Musk Meets China’s Industry Minister to Talk EV Prospects – According to the ministry, the commerce minister of China had a meeting with Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla Ltd., on Wednesday and assured their support for the growth of foreign companies. Earlier, Musk had also met with China’s ministers of industry and foreign affairs. Throughout this year, various CEOs from global companies, including Apple Inc., have engaged in meetings with Cabinet officials or Premier Li Qiang, who serves as the top economic official in China.
These meetings have become possible after the removal of travel restrictions imposed due to the pandemic. The ruling Communist Party of China is currently making efforts to revive investor confidence in the country’s slowing economy. They are also striving to reassure companies that have been impacted by crackdowns on anti-monopoly practices and data security, as well as by raids on consulting firms.
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In addition, the tension with Washington and the expectation for businesses to align their plans with official development goals have further added to the concerns of companies operating in China. The commerce minister, Wang Wentao, said Beijing will “support long-term, stable development of foreign-invested enterprises in China,” according to a ministry statement.
Musk “praised the potential of China’s development” and expressed willingness to “deepen mutually beneficial cooperation,” the statement said. The United States and China should “strengthen economic and trade dialogue and cooperation under the guidance of principles of mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation,” Wang was cited as saying.
Earlier, Musk met with the industry minister, Jin Zhuanglong, and “exchanged views on the development of new energy vehicles and intelligent networked vehicles,” the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said on its website. China is responsible for 50% of global electric vehicle sales and serves as the location for Tesla’s inaugural factory outside of the United States. During meetings in March, Premier Li provided reassurance to CEOs Tim Cook (Apple), Albert Bourla (Pfizer), Jakob Stausholm (Rio Tinto), and Toshiaki Higashihara (Hitachi).
In 2019, Tesla established the first fully foreign-owned automobile factory in China following the relaxation of ownership restrictions by Beijing, aiming to promote competition and expedite industry growth. Tesla did not respond to email inquiries regarding Musk’s visit to China. Additionally, Musk holds a majority ownership stake in the social media platform Twitter, which is blocked in China by the internet filters implemented by the ruling party.