Elon Musk Expected to Visit China This Week

Elon Musk Expected to Visit China This Week – Tesla (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk is scheduled to visit China this week, according to three people familiar with the situation, in what would be his first trip to the country in three years. According to two sources, Musk will meet with senior Chinese authorities and visit Tesla’s Shanghai plant.

It was unclear who Musk would meet with and what they would talk about. Those familiar with the trip declined to be identified because the situation is confidential. Requests for comment from Tesla and China’s State Council Information Office were not immediately returned.

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According to Reuters, Musk is planning a trip to China and hopes to meet with Chinese Premier Li Qiang as early as April, with the exact schedule dependent on Li’s availability. After the United States, China is Tesla’s second-biggest market, and its Shanghai facility is the electric carmaker’s main production hub.

Musk also owns the social media platform Twitter, which is restricted in China, though some users use virtual private networks (VPNs) to access it. The trip would be Musk’s first to China since he made headlines in early 2020 by dancing on stage at Tesla’s Shanghai factory.

It would also come at a time when Tesla is dealing with a number of difficulties, including increased competition from Chinese manufacturers exporting China-made electric vehicles as demand in the world’s largest auto market dries up. Tesla has not provided an update on its ambitions to raise output at its Shanghai facility by 450,000 vehicles per year, after announcing in April that it will build a factory in Shanghai to create Megapack energy storage devices.

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The company has submitted plans to local authorities to increase the capacity of the Shanghai plant’s powertrain production to 1.75 million units per year. China’s state planner has been concerned about sanctioning new production capacity due to a capacity glut in the country’s auto industry, which has more than 100 companies.

Earlier this month, Musk told CNBC that “there are some constraints on our ability to expand in China.” He went on to say, “It’s not a demand issue.” During the same interview, Musk stated that tensions between the US and China “should be a concern for everyone.” Tesla is constructing a plant in Mexico that will make a lower-cost electric vehicle based on its next-generation platform.

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