Amid all the controversies of the week, Tesla, Inc. TSLA chief executive officer Elon Musk showed he means business by a making a surprise trip down south to Brazil.
What Happened: Musk was in Brazil in connection with giving Starlink internet connectivity to 19,000 rural schools in the country and to also use the service for monitoring illegal lumbering in the Amazon forest, the Tesla CEO said in a tweet.
Super excited to be in Brazil for launch of Starlink for 19,000 unconnected schools in rural areas & environmental monitoring of Amazon! � 🌳 🛰 �— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 20, 2022
Musk, who is also the CEO of SpaceX, which runs Starlink, met with Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro on Friday in a resort in São Paulo state. The two discussed connectivity, investments, innovation, use of technology to protect the Amazon forest and the realization of Brazil's economic potential, Bolsonaro said in a tweet in Portuguese language.
"Leaving aside the zap memes, today's meeting was of great importance in the search for solutions to Brazil's structural problems. The partnership with Starlink will finally bring internet to 19,000 schools in rural or isolated areas of the country," he said in a follow-up tweet.
Ironically, the Amazon Forest has seen a higher rate of deforestation during the tenure of Bolsonaro, leading to fears of an ecological collapse.
Why It's Important: Starlink service is now available in more than 30 countries, and it is eyeing a presence in developing countries as well over the next year.
The SpaceX-owned service's utility came to the fore amid the Russia-Ukraine war, when Ukraine sought its assistance to restore connectivity affected by the war. Musk received a lot of praise for heeding to the request and sending terminals to the country.
The Brazilian president, meanwhile, welcomed Musk's intention to take over Twitter, Inc. TWTR, stating that it represented a "breath of hope." Bolsonaro reportedly called Musk a "legend of freedom" and said freedom is the cement of the future.
Tesla stock closed Friday's session 6.42% lower at $663.90, according to Benzinga Pro data.
Photo: Created with an image from Steve Jurvetson on Flickr
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