Elon Musk Is Serving up Some Bali Swag

Billionaire Elon Musk was in Bali this Sunday, and boy, was he serving up some serious tropical swag.

The SpaceX CEO headed to Indonesia on May 19 where he launched his company’s Starlink satellite internet service. As part of his visit, Musk visited a community health center where he was seen wearing a Javanese batik shirt.

“I think it’s really important to emphasize the importance of internet connectivity and how much of a life changer that it can be, and a lifesaver it can be,” Musk told reporters at an interview on Sunday.

“If you have some goods or services that you wish to sell to the world, even if you are in a remote village, you can now do so with an internet connection,” Musk said. “So it can bring a lot of prosperity, I think, to rural communities.”

Musk’s choice of attire is notable — he’s often seen donning the typical suit and tie or black t-shirt during business trips or at his companies’ product launches.

This time round, Musk went with a more localized choice, picking a green batik shirt for Bali. The term “batik” refers to an Indonesia technique of using wax-resistant dyes to design intricate patterns on clothing.

Musk, of course, is no stranger to Indonesia.

Musk’s SpaceX has been working closely with the Southeast Asian country to bolster its internet connectivity. According to the World Bank, roughly 66% of the country’s 280 million population uses the internet, although connectivity is poor in Indonesia’s rural and remote areas.

And the green batik shirt that Musk wore on Sunday appears to be the same one he was gifted when he participated in Indonesia’s B20 Summit in November 2022. The event is an official G20 dialogue forum that is targeted at business leaders.

Musk, who was unable to make the trip to Bali then, gave a virtual interview to Indonesian businessman Anindya Bakrie. Musk was seen wearing the same green batik shirt during his video call.

During the interview, Bakrie told Musk that the “batik bomba” shirt that they sent him came from a small village in Central Sulawesi.

“Thank you for this awesome shirt. That’s great. I love it,” Musk said.

Musk isn’t the only billionaire who has been eager to embrace local culture while he’s out travelling.

When Meta founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg attended the Ambani family’s pre-wedding celebrations in March, the billionaire wore tigress and flower-themed outfits that were made by Indian fashion designer Rahul Mishra.

“Love an Indian wedding,” Zuckerberg wrote in an Instagram post then.

Representatives for Musk didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment from BI sent outside regular business hours.


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