Tesla’s recent announcement that it would build a Megapack factory in China has raised concerns from the leader of a U.S. Congressional Committee on China.
Mike Gallagher, the Republican Chair of the House of Representatives Select Committee on China’s Communist Party said he is “concerned” about Tesla’s appearance of being “entirely dependent, A, on the largesse of the federal government via tax breaks, and B, upon access to the Chinese market.”
On Sunday, Tesla announced it would build a Megapack Factory in Shanghai’s Lingang area.
“Tesla opening Megapack factory in Shanghai to supplement output of Megapack factory in California,” CEO Elon Musk said. Tesla builds Megapacks at a dedicated factory in Lathrop, California. The product is a large-scale energy storage battery that is ideal for commercial applications.
Tesla will start building the factory in Q3 2023 and could build up to 10,000 units every year.
While the development is a massive indicator of not only Tesla’s increasing demand for its energy products and a bullish indication of the company’s growth, U.S. politicians have voiced concerns for the company’s friendly relationship with China amid growing tensions.
“The sort of deals they’ve struck there seems very concerning. I’d just be curious to know how Elon Musk balances both of those,” Gallagher said to Reuters.
Gallagher is not the first politician to voice concerns regarding Tesla’s reliance on the Chinese. Democratic Senator Mark Warner said last year that he is “disappointed” in companies like Tesla and Apple for touting environmental, social, and governance points while neglecting the human rights issues that China violates.
“Whether it’s oppression of the people in Hong Kong or whether it’s the Uighurs or whether it’s using electrical power coming out of Xinjiang to build the batteries that go in your Tesla,” Warner said to Bloomberg.
Warner has also said that he does not believe another American is more dependent upon the CCP than Musk.