Tesla appears to be adopting a careful strategy as it expands its operations in China. With Gigafactory 3 getting built at a pace that is nothing less than remarkable, the electric car maker appears to be making sure that its relationship with Chinese media outlets and the country’s car buying public stays healthy.
Just recently, for example, Tesla held a media conference in Beijing. During the event, the company’s China team, headed by VP Grace Tao and GM Wang Hao introduced Tesla to local media agencies. The executives later took questions from the press, and discussed topics such as the company’s software and the localization of in-car apps.
Among those discussed by the company was the Beijing R&D Center, which is expected to be completed later this year. So far, Tesla China’s software team sends data and feedback from local users to the United States for optimization. The presence of an R&D Center in Beijing will change that, making it easier for Tesla to implement local optimizations from China itself.
At the same time, Tesla is also making a play to increase its visibility to the greater Chinese market. Just recently, Tesla China and QQ Music, one of the country’s most popular music streaming services with an estimated user base of 700 million in 2018, held “music parties” in several key cities. These parties are being held at Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen from July 12 to July 20. These parties highlight the two companies’ partnership, which was announced by VP for Worldwide Sales Robin Ren earlier this year.
Apart from media conferences and music parties, a number of Tesla-organized road trips are also being done as a means to get the electric car community together and raise even more visibility for the company. These special road trips are designed to promote the company’s vehicles and technologies, particularly Autopilot, which is highlighted as an innovation that can make long trips more pleasant.
China is essential for Tesla, considering that the country holds the largest EV market in the world. In the same light, Tesla also appears to be important for China, as the company stands as a key player in the electric car adoption race. The country has adopted aggressive goals for EV adoption, and the presence of Tesla in China is expected to both encourage car buyers to embrace electric mobility, while motivating local EV makers to produce compelling competitors.