After Tesla CEO Elon Musk completed the $44 billion acquisition of Twitter, Hu Xijin, the former editor-in-chief of the Global Times, tweeted asking Musk to remove the “China state-affiliated media” sticker on his Twitter account. The Global Times is the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) mouthpiece, which caused netizens to scoff: “How can you be ashamed to bear the title of the CCP?”
On the evening of October 27, after acquiring Twitter for $44 billion, Musk immediately fired the current CEO, Parag Agrawal; head of the legal, trust, and safety policy Vijaya Gadde; General Counsel Sean Edgett and Chief Financial Officer Ned Segal.
Musk later tweeted, “the bird (a reference to Twitter) is free.” Aboluowang quoted netizens’ comments under Musk’s tweet, “Therefore (China) doesn’t have that. Your favorite CCP still keeps this bird in a cage.”
Earlier, Hu Xijin posted a tweet affirming, “I am the most popular current affairs commentator on Chinese social media. I hope Twitter, with Musk as its chief, will remove the label that does not match my status after my retirement, sincerely accept my speech, and respect the voice of Chinese society that I have brought.”
The sticker that Hu is referring to is the special label “China state-affiliated media.”
However, Hu Xijin is still a special commentator for the Global Times, and many netizens immediately criticized his tweet.
The NTDTV newspaper quoted some netizens’ comments as follows:
“Why are you ashamed of bearing the CCP’s identity? You’re a CCP propagandist!.” and “Once you become a CCP member, this identity will follow you for the rest of your life. Never forget that you haven’t retired yet!.”
Another tweeted: “If you are no longer affiliated with state media, meaning you are just an ordinary citizen, how come you can still use Twitter, which is blocked in China.”
Another said: “Should change (sticker) to ‘wolf warrior’!;” Another weighed in with, “Are you ashamed too? You were originally a man who dared to do but not take responsibility!”
Just days before Hu made his request to Musk, He confronted Musk’s tweets about the Russia-Ukraine war.
On October 3, Musk tweeted a series of polls about a peaceful solution to the Russia-Ukraine war. Later, Hu Xijin said, “Elon Musk is too self-indulgent and believes too much in ‘freedom of speech’ in the United States and the West. He will receive a lesson.'”
Regarding Hu Xijin’s criticism, Musk replied in Chinese on Twitter on October 6, “Those who put their arms in their pockets are overconfident.”