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Elon Musk’s Trip to China: A Boost for Tesla?


Elon Musk Revisits China After Three Years After a gap of more than three years, Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO, steps foot on Chinese soil once more. Musk, a multi-billionaire and executive in the technology sector, has arrived in Beijing with plans to tour Tesla’s enormous manufacturing complex in Shanghai.

Musk Engages With China’s Top-Brass Within hours of landing in the country, Musk had a meeting with China’s Foreign Minister, Qin Gang. Regardless of the escalating tension between the U.S. and China, the specifics of this interaction are still undisclosed. Musk refrained from sharing any details of his plans for the trip when queried by the press.

The Prospects of Electric Vehicles: A Discussion With Jin Zhuanglong As part of his visit, Musk met with China’s Industry Minister, Jin Zhuanglong, discussing the evolution of electric vehicles. The Chinese Foreign Ministry issued a statement noting that Musk showed an interest in expanding Tesla’s business footprint within the country, metaphorically referring to the U.S. and China’s economies as “conjoined twins”.

Despite his reputation for frequent tweeting, Musk has been unusually silent on Twitter since his arrival in China – a platform he owns with more than 141 million followers. This could be attributed to China’s restrictions on the platform, although it remains accessible via VPNs.

Musk’s visit is among the recent high-profile trips to China by U.S. executives, including JP Morgan’s Jamie Dimon and Apple’s Tim Cook. Tesla finds itself in a tricky position amidst the growing tension between Washington and Beijing, as per observations by investment firm Wedbush Securities.

Tesla’s Expansion in China Tesla started constructing its gigafactory in Shanghai in 2019, marking its first manufacturing site outside of the U.S. Despite initial hurdles due to Covid-related lockdowns, the plant resumed operations, producing its millionth car in August, accounting for a third of Tesla’s global production.

Tesla’s recent announcement reveals its plans to build a new factory in China for manufacturing its large-scale “Megapack” batteries. According to market research firm JATO, China has emerged as the largest market for Tesla’s Model Y mass-market electric vehicle.

Musk’s Endeavors Outside of Tesla Besides Tesla, Musk’s business ventures also include Twitter, which he purchased in 2022 for $44bn (£35.5bn). Despite recent struggles with profitability and handling of misinformation and hate speech, Musk named Linda Yaccarino, ex-head of advertising at NBCUniversal, as Twitter’s new CEO. This move has come at a time when Musk has been under pressure to find a suitable leader for Twitter while he focuses on his other ventures, including Tesla and SpaceX.