last week questioned billionaires to give more of their money to end starvation. Musk countered by declaring he’d sell $6 billion in Tesla stock and grant it to the WFP, granted the group disclosed more knowledge about how it used its funds. On Tuesday’s official Twitter and Weibo accounts, Musk penned in English “Humankind” before posting an abbreviated tale of the ‘Seven Steps Verse’ in Chinese.

The highly symbolic poem describes the bond between two brothers from a royal family during China’s warring Three Kingdoms era that is practiced in all of China’s primary schools about the value of getting along.

Musk followed the poem with a Weibo post about the WFP, restating his older tweets that if the group can “perfectly explain how more than $6 billion will solve the global starvation problem, I will instantly sell Tesla’s stock and then distribute.”

Reference News, joined to the state-run Xinhua news agency, told Musk’s post could be a nod to his discussion with the WFP.

Other interpretations proposed Musk was alluding to rival dog-themed cryptocurrencies, Shiba Inu and dogecoin, which he has also been tweeting about this week. His tweets are known for moving cryptocurrency markets, although cryptocurrency trading is banned within China’s borders.

Tesla (TSLA.O) did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the meaning of Musk’s posts.

The Weibo updates mark a departure from Musk’s typical messages on the platform. He has 1.9 million followers and frequently praises China for its space program and economic growth over the past three decades.

Elon Musk, who is also behind rocket maker SpaceX, has remained a popular figure in China even amid deteriorating U.S.-China relations and regulatory criticism of Tesla, which operates a factory in Shanghai.

Discussions about interpreting Musk’s posts trended heavily on Weibo on Tuesday, receiving over 100 million views. Twitter is blocked in mainland China.

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