Musk meets Chinese officials to deepen Tesla's China ties

Peng Chen, DIGITIMES Asia, Taipei 0

Tesla CEO Elon Musk met with China’s foreign minister Qin Gang. Credit: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Tesla CEO Elon Musk visited China on May 30. He is expected to meet with several Chinese officials and check on the company's Shanghai plant. At a meeting with China's foreign minister, Musk said Tesla opposes decoupling from China and will keep expanding in the country.

It was Musk's first China visit after three years of pandemic restrictions. According to a statement from the country's foreign affairs ministry, minister Qin Gang met with Musk in Beijing on Tuesday.

Qin said the new energy vehicle industry has great potential in China. The country will dedicate itself to building a better business environment for Tesla and other international enterprises.

The minister added that a healthy, stable, and constructive relationship between China and the US will benefit the two countries as well as the world.

The ministry's statement cited Musk saying the interests of the US and China are intertwined as the two countries are like conjoined twins. He also said Tesla opposes decoupling from China and is willing to expand its businesses in the country.

News reports said Musk will likely meet China's premier Li Qiang to discuss the adoption of Tesla's automated-driving technology in China. The two had met during Musk's last visit to Shanghai. Li was the Communist Party secretary of Shanghai at that time.

Tesla has gained a significant presence in China, its biggest market outside the US. Tesla's gigafactory in Shanghai, which opened in 2019, took up more than 50% of the EV company's global production in 2022. The facility, which Musk is expected to visit, can make as many as 1.1 million cars a year now.

According to Bloomberg, Tesla is about to begin trial production for revamped Model 3 in Shanghai. In April, the company announced to build a plant for its Megapack energy storage systems in the same area.

Reuters cited sources saying Musk will also likely meet Zeng Yuqun, battery giant CATL's chairman. CATL is one of Tesla's key suppliers.