A recent report has alleged that Tesla’s planned expansion for Giga Shanghai has been delayed. The reason for the delay is reportedly something not related to Tesla not all — instead, it is reportedly connected to Elon Musk’s satellite internet system, Starlink.
After it broke ground in 2019, Giga Shanghai has rapidly grown into one of the company’s most important facilities. Today, Gigafactory Shanghai is Tesla’s largest factory by vehicle production volume, and it also serves as the company’s primary export hub.
Citing people reportedly familiar with the matter — who asked to be anonymous because they were not authorized to speak about the topic — Bloomberg News claimed that some officials from China’s central government had expressed concerns about a US company with connections to Elon Musk’s Starlink having such a large presence in the country.
It should be noted that Tesla’s electric vehicles are not equipped with Starlink satellite internet systems. Despite this, Bloomberg News claimed that Beijing has become increasingly concerned about data security and social stability as Starlink might allow users to bypass the country’s Great Firewall.
Tesla China representatives have so far not issued a comment on the matter. The same is true for representatives from China’s National Development and Reform Commission.
Gigafactory Shanghai has completed two of its planned phases, and it is now estimated to be capable of producing about 1 million vehicles per year. A third phase for the facility’s buildout would have involved substantial work, and it would have pushed the plant’s capacity closer to the 2 million per year mark.
Fortunately, the publication’s sources have also claimed that Tesla China is seeing some support from local Shanghai officials. Apart from this, the publication’s sources reportedly noted that the future of Giga Shanghai’s third phase could still change, at least pending some guidance from China’s senior central government officials.
For now, it would be wise to consider this recent report as a rumor, especially considering the frequency of Elon Musk dubbing similar reports as false in the past. Tesla China also is far more communicative than Tesla North America, so a response to Bloomberg News‘ recent reports about Giga Shanghai’s alleged phase three expansion pause could very well be available soon.
Teslarati has reached out to Tesla China for a comment. We will be updating this article if or when we hear back from the electric vehicle maker.
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