SpaceX: China asks Elon Musk not to install Starlink in the country

The Starlink satellite internet system from SpaceX, a company owned by Elon Musk, is expanding to the entire planet. But the Chinese government does not want Starlink on its territory…

The Starlink network is gaining ground. Recently, it is even available in Antarctica. In addition, the service will soon be available on board certain passenger aircraft. Starlink also covers part of the world’s oceans, so Royal Caribbean is testing the system on board its cruise ships. But while the network is being rolled out in Asia, China is more than reluctant to do so.

Elon Musk – © Wikimedia

Elon Musk thus revealed this in an interview with the Financial Times last week Chinese government figures directly asked him not to allow access to Starlink in China. The newspaper summarizes the statement of the richest man in the world as follows: “Beijing made clear its disapproval of Starlink’s deployment in Ukraine and demanded guarantees that it would not sell Starlink to China.”

Starlink: Freedom of expression in China’s crosshairs

The description is unclear as to whether Musk agreed to Beijing’s request. Anyway, Starlink’s service map shows no plans to roll out in China. However, some neighboring countries such as Taiwan, Mongolia and Vietnam are listed as “pending regulatory approval“.

The reason for this refusal probably relates to the lack of freedom of expression in the country. Starlink, which offers a connection to the Internet without going through conventional service providers, is sometimes used to bypass censorship based on conventional networks around the world. The system has been particularly used in Iran to circumvent the rules imposed in the country.

However, in China, the censorship is much more organized and persistent. Using Starlink could result in severe government reprisals, according to TheVerge. Furthermore, Elon Musk owns a Tesla factory in Shanghai, although he is openly committed to free speech, which makes him dependent on the Chinese government.

Source: the guardian

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