Is Qatar providing funding to Elon Musk for Twitter takeover?
Qatar– Elon Musk has reportedly secured over $7.1 billion in new financing commitments to fund his $44 billion takeover of Twitter Inc. As per media reports, the group of proposed investors include Qatar Holding, which is part of the Qatar Investment Authority, and Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency trading platform, among other individuals and companies from across the world.
According to news reports, Qatar officials are putting in about $375 million to finance Musk’s takeover of Twitter. Interestingly, the Qatari government has allegedly demanded the transfer of Twitter’s regional leadership to the city of Doha as part of the deal. Claiming that no funding is free, the Qatari government is supposedly aiming to have control over the regional management of Twitter Inc. in the capital of Doha.
Free speech concerns in Qatar
Reports are also rife that Musk’s Twitter takeover has resulted in a decline of subscribers on the social media platform. While Musk is aiming to establish Twitter as a beacon of free speech globally, Qatar has reportedly targeted people for voicing their opinion. According to Reporters Without Borders, Qatar ranks number 119 on the World Press Freedom Index.
In 2020, Qatar issued a law which claimed to imprison “anyone who broadcasts, publishes, or republishes false or biased rumours, statements, or news, or inflammatory propaganda, domestically or abroad, with the intent to harm national interests, stir up public opinion, or infringe on the social system or the public system of the state.”
Several rights group including Amnesty International had termed the law as “a blatant breach of international human rights law.” Taking cognisance of the matter, industry experts have raised concerns that Twitter may lose its potential value as well as subscribers if the management of regional headquarter is moved to Doha. They further pointed out that while Elon Musk is guaranteeing free speech on Twitter, Qatar’s involvement in funding efforts is putting him in a risky position in front of other investors and subscribers.
Meanwhile, other financers include Oracle co-founder and billionaire Larry Ellison, who is investing $1 billion and cryptocurrency exchange Binance, which has committed $500 million.