Tesla CEO Elon Musk is headed to China today and is expected to meet with local officials, among other events.
As Tesla’s presence has become more globalized over the past decade, so has the presence of Elon Musk, who has taken on the incredible task of orchestrating this organization in multiple countries. Today, according to a report from Bloomberg, Musk is headed to China, and some believe he may be meeting about a rumored expansion of Full Self Driving (FSD) in the country.
According to the report from Bloomberg, Elon Musk is traveling with the current Tesla VP of Automotive, Tom Zhu. They will meet with local officials in Shanghai and potentially stop at Giga-Shanghai. Neither Elon Musk nor his cohort has made any public announcements about the trip. Bloomberg was unable to confirm if Elon Musk was meeting with the Chinese Premier Xin Jinping, as previously rumored.
This report follows a report from Chinese news outlet Caixin earlier this week, stating that Musk may pursue an expansion of FSD in China.
Caixin reported earlier this week that Tesla was exploring expanding FSD capabilities to China in the coming months, though it should be noted no outlets have been able to confirm if this is the case. Tesla China was not immediately available for comment to Teslarati regarding the potential FSD expansion.
RUMOR: Tesla Full Self Driving could be on its way to China, a vague report says. Thoughts? https://t.co/Jzuqzr4JVG
— TESLARATI (@Teslarati) April 4, 2023
While an FSD expansion would be a monumental task, particularly in China, where autonomous driving licenses have been notoriously political, it wouldn’t be entirely out of the question for the American automaker. Besides the United States, China is Tesla’s largest market by revenue, handily beating Europe, the rest of Asia, and the developing world. This could easily make Chinese customers an ideal second stop for the fantastic autonomous driving software.
Besides the local politics that Tesla would have to navigate if it were to expand its software offering to the world’s second-largest market, it may have to navigate the increasingly tense relations between its home country and China. Following a series of Chinese balloons being shot down over the United States by U.S. military forces, tensions have potentially never been higher, and with a potential ban of Chinese social media app TikTok on the way as well, businesses seem caught in the crossfire.
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