Elon Musk is expected to visit China this week. The Tesla CEO is expected to meet with senior government officials during his visit, as well as tour Gigafactory Shanghai, Tesla’s electric vehicle factory in China.
The trip would mark Musk’s first visit to China since 2020. At the time, Musk visited Gigafactory Shanghai for the facility’s first Model 3 deliveries to non-Tesla employees. The visit also instantly became meme-worthy after Musk danced onstage, much to the amusement of Tesla customers and Giga Shanghai’s employees.
Citing three people reportedly familiar with the matter, Reuters noted that it remains to be seen which officials would be meeting with Musk. The publication’s sources also opted to remain anonymous as the matter is private. Tesla China, as well as China’s State Council Information Office, for their part, have not issued a comment as of writing.
Musk’s reported visit to China makes a lot of sense considering how important China has become for the electric vehicle maker. In recent years, China has become a major market for electric vehicles, and Chinese automakers have been quick to capitalize on the growing demand. Tesla is a key player in the country’s auto segment, as evidenced by the strong sales of the Model Y crossover in the domestic market.
But at the same time, China is also the most competitive EV market in the world. Tesla actually has a notable number of legitimate competitors in China, some of whom are offering comparable vehicles at comparable prices. Chinese automaker BYD, a company that once attracted laughter from Musk, consistently outsells Tesla by raw volume in the country’s NEV sector. Though BYD’s NEVs include hybrids and far more affordable cars than Tesla’s offerings, the company’s aggressive strategy has earned Musk’s respect.
Musk’s visit to China may be seen as an opportunity for the company to strengthen its ties with the Chinese government and to show its commitment to the Chinese market. Tesla would definitely benefit from more support from the Chinese government, considering the company’s plans for its electric vehicle and energy business in the country. So far, reports have suggested that Tesla has plans to expand Gigafactory Shanghai even further and establish a dedicated Megafactory that produces Megapack batteries for the Chinese market.
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