Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk is set to visit China in April and is seeking a meeting with China’s Premier Li Qiang, according to sources familiar with the matter. The timing of the visit is dependent on the Premier’s availability, and neither Tesla nor China’s State Council Information Office has commented on the plans.
China is Tesla’s second-largest market, and its Shanghai plant is the company’s largest production hub. A visit by Musk would mark his first trip to China since the COVID-19 pandemic and since Xi Jinping secured a third term as China’s president.
Li and Musk previously met at the opening of the Shanghai plant in 2019 and participated in an online meeting in 2020. Musk’s planned visit comes as China is trying to attract more foreign investment to help revive its economy, which has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
What to Expect from the Meeting
It is unclear what Musk intends to discuss with Li during their meeting. Tesla is currently facing several issues, including delays in its plans to double production capacity at the Shanghai plant. Furthermore, Tesla cars have been banned from Chinese military complexes and political meeting venues due to concerns over cameras installed on the vehicles.
Additionally, the company is still awaiting approval from Beijing to offer its fully self-driving technology in China. Musk’s visit may provide an opportunity to discuss these challenges with Li and other Chinese officials.
Twitter’s China Operations
China is also a significant revenue stream for Twitter, which Musk took over last year for $44 billion. Sources familiar with the matter have reported that Twitter’s China operations have caused divisions within the company, with some teams keen to maximize the sales opportunity and others concerned about doing business with state-affiliated entities.
At a time of growing tension between Beijing and Washington, these concerns are not unfounded. However, Musk’s visit to China may also provide an opportunity to address these concerns and explore potential solutions.
In conclusion, Elon Musk’s planned visit to China is significant for Tesla’s operations in the country and may provide an opportunity to address the challenges the company is currently facing. It is also an opportunity to explore ways to increase foreign investment in China’s economy and discuss Twitter’s operations in the country. The outcome of Musk’s meeting with Premier Li Qiang will undoubtedly be of interest to both the business and political communities.