Once again proving that when it comes to selling cars in China, there doesn't appear to be anything that's off limits, Tesla has opened its first showroom in Xinjiang.
Xinjiang is the region best known for where "Chinese authorities are carrying out a campaign of forcible assimilation against religious minorities", according to MarketWatch and the Wall Street Journal.
The showroom is located in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang. It started operations on December 31, 2021, according to a Tesla Weibo post.
The company posted: “On the last day of 2021, we meet in Xinjiang. In 2022, let us together launch Xinjiang on its electric journey!”
The grand opening ceremony for the showroom included "traditional Chinese lion dances" and Chinese citizens posting with signs that said "Tesla (heart) Xinjiang,” the report said.
Meanwhile, nearby to the grand opening ceremony is the area where Chinese authorities have detained "as many as a million Uyghurs and members of other Turkic Muslim minority groups" in internment camps in the region.
The news comes days after Tesla recalled hundreds of thousands of vehicles in China. Reuters reported last week that Tesla will recall 19,697 imported Model S vehicles, 35,836 imported Model 3 vehicles and 144,208 China-made Model 3 vehicles in China. Reuters reported Friday morning that Tesla will recall 19,697 imported Model S vehicles, 35,836 imported Model 3 vehicles and 144,208 China-made Model 3 vehicles in China.
The showroom and the recall add to poor optics for the automaker in China, where Tesla has been fighting tooth and nail (including suing some of its critics) to keep its image looking clean and appease Beijing. In fact, Tesla filed "defamation claims against at least two Chinese citizens who raised concerns about the safety and quality of its vehicles," Bloomberg wrote last week.
Adding fuel to the fire for Tesla is the fact that NEV subsidies are going to be reduced by 30% heading into 2022 and will be phased out in China entirely heading into 2023.
Maybe this is why Elon Musk is predicting a recession "not later than 2023".