Setting the internet ablaze with some cryptic tweets is Elon Musk’s thing, as everybody knows. Now he’s tweeting in different language.
Elon Musk is the CEO of Tesla (TSLA) and Space. On Monday night, he tweeted an ancient poem which was originally Chinese. It’s difficult to guess what is Musk’s intension behind the tweet, but he titled it by writing “Humankind” and it included a composition known as the “Quatrain of Seven Steps.” The poem is famous in China, and it refers to a spat between brothers.
The poem is often attributed to Cao Zhi, who is the son of an ancient Chinese warlord. It is said that he lived during the Three Kingdoms era (220 to 280 AD). Cao’s elder brother, a newly crowned king, is said to have been envious of Cao’s abilities. Suspecting that his brother was attempting to usurp his throne, the king made him write a poem in the time it took him to take seven steps.
The rhyme translates into English as follows:
“Beanstalks are burned to cook beans
The beans weep in the pot
We grow from the same root
Why should we boil each other with such impatience?”
Musk’s post drew a lot of attention from both Western and Chinese social media users. On Tuesday, it was a trending topic on Weibo, China’s Twitter-like platform.
Musk has long admired Chinese culture, praising its efficiency and investing heavily to make China one of Tesla’s most important markets.
In July, he congratulated the government on the ruling Chinese Communist Party’s important anniversary, tweeting: “The economic prosperity that China has achieved is truly amazing, especially in infrastructure! I encourage people to visit and see for themselves.”
That came months after the world’s richest man gave a rare interview to a Chinese state broadcaster in which he lavished praise on Beijing and predicted that the country would “become the world’s largest economy.” Musk has also predicted that China will eventually become Tesla’s most important market.