Elon Musk vs. China | Starlink, Tesla, SpaceX and the New Cold War | Markets Are Dumb 14
That would be nowhere without Obama’s subsidies and is aimed squarely at what has so far been the very Democratic concern of climate change.. The past three years should have been very scary ones for Tesla., But thanks to his absurd Twitter presence, Elon Musk has both made himself an inescapable celebrity and positioned himself personally as somewhat MAGA friendly.. The President loves both those things and Musk’s government subsidy dependent companies haven’t. Just survived the Trump era they have thrived.. This is nothing compared to Musk’s. Next act. Tesla is going to do great under whatever version of the Green New Deal passes under the next Democratic president.. Spacex’S provision of a fully American space launch capability will make Musk indispensable to future presidents of either party., But today I want to talk about a sort of nuclear option that Musk is giving to the US government that is far more terrifying to China than any US Nuclear missile. – I am talking about Starlink of course. If you have heard about this program, it’s, probably in the context of astronomers being angry about it., Depending on how you measure it. There are between 2 and 3000 satellites in space. Today. Starlink is currently planning to launch 12000 and could eventually put up as many as 42000. Astronomers are reasonably concerned about what this will do to their view of the night. Sky. That’s a real issue that needs to be resolved. But there is plenty of coverage of it.
What isn’t being covered enough is what these satellites can do.. Officially, they will bring internet to underserved populations all over the world., Unofficially its potentially the end of government censorship of the internet. Everywhere. quotWe know how much the internet has changed. America and we are already an open society.. Imagine how much it can change China. Now, there’s! No question China has been trying to crack down on the internet. Good Luck, Laughter, That’s, sort of like trying to nail Jello to the wall.quot. Despite Clinton era expectations, China really has nailed the Jello to the wall and made the internet work for them. Through a mix of technology and sheer manpower, China has constructed a great firewall that allows them to censor all on line activity in the country.. At the same time, theyve used this walled garden to build the only serious non American mass market technology. Companies. Elon, Musks Starlink project threatens both Chinas ability to censor and its independent tech industry.. To be sure, there are all kinds of legal and technical barriers to bathing China with US government supported, open internet.. All of those barriers will be kept in place as the network is being built and it will take a very conscious choice by SpaceX to start offering services in China., But Starlink is perhaps even more dangerous to China as a threat than it would be in execution.. Musk has already stated that Starlink would not be broadcast to China in part because they have the capacity to shoot his satellites down.
. This comment made 4 years ago, may have been somewhat tongue in cheek, but it was probably reassuring to China. It shouldnt be., The 540 Starlink Satellites launched so far may already represent. As many as a fifth of the total satellites up there., China has demonstrated it can shoot down a single satellite, but can it shoot down thousands They certainly cant. Do it without destroying the whole worlds. Communication systems. Blowing up a single satellite risks, an ever expanding field of space, junk. Blowing up thousands would block everybodys access to space.. China knows that it will never be able to shoot these satellites down, so it has entered into a sort of mutually assured destruction pact. With Elon Musk., A lot of Teslas absurdly high valuation, comes from the companys mysteriously good relationship with China and its surprisingly friction free entry into that market.. If Elon Musks Starlink wants to screw Chinas governing model, then China can screw Elon Musks Tesla. In the short term. This is a good strategy for China. Long term Im. Not so sure. Tesla is not just a car company., Its also big on solar panels, grid technology and consumer and utility scale. Battery storage. As the coming decades turn more science fiction into reality. Spacex and Tesla will be well positioned to lead in industries that havent even been thought up. Yet.. These developments will draw these companies ever closer to the US government.. As this process continues, Teslas ability to sell cars in China will become a less and less important factor for Musks, inter weaved empires.
. This guy is becoming troublingly powerful, but hes not going to stop being a US. Citizen. Starlinks revolutionary potential should become a large political factor in countries like Egypt and Iran by the end of the decade, if not sooner., But not with China.