According to an official government statement, Elon Musk told Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang in Beijing that Tesla opposes "decoupling" and is willing to invest more in China.
Here are the highlights of the meeting (courtesy of Bloomberg):
- Qin told Musk that China's market for new energy vehicles has broad prospects for development, and the country is committed to developing a business environment for companies from various countries
- Qin, referring to China-US ties, said it's important to "get the steering wheel right" and "step on the brakes" in time to avoid "dangerous driving"
Dan Ives, an analyst at Wedbush, shared his thoughts on Musk's first visit to China in three years. He said the visit comes amid a worsening EV price war and stressed the importance for Tesla to capture a greater market share in China versus domestic competitors.
"Playing nice in the sandbox in Beijing is something the Street is laser-focused on to make sure there are no disruptions to Tesla's expansion," Ives wrote in the note.
While many other Western companies are rejiggering supply chains out of China, Musk appears to be doing the opposite.
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According to Reuters, Elon Musk's private jet touched down in Beijing this Tuesday, marking the billionaire's first visit to mainland China in three years.
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Even as Sino-US relations deteriorate, sources familiar with the matter have told Bloomberg that Elon Musk is preparing to make the first trip to mainland China in three years via his private jet.
Tesla's second-biggest market, after the US, is China, where the company operates a massive factory in Shanghai. The timing of the visit comes as the world's second richest person is expected to meet top Chinese officials and visit the Shanghai factory. There's even a possibility Musk may speak with Premier Li Qiang about full self-driving technology.
Bloomberg pointed out flight tracking website ADS-B Exchange showed Musk's private jet was recently flying over the Yellow Sea, west of South Korea.
We cited a Reuters report two months ago that Musk planned to meet with top Chinese officials and visit his factory ahead of the revamped Model 3. The factory is significant to Tesla's operations because it accounts for about half of its global production.
CCP's mouthpiece Global Times tweeted earlier this month, "Shanghai will further deepen cooperation with Tesla, pushing its layout on autonomous driving, robots and other business sectors in the city."
#Shanghai will further deepen cooperation with #Tesla, pushing its layout on #autonomous driving, #robots and other business sectors in the city, said an official from the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Economy and Informatization. pic.twitter.com/1xmnD7Oco5— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) May 12, 2023
Despite souring relations between China and the US, Musk appears to be betting big on Shanghai production while other companies are rejiggering supply chains out of the world's second-largest economy to other friendlier countries.